On August 4, San Bernardino City Council unanimously voted to proceed with a resolution of censure for Mayor John Valdivia.
Should the multi-step process result in censure, it does not necessarily mean removal from office but rather viewed as an official reprimand or condemnation.
“As we begin deliberation, as your mayor I’ve been meeting with residents within our community for many months,” said Valdivia. “Most residents are eager and ready to support positive change that will boost San Bernardino’s future success.”
“Unfortunately, as exemplified by item number five on tonight’s agenda, too many city council members are obsessed with engaging in negative politics, instead of providing community leadership,” concluded Valdivia.
After his initial sentiment, other council members shared their support to move forward with the censure process.
“Mr. City Manager I’d like for you to address each one of these forthcoming items. Violation of the Fair Political Practice Mass Mailing Regulations…has Mayor Valdivia violated this practice? Everything on the charter is a violation; this is why Mayor John Valdivia needs to be censured,” said Councilmember Kimberly Calvin.
City staff clarified that the item was only brought forth not to immediately censure Valdivia, but to get the process started and vote to proceed with censuring.
“I’m going to have to speak with a city attorney about this. I do not believe this is that process tonight. I think we are simply establishing to proceed with preparation of the censure resolution,” answered San Bernardino City Manager Robert Field.
At the meeting it was also noted that Valdivia is entitled to due process and the city has hired independent investigators to examine the findings and violations.
“I was the one that brought this forward and asked that we be given a report on what the procedure would be to censure the mayor for reasons I believe to be valid. The statement I heard him read tonight was all deja vu all over again, I thought I was watching Fox News and listening to (Governor Andrew) Cuomo denying everything and blaming everyone else,” said Councilmember Fred Shorett.
“We’re not censuring anyone tonight, this is the first step and all of us agreed to send information and evidence for investigation, those independent investigations are ongoing internally. I want to give the staff and city attorneys the opportunity to finish the investigation and bring a report back to us,” concluded Shorett.
For more information, visit ci.san-bernardino.ca.us.