San Bernardino continued to spin its wheels as it avoided difficult decision related to its finances and bankruptcy – an abdication of responsibility that the writers at Bloomberg attributed to the toxic nature of the local politics.

Twice the city has avoided cost cutting measures by having city councils members go AWOL – in one case a member barricaded himself inside a men’s room for 42 minutes. The latest delay came after a 5-minute break resulted in a 40-minute absence by two members. The meeting then deteriorated into shouting matches and accusations of dirty politics.

To two Bloomberg writers, the dysfunction can be attributed to the city’s charter or its factions.

The charter, which is one of about 120 operating with cities in the state, sets fire and police compensation formulas by means of comparing similar sized cities’ and their public safety pay. That makes reducing pay more difficult.

The city is also home to deeply entrenched political factions, with a City Attorney who lost in a public election to current the current mayor. The mayor has no vote on the Council, nor does the City Attorney – who is in charge of the city’s bankruptcy filing.

The charter and political factions are not to blame for the city’s road to bankruptcy. That path was set by votes that borrowed indefinitely from special funds, avoided cuts, and approved more generous benefit formulas over the past decade.

Read the full story at the San Francisco Chronicle.