Morris, the City did not have enough cash to pay employees and meet its obligations in the next 60 days, and the health, safety and well-being of residents would have been jeopardized absent the Citys filing for bankruptcy protection. Due to this situation, the City had no time to prepare for the bankruptcy filing or to initiate the mediation process typically required of municipalities in California, whereby a neutral evaluator works to reach mediated agreements with employee groups and creditors. Instead, the City had to file its bankruptcy petition on an emergency basis. Given the emergency nature of its filing, it took the City several months to assess its financial condition until April 2013, at which time the City adopted a final budget for fiscal years 2012-13 and 2013-14. The Citys initial financial assessment, however, only reflected further concern over its financial future. In September 2013, Mayor Morris announced that absent fundamental modernization and change the City faced a ten-year deficit of a staggering $360 million. The future of San Bernardino looked bleak. In the 53 months since the Citys bankruptcy case was filed, the City has made remarkable progress. It has completed a major effort to modernize and make City operations more efficient and effective. It has also completed a great deal of financial, organizational and operational reform in the months spent in bankruptcy including completing a time-intensive annexation process. The City has achieved these accomplishments against the backdrop of numerous objections and lawsuits filed by certain creditors, which resulted in significant time and attorney fees and costs to defend the City in order to ensure that it could make the changes necessary to emerge from bankruptcy as a viable provider of municipal services.
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