Third District Supervisor appointment process continues - have your say this Tuesday
The appointment process to select a replacement supervisor for San Bernardino County's Third District, will start all over again. The appointment, made necessary when Third District Supervisor James Ramos won a seat in the state assembly this November, with two years left in his term, resulted in 43 qualified applicants vying for the position. The four remaining members of the Board of Supervisors narrowed down the field of applicants to 13 candidates who were interviewed in a public meeting last week.
Those 13 were narrowed down to five finalists, with a decision to be announced by last Thursday, but things changed when a complaint that the Board of Supervisors violated the Ralph M. Brown Act during the process. Former candidate for state senate, Ruth Musser-Lopez, of Needles, noted that the supervisors had voted on candidates inappropriately.
"Three of the members of the Board of Supervisors, Robert Lovingood, Curt Hagman and Janice Rutherford, all Republicans, had a callous disregard for the Ralph M. Brown Act," Musser-Lopez noted. "They apparently didn’t want to follow the law that all elected officials must vote in public and not by secret ballot or in serial meetings. They had a motive — to vote in concert so that they could make the selection as to who would fill the Third District Supervisor seat. Their are four supervisors left on the board and they had to have three votes to appoint someone.
"Those Board members blew off Supervisor Josie Gonzales who had expressed strong concerns about dismissing applicants - applicants who would not be given equal opportunity to compete for the seat if the slate were to be winnowed down," Musser-Lopez continued. "She voted against the other Board members and their bad idea about voting by email to the Clerk. Up against a deadline of January 1 and in their haste not to let the Third District Supervisor seat go to a Democratic governor for a vote, the three of them got carried away with their own selfish interests and by Monday winnowed down the slate to 13, all by secret ballot sent to the Clerk. The three Republicans had decided that all four board members could each pick 10 of the 48 applicants that they wanted to interview and any applicants receiving two votes would get to be on the list to be interviewed on Tuesday, December 11. Their illegal process of voting when they aren’t in a meeting is prohibited by the Brown Act and resulted in 35 qualified applicants not being invited to compete at their meeting. Josie wanted all 48 candidates to have three minutes which would have taken several hours, but instead 13 candidates, all white and mostly men, were given 20 minutes or more to give their spiel on Tuesday - which took much longer."
While the county investigates the alleged Brown Act violation, the Board of Supervisors have thrown out last week's selection process and are back to the original full slate of applicants.
This Tuesday, December 18, 2018, the Board of Supervisors will meet in a regular board meeting and will hear from all 43 applicants prior to making a decision. The public session of the meeting begins at 10 a.m. All county residents, especially those from the Third District, may take this opportunity to have their voices heard about their preferred candidate for supervisor.
Mojave Watch strongly recommends Chris Carrillo as Third District Supervisor as Chris is highly qualified, community minded, and well versed on important desert issues. You may read our full recommendation HERE.
Agenda Item 102)
1. Rescind the December 10, 2018, establishment of an interview list of thirteen candidates for Third District Member of the Board of Supervisors.
2. Rescind the December 11, 2018, establishment of a finalist list of five candidates for Third District Member of the Board of Supervisors.
3. Amend the process for selection of the Third District Member of the Board of Supervisors approved on November 13, 2018, as revised on December 4, 2018.
4. Conduct deliberations in open session.
5. Select the Third District Member of the Board of Supervisors.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THOSE MAKING PUBLIC COMMENT
If you are a Third District or county resident and want to make a public comment as to whom you support for supervisor, it is important that you make your public comment at the beginning of the discussion calendar public comment period. The Board of Supervisors must accept public comments at that time, but may not make time for additional public comments for individual agenda items later in the meeting.
Those wanting to make public comments may do so in person at the meeting or by addressing the Board during a Board approved meeting may do so at the Bob Burke Joshua Tree Government Center, located at 63665 29 Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, or the Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center, 15900 Smoke Tree Street, Hesperia.
The Third District includes:
Copper Mountain Mesa
Desert Heights Oak Glen
Big Bear City & Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Valley
San Bernardino (part)