Summer 2013: Removing Mayor Gurrola and Vice Mayor McCracken

AWARD: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Prize Awarded to Porterville’s City Council Wall of Shame Towards the LGBT Community

For Council, retroactively canceling its first LGBT Pride Month and retroactively declaring it was a month of “Charity and Goodwill to All” was not enough.Not even the twin US Supreme Court rulings on Prop 8 and DOMA occurring during the dispute, and the resumption of same-sex marriages in California could prevent those votes, so why stop there?

Brian Ward made a motion to remove Virginia Gurrola as Mayor and Pete McCracken as Vice Mayor. Still more public hearings were held, and in addition to more preaching and praying, the Council bloc of 3 and the anti-LGBT crowd spoke of Gurrola’s failure to consult the rest of Council before issuing the Proclamation as cause for removal.

No reason was ever presented as to why McCracken had to go, but presumably it had to do with his voting with Gurrola on procedural grounds even though he had stepped up initially  to decry the Proclamation, and has never uttered a single word of support of the rights of LGBT constituents or remorse for his earlier 2008 Pro-Prop 8 vote.

Porterville became a Charter City in 1926 and the prerogative to issue Proclamations has always rested with the Mayor and has been embedded in the City’s Charter. The City Attorney explained this at the first public hearing on June 4. No one ever offered an example from the preceding 87 years where the Mayor had been required to, or even suggested to confer with Council regarding a Proclamation.

Yet to comply with Ward, Hamilton and Shelton’s demand that Gurrola consult with them before issuing the Pride Proclamation to head off the controversy that ensued would not only be a blatant violation of California’s Brown Act (Open Meetings law), but good reason to remove her had she complied. It was nothing short of political blackmail built on the back of homophobia.

Resolution Author: Brian Ward
Mayor (removed): Virginia Gurrola
Mayor (installed): Cameron Hamilton
Vice-Mayor (removed): Pete McCracken
Vice-Mayor (installed): Brian Ward

Vote: 3-2 to replace. In Favor: Brian Ward, Cameron Hamilton, Greg Shelton. Against: Virginia Gurrola, Pete McCracken.

Bonus Tidbit: It is a major violation of California’s Open Meeting Law, the Brown Act, for Council members to meet in private as a group or sequentially, to discuss an item on the agenda or that might go on the agenda. So the Mayor was removed for refusing to violate the law at the demand  of the rest of Council.

Learn About the Most Shameful Anti-LGBT Events in Porterville City Council History

INSTRUCTIONS: Click on the Black Ribbon Award to learn the details

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