City Hall and Personnel Update

An Update on the City Hall Renovation Project
Posted on May 17, 2024

City of San Bernardino Update
on the City Hall Renovation Project
and Personnel Changes

The City of San Bernardino has announced that two items removed from the City Council agenda on Wednesday, May 15 involving renovation of the San Bernardino City Hall building will return to the agenda on Wednesday, June 5.

“The remodeling of our City Hall is a complicated project with complicated financing, and many details. said San Bernardino Public Information Officer Jeff Kraus. “Council meeting rules require the adjournment of the meeting by 10:00 pm, and under certain circumstances, by 10:30 pm. It was determined that there was not enough time for the Council and members of the public to view the presentation, hear public comment, ask questions, and fully deliberate the issue in the time remaining.”

The City Hall project had already been postponed from the May 1 meeting due to time constraints.

The City Council was to hear a report on the initial steps of the City Hall renovation project, and possibly authorizing City Staff to further explore the project, laying the groundwork for subsequent Council discussions. There were no funding or financing decisions being proposed by City staff.

During the public comment portion of the City Council meeting, Barbara Whitehorn, former San Bernardino Director of Finance and Management Services, stated that she was terminated earlier that day for stating in a memo that the cost of the City Hall renovation was beyond what the City could afford.

However, contrary to Whitehorn’s claims, the renovation project has yet to be designed, and construction costs have yet to be determined. Construction cost estimates and project financing options will be presented to the Council during future meetings.

The City of San Bernardino has confirmed that Whitehorn was an at-will employee and was terminated for cause involving financial issues that were unrelated to the City Hall project.

The San Bernardino City Hall was designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli and built in 1972. It was named one of the 49 most outstanding city halls in the United States by the American Institute of Architects.  On November 21, 2016, the City Hall was closed due to seismic concerns and remains unoccupied.


Click on "View PDF" below to read the press release.