Thanks to Touchdown Productions for the complete video of the meeting.
NEVADA CITY, Calif. July 13, 2016 – The special meeting in Nevada City has started. The council will discuss the resolution in support of the Nevada City Police and law enforcement nationwide first.
Reinette Senum is addressing the full audience. Council member Duane Strawser is absent.
“I want to apologize to the police officers here, the spouses of the police officers, the mothers, fathers and their children This has taken on a life of its own, but I believe the people in this room have the opportunity to turn this around.”
“I want to apologize to everyone and I want everybody to be treated with dignity. I spent the past 8 years, either in the city council or off and I have always supported our law enforcement. If there is one thing I wish we can change with this, I wish we can take a different direction. I apologize profusely and I hope this is the beginning of a better way for all of us.”
Public comment is now beginning, a long line of speakers has formed.
Pinky Zalkin states this is an opportunity. “Stop talking about it, do something. I have seen Reinette doing great things and she did a stupid, stupid thing this time. Let’s just do something, please.”
William Buck, Ret. Army representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars states “Councilwoman Senum wrote, [her FB post] on a public form. I fought to uphold the First Amendment rights but we must hold certain people to a higher standard. 5 officers were killed, protecting people who protested them. Businesses will suffer because of your words. I applaud your previous good works but you can’t do it as a council woman. You have brought negative attention to our community, you post is still up and your apology does not seem genuine.”
Tim Ewing, the President of the Nevada City Police Association, states: “First I want to acknowledge the council’s resolution and I also want to acknowledge Reinette’s apology.” Ewing reads from the 18-point code of conduct for elected officials. “These are no rules unfamiliar to Ms. Senum, she is a previous council member. ” Ewing states the council has the right to take action against Senum, conforming with the code of conduct. “The nation is watching, if no action is taken, this would stand as a tacit approval of her comments.”
Melissa Ewing, Tim’s wife, speaks next. “You made my life even tougher Reinette. Even with your apology I have no faith in you. If you ever need police, it is likely that my husband will respond. Without hesitation, he will put his life on the line, for you. That is America’s Police Force. God bless every officer here and the officers in Dallas.”
Joey Jordan, Rough&Ready resident and fundraiser for Nevada City’s police dog Rudiger, does not mince words. “I think you have no idea what you have done. You have no idea why you have drawn so much ire, that alone says it all. Please resign for the benefit of us all.”
A retired SF Police Officer lists his fallen comrades and concludes “You should be ashamed of what you said.”
The wife of a Nevada City Police officer states that “public officials should be held to the same standards than police officers. I do not anticipate that the Nevada City Police department can have confidence in her. Her comments have made her unfit for public office. ”
Holly, the wife of a Nevada County law enforcement officer, recounts how her husband was shot by a criminal. She recalls the support from other officers, not because he had done his job, but because he got to come home at the end. “I wish nobody ever gets the call I got,” she said, chocking back tears.
Elena Rayo says, “Can we reach across and grasp each other’s hands? Can we say, I feel your hurt.”
Marianna Greenberg points out that Nevada County is a “very white” community. “I will not stand with officers who treat black people differently than white people. I will not stand with officers who don’t speak out against the racism. I will stand with officers who treat everyone equally. As a Nevada City resident I do not agree it’s the resolution, please don’t pass it in my name.”
Marilyn Nyborg wants to add to the proclamation. “Each citizen should tell every law enforcement officer personally how much they appreciate them. I can’t defend what you said Reinette, but I know we have changed you and shamed you. I hope we now can all work together.”
Gary Stollery, a Nevada City businessman, suggests Reinette return to private life. “We can do without a city council person, but we cannot do without the police.”
Anna Maria Sauer states she is here tonight to stand with our local police and with all the brave men and women in law enforcement all through the country.
Another Nevada City resident is calling for Senum’s resignation.
Cynthia Leveque, a Nevada City business owner, states “Although I can’t stand behind your comments, I do appreciate everything you do for this community and for being on the council. If everybody would just do one tenth of what you do, this would be a great place. We need to come together as a community. Those who only know you through that Facebook book, they don’t really know you. We need someone like you on the council. ”
The comments are still coming fast and furious. As people are leaving the council chamber after speaking, new members of the public are filling the seats. Public comment can go as long as 11 pm, according to an announce made by Mayor Phelps at the beginning of the meeting.