The San Bernardino City Council on Monday night delayed a controversial vote on whether or not to create a city impound lot that at least one critic said would create a system similar to that in the embattled city of Bell, where police were allegedly encouraged to take vehicles off the street in the name of raising funds.
Indeed, the proposal in San Bernardino was aimed directly at that city's $24 million budget deficit. But after critics had their say, the council put off the vote about whether or not to create the lot and take over the impound business until next week, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise. A lawyer for tow companies under contract with the city to handle police impounds said the move would violate their contracts.
San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce CEO Judi Penman told LA Weekly, in a piece posted Monday, that “the whole thing just smells.”
She compared the proposal to the city of Bell's controversial policy of allegedly encouraging police to tow more vehicles or face layoffs. The Bell towing story was reported in the Weekly online and in La Opinion newspaper.