During public comments at the Jan. 12 city council meeting, local physician Dr. Tonda Bradshaw read a statement written by a nurse at home in quarantine. The statement expressed the opinion that the city should not join the county’s lawsuit to end COVID-19 lockdowns.
Impassioned and long, two individuals ceded their time to ensure the full statement could be read. At three minutes per person for public comment, Dr. Bradshaw was due nine minutes of time. Mayor Bogh cut her off at six.
The city attorney explained in a letter regarding the incident that Mayor Bogh decided ceding of time was not allowed during public comments. However, this was not announced to the two individuals who stood up to cede their time to Dr. Bradshaw. In fact, the minutes from the meeting reflect that they indeed ceded their time. Ceding of time has always been allowed at previous city council meetings.
The city attorney’s explanation also does not match the audio recording of events. When Dr. Bradshaw objected to being cut off early, she was told that she “only had two (people’s time).” Mayor Bogh then stated that the third slip indicated time was ceded to “Dr. Bradshaw.” She responded that “Dr. Bradshaw” was standing right there. The mayor replied that this was not what was on the speaker slip, implying that the woman who stood before him could not be Dr. Bradshaw.
Whether a genuine mix-up or a sexist gaffe, the city had the opportunity to apologize and correct their error at the next meeting but failed to do so, neglecting to acknowledge their mistake or amend the minutes to reflect what happened. Meanwhile, the city attorney drafted spurious defenses. Extending former Mayor Avila’s metaphor from his outgoing speech in December, Yucaipa City Council continues to drive recklessly in its own version of “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.”