Riverbank mayor to seek White's censure

City council is meeting tonight

June 14, 2010 

RIVERBANK -- Mayor Virginia Madueño says she plans to ask Councilman Jesse James White to resign at tonight's meeting.

Madueño says if White won't, then she will ask her fellow council members whether they want to start the process to censure him.

She said City Attorney Tom Hallinan told her that censuring someone is a long process and that White can have an attorney present to defend him.

White's tenure on the council has been controversial since his November 2008 election. A grand jury report last year recommended that he resign because he was not registered to vote when he applied to run for the council. He was the target last year of an unsuccessful recall attempt and arrested in May on drug charges.

White, 21, pleaded not guilty Friday to possession of marijuana and cocaine.

"There are a lot of people in the community who feel that we (the council) should do more," Madueño said in a Thursday interview. "But it's not that easy. He has rights. But bringing in the censure process helps us. It lets the community know that we are doing what we can."

White would not be removed from the council if he were censured. But he would be removed if he were convicted of a felony. He's facing one felony and two misdemeanor charges from his drug arrest.

Tonight's council meeting could be short one member. City officials said Thursday that it was unlikely that White's grandfather and fellow council member, Dave White, would attend after undergoing a medical procedure after he complained of tightness in his chest. City officials said White did not have a heart attack.

The Whites could not be reached for comment Sunday.

In other business, the City Council is expected to:

Hold a public hearing on whether to increase water rates by 1.28 percent. Under the proposal, homeowners would pay $2.21 a year more for water.

Consider a resolution that would establish a loan program for water users -- primarily commercial accounts -- that are required to install a backflow to prevent water contamination. The money for the loans would come from surplus money from the the city's water account.

Consider a resolution to place raising the transient occupancy tax from 4 percent to 9 percent on the Nov. 2 ballot. This is the tax that hotels and motels charge their guests.

The City Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers, 6707 3rd St.

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at kvaline@modbee.com or 578-2316.

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