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Cerritos Mayor Barrows: ‘The worst that could happen is that we go bankrupt’


 “The worst that could happen is that we go bankrupt,” Barrows said in an interview Thursday to the Long Beach Register.

“The worst that could happen is that we go bankrupt,” Barrows said in an interview Thursday to the Long Beach Register.

By Brian Hews and Brian Hews

In a stunning omission, Cerritos Mayor Bruce Barrows told a daily newspaper in an interview on Thursday that the once fiscally successful municipality could be heading toward bankruptcy after a stunning ruling by the California State Controller’s Office was handed down this past Monday.

“The worst that could happen is that we go bankrupt,” Barrows said in an interview Thursday.

Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper was the first media outlet in California to obtain the Asset Transfer Report and break the details of the staggering ruling handed down by State Controller John Chiang on Monday.

The Controller’s office told HMG-CN that they have “the legal right to demand that Cerritos put all properties back into redevelopment agency and that no further litigation by the city can brought under state law.”

Barrows and Cerritos officials said in a statement on Friday that “The City of Cerritos strongly disagrees with the findings of the Cerritos Redevelopment Agency Asset Transfer Review Report issued by the State Controller’s Office and will be pursuing litigation to protect the community’s assets.”

Sources told HMG-CN that the Cerritos City Council voted to approve further litigation on the matter two weeks ago.

English: An official image of California State...

State Controller John Chiang

Jason Roper a spokesperson with the Controller’s office in Sacramento said that he was “unaware” of the press statement issued by Cerritos officials on Friday. HMG-CN forwarded a copy of the press release and is awaiting an official response from Roper and the Controller’s office.

Barrows also said in a prepared statement: “The City paid the Redevelopment Agency consideration for the transfers and the transfers were legal and permissible under state law at the time they were made. The State Controller’s Office went beyond its authority to demand that the assets that were transferred for consideration be returned to the Successor Agency for disposition. The state has arbitrarily decided the money doesn’t belong to the City and has rolled back years of redevelopment.”

Cerritos officials said that “the assets in dispute include a freeway slope easement adjacent to the 91 Freeway, Reservoir Hill Park and water reservoir, the Cerritos Center for the Cerritos Performing Arts, the former Mullikin medical building on 183rd Street, the former Regional Occupational Program building on Studebaker Road, an easement adjacent to B&B Stables, a parking lot on Gridley Road, the Liberty Park Community Center Annex, Fire Station #30 on Pioneer Boulevard and the C-5 water well.”


Note: Due to the magnitude of this situation, HMG-CN will be providing LIVE updates as they develop.


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  • Thersa Turner says:

    Go Bankrupt? Is Bruce Barrows kidding? Mayor Barrows do the noble thing and step down. Your right to govern is long past due. You have spent our money like a stupid fool long enough! The people of Cerritos deserve better. Bye – Bye


    Bruce Barrows has FINALLY Run Cerritos Into BANKRUPTCY! All those years Bruce Barrows was pushing the Multi-Billion Dollar Boondoggle: Mag Lev High Speed Train (Now revealed as a HUGE WASTE of Taxpayer Money) and Battering Residents after City Council Meetings (Assaulted Jay Gray) too busy living off the Cerritos Tax Payers – No Job, Barrows has been supported by the City of Cerritos and his wife’s ABC Teacher’s salary for DECADES – Now the chickens have come home to roost – too bad that ALL Cerritos Residents must suffer – though let’s face it, Thomas Jefferson said “The Government YOU Elect is the Government you DESERVE”– How sad that Barrows was able to get back in – Time to reform Term Limits: TWO TERMS PERIOD!

  • linda says:

    The State of California does not care about Cerritos or any other City. They just want to take what is not there’s.

    But nevertheless the City Attorney and City Manager should be terminated for this huge mistake. The counsel members only took action pursuant to staff’s recommendations. They should not be personally responsible.

    This mistake is a costly one, but the staff should be terminated period.

    If I was the City instead of bankruptcy I would first work out a payment plan with the State. I know that the State does not want to look like the bad guy. They will work something out. Bankruptcy is not the way to go. Cerritos is a very fine City and good leadership. If I was on that City Counsel I would be sending a team to Sacramento to start working this out. All of this can be resolved with no problem.

    This is a wake up call to other cities.

    Good luck Cerritos. We are behind you!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cerritos Resident says:

    Bankruptcy??? There go Cerritos home values!!!!!

    Just the mere mention and now dark cloud hanging above will help drive down home values.

