As a resident of Riverbank for over 34 years, I feel compelled to comment after attending the last two City Council meetings.
The council must decide how to fill a seat vacated by the election of Richard O'Brien to the position of mayor. The issue of race seems to be at the bottom of their inability to come to a consensus.
Two members believe the Hispanic community is underrepresented on the council. A woman from the Stanislaus County Hispanic Roundtable spoke to the panel and said Riverbank is being watched and indicated that if a non-Hispanic is appointed to fill the seat, we could be opening ourselves up to litigation.
This sounds like a veiled threat. A motion was made that the candidate with the next highest vote count be appointed to the seat. This motion was voted down 2 to 2. It was then motioned that all of the candidates who ran be considered to fill the vacancy. This was also voted down 2 to 2.
The voters of Riverbank have already spoken. The members of this council have taken an oath that they will represent all the citizens of Riverbank, this would include all ethnicities. If any council members feel they cannot fulfill this oath, they should resign now and let Riverbank proceed with the business of running our city.