Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 01/09/2010 06:07:13 AM PST

CHINO – Councilman Art Bennett on Tuesday is expected to ask the council to relieve Roman Nava of his duties as parks and recreation commissioner because of his plans to run for a council seat.

Bennett said Nava’s campaign to fill one of three open council seats in November is a vote of no-confidence in the people – Councilmen Peter Rogers and Ed Graham as well as Mayor Bill Kruger – who currently have those seats.

“When he announced that he was running against three of my colleagues, I felt that was a vote of no-confidence on his part, so it was hard for me to consider keeping him on the commission if he’s obviously not satisfied with my fellow council members,” Bennett said.

Bennett said he had originally asked Nava for his resignation last month in order to avoid calling for a replacement.

“I called Roman and asked for his resignation,” Bennett said. “He said he wasn’t going to make it easy, and that I was going to have to fire him as the only way he would leave the commission.”

Nava acknowledged he refused Bennett’s request.

“I believe something like this should be transparent,” Nava said. “I said, `I wanted to have this out there so people know what’s going on between you and I.’ And if we go by way of resignations that wouldn’t be transparent.”

Nava, who wants to bring a “fresh set of eyes to the community,” also called into question the need to be replaced.

“Do we not live in a free society that we have a constitutional right to run for office?” he said. “What is the difference between me and a private citizen? I am a private citizen in our community.”

Bennett said he wanted to be clear that his call for Nava’s replacement is not a way to convince anyone to not run for council.

“I will never try to convince anybody against running for council,” Bennett said. “The thing that I object to is that he is running for council against three of my incumbent colleagues. That tells me he doesn’t support the existing council and speaks volumes about where he’s coming from in his attitude toward Ed, Bill and Peter.”

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