Margaret Hill (Source: SBCUSD)

Margaret Hill | Special to the IE Voice and Black Voice News

These comments were submitted for reading during the public comment period of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. They were not read aloud during the meeting. As a result, they are published here for your consideration. 

I hope my open comment regarding the resolution you signed, stating that Racism is a Public Health Issues, is read at this morning’s Supervisors’ meeting. 

I was told by the Clerk’s Office that my last statement presented was not read because you had a full agenda. I want to bring to your attention that statement was a racist one and I believe an incorrect one because you allowed three citizens, and you should have, speak three times, each, for a total of 27 minutes, but did not allow others the opportunity to be heard at all. 

Please note that I live in this County and my house is not up for sale; therefore, the Black taxpayers in this county are asking you to support the Resolution or Revoke it based on how you feel you should represent all taxpayers. 

I’m sure the non-Black taxpayers of this County are not aware that we are not represented in any of your offices except the office of Supervisor Baca. Your Task Force is made up of good people but that is not the answer. 

Our request is easy. We want inclusion at all levels, beginning with your offices, and also remember us when your appointment those to serve on the Redistricting Committee. 

Our request is reasonable and in spite of how you have treated us in the past, now is the time to correct that and make Blacks a worthy part of this County. 

Perhaps your solution is not to employ Blacks, but I guarantee you it is not to do anything and continue business as usual. 

Message From the Editor

The San Bernardino County Wire Published April 4, 2020 read in part,”While the Board of Supervisors continues to hold meetings to conduct essential business during the Covid-19 pandemic, public participation in the meetings will be electronic only in compliance with the governor’s executive order to stay at home.The changes in public participation will begin at the next Board of Supervisors meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 7, 2020 and will continue until further notice.

People who want to comment on specific agenda items, make general comments, or submit testimony for public hearings, and have those comments provided to each board member prior to the meeting, can send their comments and testimony to the Clerk of the Board by email . . . [Public comments] will be read aloud by the Clerk of the Board during the meeting, time permitting.” 

Margaret Hill submitted an electronic statement in February and it was read during the public comment period. 

The IE Voice and Black Voice News reached out to county spokesperson David Wert for clarification regarding the change in procedures relative to reading public comments submitted online. Wert advised, “Online comments were read aloud only during the pandemic when the public was not allowed to attend Board meetings and comment in person. Prior to that, the county did not offer an online comment option.” 

He continued, “Once the public could return to the chambers and the two offsite video conferencing sites, and comment in person or via video conferencing, it was no longer necessary to read the online comments aloud. However, we kept that online submission process in place as an added convenience to the public and those comments are still provided to the Board members during and after the meeting and are part of the public record.”

The IE Voice searched the county’s website for a Public Wire or some other notification of the change and could not locate such notice. Wert was subsequently asked how and when the public was notified the clerk would no longer be reading these statements during the meeting and as of publication there was no response.  A message posted by the Clerk of the Board makes no mention of whether or not  electronic comments will be read during the meeting.