    If that doesn’t drive residents toward a recall nothing will.

  • OMG says:

    Unbelievable, Battery Bruce contemplates BK? Yeah let’s screw all the poor vendors doing business with Cerritos, let’s tank our property values, jack up thr city’s interest rates, and forever mark the city deadbeat, RECALL BARROWS< CHEN< CHO NOW

  • Felicia Wang says:

    As a 22 year resident of Cerritos, I have watched this city go from being a “jewel” to a run downed city that is in disrepair. Cerritos is not aging well and this current city council cannot be trusted to fix the mess they are trying to “sweep under the rug.” Giving millions of more tax payer dollars to MILLIONAIRE LAWYERS is not going to stop the State of California. We are once again being mislead.

  • NUBD says:

    I have been a Cerritos Citizen since 1971. I have agonized for years about the flagrant abuse of city dollars. To have the Counsel members and a few of their friends party on my tax dollars and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars from what they thought was their own private slush fund for the Rose Parades and trips to China.

    We all will suffer in the future because of the flagrant greedy “back room” politics this group has played on our city.

    I suggest we remove the current (council members or employes) who’s names are included in this (Asset Transfer Review) Indicating the “obvious attempt” to defraud the State of Calif. and in part( the citizens of Cerritos) of the $170 million tax dollars. These dollars are used to fund our state and many other programs that need support. There by placing a huge unnecessary tax and finance burden on the entire city of Cerritos. Home values going down and tax’s going up because of a few greedy people.

    I also feel that any and all city benefits they have received and plan to receive for themselves and families should be revoked.

    Things like life time insurance for them and their families is not something any of these “Career Politician / fraud and tax abusers ) should be able to walk away with. Thats $100,000.00 of thousands of dollars per year we can place into our now quite small bank account. Though it will not put a dent in the property value losses we all will in cure in the next few years.

    And if it’s only $1 dollar extra in the bank account (per greedy politicians) they still should not be allowed to access their benefits any longer. The obvious attempt to as a group to steal tax dollars from the state of California excludes their right to any benefits paid by our City. I would be in jail and so would most of us. They deserve no benefits and other cities might use this threat to keep their City Counsels in line.

    What ever the results will be these people are criminals and should be punished by the state and the City of Cerritos


  • This article appeared in the PUBLIC CEO News this week and I wanted to share it with you and your readers:

    “The City of Cerritos must return over $170 million in property and assets to its Successor Agency, according to a new unreleased report issued by the California State Controller’s Office (SCO).

    On Tuesday, the Hews Media Group obtained a copy of the review compiled by California’s leading investigative authority of the Cerritos Redevelopment Agency. After reviewing its content, Los Cerritos News reports that the city committed a violation of ABX1 26 by illegally transferring assets from its Redevelopment Agency (RDA) to city coffers after the January 1, 2011 cutoff date.

    ABX1 26 provided for the dissolution of redevelopment agencies. It went into effect October 1, 2011 and required municipalities with RDAs to surrender remaining assets to the respective Successor Agency.

    Some of the property that will be affected by the ruling includes the the Los Cerritos Center, the Cerritos Auto Mall, the Cerritos Towne Center, Sheraton Hotel, B & B Stables, and Liberty Park in addition to a number of other parcels.

    After selling the aforementioned properties, the city will then be required to forfeit all revenue from the sales to the State.”

  • Mr. Cerritos says:

    Unbelievable, only in The City of Cerritos. Everybody that work’s on the third floor at city hall should be fired! Then, the audacity of city management to blame the state for everything. Mr.Gallucci lets see the bulling you, the city council (Bruce “The Batterer” Barrows) and your management do, get you out of this one.

  • The Magic Man says:

    Where was the leadership?

    For years the world traveling mayor and city council have justified their extravagant travel solely on the bases that their ability to to do so improves their ability to govern.

    They have justified the high cost of countless seminars, retreats, organizational memberships as a way to be “in the know” and help influence public policy for the betterment of Cerritos.

    They bragged and photo op’d with countless state, local and federal officials. At our expense, of course.

    For the millions this city has spent to send our city council, committees and commissions members around the world is what it all comes down to – Bankruptcy? We the families of Cerritos deserve and DEMAND better.

    To our city council and city manager… One simple question. Why did you allow the city of Cerritos to be put in this disgraceful position?

    Your actions that put us in this mess, your actions to mislead the state have shamed this city. You have given this great city a black eye. Do the honorable thing and step down and move to the city of Bell!!

  • Steve says:

    Tell them to GTFO