A+ R A-

Hardy L. Brown

Jim Penman lost his lawsuit to God's Anointed One Pastor Turner

E-mail Print PDF

Last week I wrote that City Attorney Jim Penman had a fool for a client. Well by Friday’s court appearance, his side had two attorneys representing him in court for the lawsuit. Now I don’t know why he hired the lawyers but from what I have been told it was a circus with Jim Penman, his wife Judy Penman, and City Councilmember Wendy McCammack having to constantly feed their lawyers information to present their case. It was clear from observers that Penman’s attorneys were ill prepared. Apparently they made so much noise in the courtroom the bailiff had to admonish them to keep quiet. Looking on as his supporters were former mayor Evelyn Wilcox and the city attorney’s staff, who made sure people knew they were not on the city clock.

This lawsuit came about when private citizens decided to seek a charter change to have the city attorney, treasurer and clerk position be appointed instead of by election. The citizens believe this will save the taxpayers millions plus add professionalism in our city government. When four members of the city council voted to move the charter change forward with the accepted language, Penman disagreed and elected to sue Pastor Ray Turner and others who signed the voter pamphlet that will be shared with the voters. Penman identified thirteen things he said were false and misleading, in other words, Penman was calling Turner and the rest of the group liars. Well the judge ruled in favor of Turner on ten of the items saying that Penman failed to refute the claim that there would be no savings.

Penman not only lost in court but as stipulated if he lost, he would pay court cost plus the attorney fees for Turner and the others since he brought the action.

God has a sense of humor when it comes to Penman’s loss in court to Pastor Turner and Penman’s financial support for Measure C. I warned Penman not to mess with God’s anointed ones because when you do, you lose.

James Ramos For Community College Trustee

Seldom does an elected official come along that everyone seems to enjoy their company or like the way they vote or what they represent; well James Ramos is one of them.

James was elected to the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees four years ago and since that time has won the respect of his colleagues becoming president of the board. James has a unifying leadership style with a vision of where he wants the college district to go.

When you hear James talk about his faith in God, Indian heritage, integrity and perseverance of his people during some hostile treatment from society, you feel his pride. And, you see how that has translated into a positive force. James gives freely of his time, talent, and resources to the community while being engaged with his own people combating unique issues facing the youth of San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

The community is fortunate to have James serve as a representative on the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees.

Virginia Blumenthal For Community College Trustee

The Riverside Community College System and citizens are fortunate to have a community servant and leader like Virginia Blumenthal. Her leadership in the community is about inclusion and fairness of others. Those leadership qualities have not gone unnoticed by her colleagues on the board because they elected her vice and president of the board in her first term. Usually the newcomers on the board are told to wait for the honor of leadership positions.

Virginia has a long history of honorable community service in her faith and legal profession. She has done it with compassion and empathy towards the people in the community regardless of race or status.

The community is fortunate to have Virginia serve as our representative on the Riverside Community College Board of Trustees.

Did Jim Penman Have A Fool For A Client?

E-mail Print PDF

At the last San Bernardino City Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 7th, City Attorney Jim Penman, gave a vivid and detailed explanation of his department’s duties including pistol packing detectives and code enforcement employees and how they are used. Nevermind that these same functions are done by the police department and established Code Enforcement Departments. This was done in his position as legal council to the council. I highlight that because Penman addressed the council as private citizen later in the meeting under the public comment section. I believe there would be a savings to the city if these double functions were removed from his department.

I wrote in my editorial last week that Penman had made a mistake in suing Pastor Raymond Turner because Turner was one of God’s anointed servants. During yesterday’s public comment section of the council meeting, Bishop Phillip Powell of San Bernardino Christian Center, had a prepared statement read on behalf of the Inland Empire African American Clergy. Apparently the pastors had met earlier and expressed their displeasure over the lawsuit filed against their brother of the cloth, Ray Turner.

The statement delivered to the mayor and council is as follows: “Honorable Mayor Morris, and City Council I am here today representing the clergy of the African American community. We have discussed the recent action of our City Attorney to bring Rev. Turner and the others to court because they believe appointing the City Attorney, the City Clerk, and the Treasurer will save valuable dollars by appointing them to carry out the functions of their offices. By suing to take the wording out of the voter's guide sends a very chilling and disturbing message. We have a right to our opinion and Mr. Penman is trying to intimidate Rev. Turner and others who support Charter Amendment C. We don't believe his actions are the sentiment of the council but would like you to consider passing the following motion.

‘The action of the City Attorney to sue Pastor Ray Turner of Temple Missionary Baptist Church and the others does not reflect the position of the San Bernardino City Council to deny the citizens and the Black community to worship and openly express their differences with the city council.’

