At a recent city council meeting in San Bernardino four council members had to go for an unplanned political commercial restroom break at the same time while the council was in session.
It was during the time on the agenda when council members make announcements that they want citizens to be aware of like events or citizens they want to recognize. The mayor and six other council members had made their announcements and it came time for Wendy McCammack to report out. Her first announcement was well received and then she pulled out a mailer from Mayor Pat Morris that she began to criticize as misleading and incorrect and she wanted other council members to agree with her. The mayor informed her that this political announcement or accusation was inappropriate for the meeting and would be discussed between the city attorney, her political candidate, at the next candidate public forum.
For everyone’s information, the election for mayor is November 3rd between the current Mayor Pat Morris and City Attorney Jim Penman. There are three council members seeking re-election in November as well. When members of the council saw that McCammack was going to make a political issue of her position all of a sudden four seats on the council dias became vacant and they recognized that a quorum was not present so the meeting had to come to a close. Ten to fifteen minutes went by and the four council members returned from their unplanned political commercial restroom break and the meeting continued without any other political announcements until the city attorney Jim Penman was asked if he had any public announcements.
The political commercials council members, as well as public speakers, make when they are in session should be forbidden. Because it has not been forbidden it contributes to improper grand standing by well meaning people. It is clear to me that in this last session it was a political grandstand commercial with nothing to do with solving the city’s problems.
I hope the council would take up council members’ Chas Kelley’s suggestion and adopt a policy that would prohibit any elected official or member of the public from making political endorsements of elected candidates. If a candidate wants their message to reach the public they can walk precincts, hold gatherings, mail pamphlets, advertise, and participate in public forums but not during council meetings.
To the four council members that took the unplanned political commercial restroom break, thank you.
Don’t Forget To Vote November 3rd
I have given you my preferences for the upcoming election but the most important thing is that you go and vote for the person of your choice. In the Black community there are many who have fought some tough battles for your right to vote in an environment free of intimidation or undesirable polling place locations. I know of a few who have gone on before us: George Williams of the NAACP, DeVonne Armstrong, Jean Grier, Coy Williams, June Ware, June Foreman, Jack Clarke (the first Black elected to Riverside City Council), Wesley Jefferson, Willie Garrett of the NAACP, Nola Holt, Art Townsend (publisher of the Precinct Reporter), Bob Parker, and Harry Rheubottom of San Bernardino just to name a few.
And many of us are still fighting so don’t let them or yourself down. Go to the polls and take someone with you.
Ronald O. Loveridge Mayor
Robert Byrd Auditor
Chuck Beaty Riverside School Board
San Bernardino County
Patrick Morris Mayor
Virginia Marquez 1st Ward City Council
Dennis Baxter 2nd Ward City Council
Fred Shoret 4th Ward City Council
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