Cloverdale city leaders feeling Bernie's financial ‘burn'

Far from Philadelphia, the Sonoma County town of Cloverdale is "Feeling the Bern", but not in the usual way.

City leaders say the Bernie Sanders campaign hasn't reimbursed it for expenses for his event held last month.

It's $23,000 in overtime for police and fire personnel who worked a Sanders rally on Friday June 3rd.  

"People were so excited up here," recalled resident Paula Wrenn, "so it's a little disappointing to us that he didn't come through. We have to watch our budget, so it's a big bite for us."

In the countdown to the California Primary, Sanders barnstormed in some out of the way places: Vallejo, Fairfield, Stockton, Cloverdale.

The events were hastily arranged, but drew huge crowds to hear Sander's populist message. .

The rally, at the municipal airport, drew more than 6,000 people, two-thirds the size of Cloverdale's total population.

"A major political candidate coming to Cloverdale has really never happened in our history," City Manager Paul Cayler told KTVU.

Cloverdale's police force has only a dozen sworn officers, so the chief gladly accepted help from surrounding agencies to provide additional officers for security, traffic, and crowd control.

"We were completely shocked when they said they had no intention of paying," Chief Stephen Cramer tol KTVU, " and instead they deferred us to the Secret Service, which said it had no responsibility."

The Cloverdale Fire Dept. also needed back-up from allied departments, especially on a sweltering day when spectators might suffer complications from the heat. No problem, promise Sander's advance team.    

"They said they understood that and they were prepared to compensate our costs for public safety, and they made a $2500 deposit," explained Cayler.

"We feel we put out the welcome mat for Senator Sanders and this is what they owe and what is due."

Around town, people are talking about whether Cloverdale got burned.

"He who calls the tune must pay the piper," smiled one pub patron, admitting he likes Sanders, but did not attend the rally.

Bernie supporters tend to give him the benefit the doubt, and assume the debt will be paid eventually. 

"As a taxpayer and homeowner here, this doesn't bother me," resident Rich Musante told KTVU, "because it was worth it, it was a special event and it meant a lot to a lot of people. "

The overtime to outside personnel was already paid.

If Cloverdale isn't reimbursed, it will have to come out of the city's general fund, earmarked for potholes and other civic projects.  

"I hope he's just busy with the DNC and all, " suggested Chief Cramer, "and once this reaches Senator Sanders he'll say 'let's take care of the people who took care of him.'"

"After all," chuckled Cramer, " he has to do something with his campaign funds!"