Black ministers are requesting this symbolic motion to show the council is not in agreement with the action taken by Penman toward the church community. His intimidation toward the church, first Rev. David Rhone of First Nazarene Church and now Pastor Turner is sending a hostile message to our churches. We don't want to think the City Council would be a party to such action. We recognize he has the right to take such action but your vote will reassure us that you do not share that same sentiment. Thank you for your consideration of this request.”

Penman of course responded and stated that he was not suing Pastor Turner, City Clerk Rachel Clark, City Treasurer David Kennedy or anyone else who signed ballot Measure C to have his position become an appointed one. By the way, Penman has added Cheryl Brown, publisher of Black Voice News and president of the local NAACP, to the lawsuit because she signed the rebuttal to refute his argument. Penman said he was suing because there will be no savings to the taxpayers if his position was appointed. I am sure one of the first things the council would do is eliminate the duplicate services of code enforcement and police from the department, thus a savings.

Now while Penman’s action toward Pastor Turner and now Publisher Brown was meant for intimidation and evil, God has used it for good by enbolding the African American community to rev-up the entire community to vote in favor of Measure C in November at the polls. The clergy is not intimidated and for sure the Black Press and NAACP are not. All of these organizations were born out of the worst conditions of racial tension this country could generate. Blacks were lifted off of their knees while praying because they were not allowed to pray at the altar of the White churches they attended. Richard Allen said never again will my people be humiliated and not allowed to pray in God’s house because of the color of their skin, thus the Black churches were born in America. The NAACP was born out of the struggle for equality in an America where non equality was and is the practice. The Black Press was born out of the need “To Plead our Own Cause” because others could not tell our story.

Our churches have been bombed, our NAACP leaders murdered and our publications under-funded but we still survive.

What I concluded from the meeting after listening to Penman was the old adage used by lawyers that describe a person who represents himself "has a fool for a client." I am not saying he is a fool but he did say he had his own detectives and code enforcement staff. He said he did not sue Turner but Turner is named in the lawsuit. He did say that he is representing himself in court because the unions are not funding his efforts. He is not against religious institutions in the city but he has taken action against Pastor David Rhone formerly of the First Nazarene Church and now Pastor Ray Turner of Temple Missionary Baptist Church. If he is not anti-religion, I don’t know what is, maybe it’s the lawyer or maybe it’s the client.

Familiar Smell of Strange Fruit in San Bernardino

E-mail Print PDF

In 1939, Billie Holiday made famous a song entitled Strange Fruit that was written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high school teacher from the Bronx in New York. He wrote this as a poem after seeing a picture of Black men swinging (lynched) from a tree in the south in the thirties. It was a common occurrence back then for Whites to use this as a way to keep Blacks from progressing in any way by promoting fear and intimidation.

Well in San Bernardino, they do not lynch you from a tree but wait for us to invest our time, talent, and money into viable projects then they put barriers in your way so the fruit of your efforts will spoil and you loseyour investment. I have witnessed this several times in the short time I have been in San Bernardino since 1960. I bring this up because the latest trick they are trying to do is with the school that bears my name, located in the Carousel Mall in downtown. Mind you the mall is almost empty now and it has struggled ever since a white haired man named Warner Hodgdon developed it with our taxpayers money. Warner got the Black community to buy into his analogy of building a wheel you must first make the hub, downtown and then go outward to the rim meaning the 6th ward. We bought into that and we are still waiting for the wheel to be finished. As a matter of fact, the hub is still trying to be finished.

The city had wanted to have a hotel downtown to attract conventions into the city. No one came forth until Herman English, a Black man, came forth and said I can build you a first rate hotel. The city agreed because the thinking of the city’s fathers was it cannot be done but as it got closer to opening day, the city started its racial political game of strange fruit. They said he needed to make some minor changes plus English needed more cash after investing over $22 million of his own money into the project. The city would not advance the additional monies unless English secured a letter of credit to insure the loan. He got the letter but the city did not keep its commitment so English lost the hotel and his investment of $22 million dollars.

The interesting thing about the hotel is the late Sister Margaret James, mother of Pastor Jim James in San Bernardino and Sam James of Riverside, led a group of us in prayer one Sunday afternoon in front of the hotel when the city was playing all of these racist political games with English.

She said to us at the time, her vision from God was that if the city did not allow English to finish the project the success of the hotel would never happen. It had been empty for years, given to a Japanese group, taken back under new ownership that would not allow Blacks to frequent the club there, and now it’s closed.

