Tuesday, September 14, 2010 – 08:30 am

Yucaipa Mayor Dick Riddell had a rough council meeting Monday night.

The subject of a controversial radio tower came up at Monday’s Yucaipa city council meeting, after about thirty or so people showed up over the city’s opposition to the installation of a transmission tower for Spanish-language radio broadcaster, Lazer Broadcasting.

Riddell, on his own, apparently had directed City Manager Ray Casey to fire off a letter to county planners lodging the city’s opposition to the tower.

The only problem? The council had never taken up the matter.

When the issue of the city letter being sent out arose, Councilman Tom Masner asked Riddell, “Doesn’t my vote count?.” Masner had to repeat his question again before Riddell would respond to him.

The Mayor, visibly disturbed, spent some time on the dais doing the Texas two-step. Riddell told council members there was thousands of letters in opposition to the tower. But when challenged about the fact that there only four opposition letters on file with the county, Riddell change his story to a petition had been circulated.

No such petition has been filed with the county.

Currently, filed opposition to the tower consists of Redlands Attorney John Mirau, City of Yucaipa, The Wildlands Conservancy, and the Yucaipa Valley Conservancy.

In 2009, the current opposition was assisted by an engineer from Lazer competitor, Liberman Broadcasting.

There is also unconfirmed reports that Riddell is a member of one of the conservancy groups.

This is Lazer Broadcasting’s second attempt at securing a conditional-use permit from San Bernardino County. In 2009, Lazer received approval from county planners and the planning commission for the project. However, political pressure torpedoed the project with the Board of Supervisors, who overturned the planning commission.

Lazer is contemplating legal action against the county, with a damages claim likely to be in excess of $5 million.