Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/05/2012 07:55:32 PM PDT
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Special Section: San Bernardino
SAN BERNARDINO – The city’s charter won’t be put on November’s ballot, following hours of discussion and an alleged threat against a councilman.
The city’s 46-page governing document could still be put up for a later vote after a petition by citizens, but after the council’s 4-3 vote Monday, it’s too late for November.
“This is a government in habitual chaos – the word `ungovernable’ comes to mind,” Mayor Pat Morris said, blaming the charter for much of that chaos but saying it might be best if residents led the charge.
Morris did not vote on the item. Councilmen Rikke Van Johnson and Fred Shorett and Councilwoman Virginia Marquez voted to put it on the ballot, while Councilwoman Wendy McCammack and Councilmen Robert Jenkins, John Valdivia and Chas Kelley voted it down.
Kelley said that the controversy at one point elevated to threats.
He said that during a break before the discussion of the charter, attorney Tim Prince showed him a recall petition and said it would go away if Kelley voted to put the measure on the ballot.
“This is politics as usual,” Kelley said. “I am serving and representing the representatives of the 5th Ward, and this gross intimidation tactics shall not stand.”
Prince said he went up to Kelley because he considered him a swing vote, but he didn’t make any threat.
“I put my hand on your shoulder as a friend and said, `Do the right thing,”‘ Prince said.
The petition, which had only two signatures, says Kelley should be recalled for several reasons and concluded by saying he “dismissed our concerns by denying us the right to vote on repealing the city charter.”
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