Another instance was Francis Grice and Operation Second Chance. Grice and her organization brought millions of federal dollars into the city and then she decided to build the brick building located on Highland and Western Ave. After it was completed some could not stand seeing such a nice place on the westside of San Bernardino. So the game of strange fruit started and she eventually lost the building and the city took it over. Later the city was forced to sell it to New Hope Baptist Church.

Another instance was when one of the local banks located on E Street was going under, so John Dukes, a local Black businessman, put together a group of investors that would save the bank and it would be under the ownership of African Americans. It was kept quiet until he had the reception atthe bank for all the community to see. Shortly after the reception, the strange fruit started to smell and the bank was not transferred to Dukes.

Now we have a school to educate young children that have traditionally had low test scores. Our children are the first to drop out of school, first to be sent to prison, lowest achieving when it comes to academics and yet when we say we are going to teach them ourselves, people like Warner Hodgdon are trying to prevent that from happening. I remember it was in 1972 that the local NAACP had to file a lawsuit to force integration so Black children could enjoy the comforts of a nice school campus here in the city. Wehad to fight to get parks for our children. We had to fight toget the city and other agencies to hire our children, so I guess we might as well fight now so they can get a quality education. To me his interest in the school smells like the strange fruit of San Bernardino politics and racism.

What brought this up is last week I read an email from the founder of the school that a white haired man had come to the school taking pictures of the kids without the parent’s permission. He also interrogated some of the staff memberson the school’s five year lease agreement with the owner and that he was the developer of the mall back in the late sixties and early seventies. He implied that something was wrong with the agreement for the school to be there and they might have to move. Mind you this fast talking white haired ex-felon of a man has filed bankruptcy from bad dealings throughout the county including Riverside Raceway. When he got out of prison back in the seventies he donated $50 thousand to the local United Way in a gesture to buy his way back into the good graces of the community. He later ran his wife for public office but the public said no way can we have Warner represent us plus they were not sure what he would do.

Now he, and I’m sure others, do not want us to have a place to educate our children. Well I am here to tell you that we are going to educate our children with or without your cooperation. These are our children and our taxes help build this mall plus the taxes that help keep it afloat today. To the founder and staff, I want you to remain focused on delivering a good education to those students. To the parents, keep your commitment to your children by participating in their education. To the community, keep on praying and supporting our efforts as you have done in the past. Also pray that the strange fruit smell of racial politics will soon remove itself from the air in San Bernardino.

Penman: Don't Mess with God's Anointed Ones

E-mail Print PDF

There are two things you don’t do to or in the Black community; and that is talk negative about our mama or fight with our pastors. Well, Jim Penman, city attorney of San Bernardino has gone so far as to sue Pastor Ray Turner of Temple Missionary Baptist Church for exercising his constitutional right. Pastor Turner and many other citizens including, City Treasurer David Kennedy and City Clerk Rachel Clark (both elected) are requesting of voters to have their positions along with the city attorney be appointed by the mayor and council members. The resolution was adopted by four city council members with three voting no to have it come before the voters in November.

This act by Rev. Turner has made Penman upset enough to sue Pastor Turner and of course it has made the African American community boiling mad. For Penman’s information, the word of God cautions us about how to deal with His anointed ones. We recite often Psalm 105:15 in the Black community “Do not touch My anointed ones, do My prophets no harm”. We do not take it kindly when anyone tries to bring harm against them.

However, we noticed Penman has very little respect for our clergy or our places of worship here in the city. It was just a little while ago that he took on Pastor Rohn and the Nazarene Church by telling them who could or could not be members of their congregation. He lost that battle with God’s anointed one and he is about to lose another. Has his law degree and the position of city attorney taken over his once reasonable way of doing things? When he was at the Home of Neighborly Service, this side of Penman did not show itself at least in public, what happened?

I want you to know we will be lifting Pastor Turner up in prayers and another prayer for you. I remember someone telling the story of Sheriff Eugene “Bull” Connors during the height of the civil rights movement. For those who do not know Bull Connors was the sheriff in Alabama that put the water hose and attack dogs on Black citizens for exercising their constitutional rights to assemble in public. The story was “everything was going alright until those colored people started praying on him”. Well Penman we are praying in unity.

We will be registering people to vote. We will be keeping our eye on you to see how you are spending your time as city attorney. In other words, we do not want you to get taxpayers dollars to use against Pastor Turner or us. You have tried to silence those who disagree with your position but you cannot silence us with threats and lawsuits, especially when it is against God’s anointed ones.

The San Bernardino City Council has Rung the Bell

E-mail Print PDF

At a boxing match the announcer comes into the ring grabs the microphone and announces “in this corner weighing in at so many pounds and wearing black trunks is Joe Louis and in this corner wearing white trunks is Max Smelling weighing so many pounds.”

