I’ve been pondering what to do about the standoff between the citizens of Yucaipa and our recalcitrant city council. Attendance at the council meetings has been steadily growing, tempers have been flaring, complaints have been filed with the FPPC and DA, restrictions on public comment have been enforced, some councilmembers have quit communicating with the public, recalls are being organized, and both sides are angry and frustrated, with no end in sight.

Mayor pro tem Bobby Duncan told the audience at the Feb. 27 council meeting during a 6-minute diatribe, that he no longer listens to them. When the citizens speak, he said all he hears is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah.” That does not bode well for a future reconciliation.

As I see it, there are two separate issues that are infuriating the citizens.

Some are upset with the proposed specific plan for the North Bench area while others are shocked and appalled by the secretive, unprecedented, and unwarranted termination of Ray Casey, our former city manager. Many speakers are angry about both issues.

The council doesn’t want to discuss the city manager issue at all. As Mayor pro tem Duncan told us during his verbal attack, “Who the city manager is, is not your decision. It is the decision of the city council. That ship has sailed. Ray is gone. Done deal!”

Why are we mad? Ray was an admired and highly respected city manager.

Ray, and the citizens of Yucaipa, didn’t deserve to have him removed by a bunch of council neophytes. Another reason is, the Municipal Code says, “The city manager shall not be removed from office, other than for misconduct in office, during or within a period of ninety (90) days next succeeding any general municipal election.”

Council is quick to say, “But Ray Casey resigned, so none of this applies.”

Mayor pro tem Duncan told me on Dec. 31, 2022 that Mayor Beaver was going to ask Ray Casey to resign or retire on Jan. 9, but if he refused, Mayor Beaver was prepared to fire him on the spot. Councilman Venable told me a big argument ensued during that meeting. It doesn’t sound to me like Mr. Casey wanted to retire. He was forced into it to avoid being fired after a long and illustrious career.

Mayor pro tem Duncan even called me out during his tirade. I’m a private citizen, yet he felt compelled to call me by name. Since he knows I’m a Christian, he said, “People who believe in Christ stab you in the back, just like Judas Iscariot.” I didn’t stab him in the back; neither literally or figuratively. By the way, Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, not a knife; and I assure you, I have never kissed Bobby Duncan.

During his rant, Mayor pro tem Duncan referred to the citizens as the “North Bench Mob.” He said, “When Ray retired, you all got real ugly!... It went from zoning to city manager. Then you started in on our new choice for city manager. Then you started in on city staffing.”

Talk about ugly! Mayor pro tem Duncan, I’ve heard you say one of your fellow councilmen is a coward, one of our treasured city staff is a bully, another staff member is not able to handle the job and should be replaced, and still another is unprepared and too inexperienced for the position he has. You told me that you quit talking to former Councilman Greg Bogh because he supported Ray Casey, and Ray Casey was a member of “The Good Ol’ Boys Club.” Mr. Duncan, I think your comments are totally inappropriate, ugly, and sophomoric.

When one man got upset about what the Mayor pro tem was saying, he was escorted out by an armed guard and Mr. Duncan can be heard chuckling on the audio tape of the meeting. Inappropriate!

What’s the solution to our conflict? After Mayor pro tem Duncan’s tongue-lashing, I’m beginning to think maybe he is the source of the problem.

Diane Smith



(1) comment


It’s pretty obvious from the articles that Bobby Duncan is totally unfit for public office and he needs to be removed and recalled . The DA and Grand Jury should investigate to see if there is anything to the allegations swirling around Duncan. In the meantime Beavers and Garner need to be replaced as well. The voters need to rise up and remove these incompetent and disgraceful hacks from public office. Removing merely one will shift the council to 3-2 and the unqualified city manager can be fired. No one that contributes money to any city council candidates has the judgement to be city manager. Mr Mann is unqualified and disqualified from being the city manager.

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