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San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia Speaks Out About His Censure, Part 1

San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia spoke with KVCR's Jonathan Linden to discuss his unanimous censure by the city council on Dec. 1.
Portrait: City of San Bernardino
Background: Jimmy Emerson, DVM - Flickr Creative Commons
San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia spoke with KVCR's Jonathan Linden to discuss his unanimous censure by the city council on Dec. 1.

San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia sat down with KVCR's Jonathan to speak about his Dec. 1 censure by the San Bernardino City Council.

This is a word-for-word transcript of the conversation between KVCR's Jonathan Linden and San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia.

Jonathan Linden: On December 1st, San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia was censured by a unanimous 7-0 vote by the City Council after being accused of misusing $10,000 in city funds, including using those funds to throw a party after his June State of the City address and not inviting any City Council members and many city officials. Last Friday, I spoke with Mayor Valdivia at Lytle Creek Park about the censure and how he plans to move forward from this. Here's part one of two of our conversation.

Jonathan Linden: Just give me your first kind of reactions to the censure and why you're against it.

John Valdivia: Well, first off, Jonathan, I just really appreciate you spending time here at our Lytle Creek Park. This is a great way to kind of celebrate the rehappening and reversing effects of what we're doing here in the city of San Bernardino. My reaction to censure is, you know, I think it's politics. It's unfortunate that council members continue to throw political rocks. I'm a really results-oriented, solution-oriented mayor and I want to solve problems and I get up every day to work to solve problems in our community.

The San Bernardino City Council meeting on December 1, 2021 for the special hearing to consider censuring Mayor John Valdivia.
Jonathan Linden
91.9 KVCR
The San Bernardino City Council meeting on December 1, 2021 for the special hearing to consider censuring Mayor John Valdivia.

Jonathan Linden: And so I was at the censure hearing, and they had several accusations made against you. Your counsel, Ron Pacheco, did refute all of those. But what is your response to them? Like, you sent out two thousand mailers, which I guess is untraditional.

John Valdivia: Well, I won't I won't get into the details. I mean, again, they're inconsequential. It's politics. There is so much to be excited about in the city. There's opportunities here for our community and I get up every day again, ready to work. You know, we have a Christmas jamboree here tonight at the Lytle Creek Community Center, and it's celebrating kids and the holidays. There's a lot of work to do in the city, and so I'm not going to spend too much time on that. I'm going to spend time on forward-thinking and moving the city forward.

Jonathan Linden: So with these accusations, it was the entire council, 7-0, that voted to censure you. And so well, I'm not going to presume that they all dislike you... How do you move forward from this? How when all the council seems to be at odds with you, how do you go past that and still try to have positive change?

John Valdivia: Well, there's a certain contrast with the mayor who likes to get results. I'm solution-oriented and I like to solve problems. I'm busy at work getting stuff done while the council continues to abide by this do-nothing principle. I'm going to get to work, and I think the residents of this community that have hired me to be the mayor and to lead the city, and I have a number of things that we're programmed to work on in 2022. Again, this is this is politics at the end of the day. I hope that the City Council continues to move with me in a direction that's Team San Bernardino. I'm here to provide results for community members, constituents, and businesses, and that's my obligation to the taxpayer is to get to work every day to get something done. And that's what I'm I'm focused on doing.

Jonathan Linden: But wouldn't you say it's hard to be able to do that when everyone is at odds with you?

Attorney Rod Pacheco speaking during the hearing on behalf of Mayor John Valdivia.
City of San Bernardino
Attorney Rod Pacheco speaking during the Dec. 1 hearing on behalf of Mayor John Valdivia.

John Valdivia: Not necessarily. I think the bottom line, that's interpretation, and that's a subjective opinion. My particular feeling is I get to work every day to get something done, and I hope that the City Council, based on merit, would evaluate their process and procedures. We need to get the city headed in the right direction. And as mayor, I'm focused on providing those results and delivering. Let me just share a little bit of some of those results with you when it comes to our parks. The cleanup and improvement at Second Lake Park near downtown are very, very impressive. I'm excited to report that the city's public works department is focused on improving the park. This is the city's signature park in the work city crews have done to clean and beautify the park are amazing. Tons and tons of trash and debris have been removed. We just completed a hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars contract to resurface basketball and tennis courts at parks across our town. And we continue to see improvements at the Delmann Heights Neighborhood Park and the impressive work that our Parks and Rec department do. So I'm focused on moving the city forward. I can't help the City Council if they want to continue to center in on politics.

Jonathan Linden: You don't have voting power in the City of San Bernardino, right?

John Valdivia: I don't vote. I don't cast a vote. That's correct.

Jonathan Linden: Yeah, so how do you get your mission done when you aren't able to vote, and this might just be my ignorance of how things work, but how do you get that done when...

John Valdivia: I think my passion, my energy's my focus on being on bringing business and opportunity to the community. I think that stands, that stands out. And my record of accomplishment bringing seven hotels, the hospitality lane, continuing the growth of the Amazon Prime Air logistics facility at our San Bernardino International Airport. There's continued growth. And so that's what I hope the community senses. And I think the taxpayers and the residents know that something great is happening in 2022. I'm excited about working more. The plan is to get to work here in the city.

This is a part 1 of KVCR's Jonathan Linden's conversation with Mayor John Valdivia. Part 2 will be posted on Dec. 14.

Jonathan Linden was a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and served with the station till October 2022.