But in San Bernardino politics at the special budget hearing Mayor Pat Morris grabbed the microphone and called the meeting to order and introduced Charles McNeely, the City Manager, who explained the rules of the match for the evening.

He laid out the budget of the city with the shortfalls in revenue and the cuts required to bring the budget in line with the reality of the cash flow. At the end of the marathon session, which lasted until after eleven o’clock in the evening and all the body blows were thrown, Mayor Morris asked thecouncil members “to cast your votes please”.

At this moment it was in the judge/council’s hand to cast a vote to accept the recommendations of the city manager or reject his recommendations. Voting to accept the city manager’s recommendations were Rikke Van Johnson, Virginia Marquez, Fred Shorett, Tobin Brinker and Jason Desjardins with the win and Chas Kelley and Wendy McCammack with the loss. That is the way the vote goes most of the time.

While every level of our government agencies are going through a financial crisis at least the San Bernardino City Council is moving in the right direction to correct a long nagging mismanaged system. I want to commend the five council members who bit the bullet, Johnson, Marquez, Brinker, Shorett and Desjardins for doing the right thing. They accepted the recommendations put before them by McNeely. It calls for an $11 million dollar budget reduction that will begin in July 2011.

One of my main reasons for commending the majority is that the cuts included some sacred cow departments, police, fire and city attorney. Council members Kelly and McCammack did not even want to discuss these departments for cuts. Mind you when you add them together they represent over 72% of all the money from the city’s budget. Then when you look at how much the employees in those departments make and do not live in the city to pay taxes it will make your blood boil. For example: the police average yearly salary is $128,684.20 per officer and only 34 out of 305 call San Bernardino home. They take our hard earned money to other cities to employ other employees to provide services for their own family members.

The firemen are no better when it comes to being good citizens of San Bernardino. They make on average $160,183.57 per year with only 8 of 148, calling San Bernardino home. In the communities where these city workers live they have nice green parks, libraries, paved streets and enough employees working in planning to help developers with building permits.

According to the adopted budget of 2010-2011 information given to us by John Wilson, Senior Assistant City Attorney, their budget is nearly $4 million dollars, of which they employ two code enforcement officers and two detective inspectors whichare duplicate employees which are provided by other departments. Penman wants to have his own FBI employees instead of relying on the police or code enforcement departments for action. The Police Department budget is over $57 million dollars, that does not include Measure Z money. The Fire Department’s budget is over $32 million dollars. Just think about what we could do if these employees lived, bought homes, cars, food, paid sales taxes and sent their children to school in San Bernardino?

The reason McCammack and Kelley did not want these public sacred cows to be touched is because of donations to their political campaigns. Also added to this bunch is Jim Penman the City Attorney who is the Muppet Masters of all of them. It became crystal clear watching him at the budget hearing as he described his ability to get five votes onthe city council. Penman said he went to thecity manager and then the mayor after he hadtalked the strategy over with his mouth piece on the council Wendy McCammack. I said to myself Mr. Penman has lost his way by gathering votes instead of offering legal advice to the city. He lost his way when he told a Mexican family I will help you by giving you a one way ticket to Mexico. Or was it another time when he proposed that every council member should be voted on by every citizen in the city. He proposed that because Whites vote at a higher percentage than Blacks and Hispanics thus Whites would control city hall with this scheme. The NAACP and MALDF organizations saw this as a violation of the Voting Rights Act and called him on it.

Mr. Penman also gets the lion share of his political donations from, you guessed it, the police and firemen associations. I hope they do not help fund the opposition to Measure Con the ballot in November for some necessary charter changes to have the city attorney, treasurer and city clerk appointed instead of being elected. If they do then the next charter change will be to correct the way police and firemen are paid. The current city clerk and treasurer have signed on to the charter change recommended by four members of the city council. I might add the mayor had nothing to do with the original group that came up with the idea to push forthis charter change. I know because I was atthe meeting.

And Mr. Kelly sits at the dias and talks about developing jobs for citizens in the city while he sends millions out of the city every payday with police and firemen toother communities. He didn’t fight as hard for the departments where the Blacks and Hispanics are working to provide services to the public.

Yes I know that we are going through horrible financial times but I am glad to see the council stand up for what is right. Because the well funded well organized public safety unions are getting so much support I am offering to meet with other employees of the city to discuss ways in which they can help themselves politically here in the city. For one you can vote and the police and firemen cannot because they do not live here. So let us get together and discuss strategies so your voice can be heard down at city hall now that the BELL has been rung by the council.

Page 34 of 123

BVN National News Wire