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Council Squabbles Give Way To Business
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The June 25 Riverbank City Council meeting started, almost predictably, during business from the floor, with a confrontation between Mayor Virginia Madueno and Councilmember Jesse James White followed by diatribes by critics on both sides.

Councilmember Dave White was absent and reported to be gravely ill.

Madueno began by again asking Jesse James White to resign for the good of the city and was for the second time refused, White saying, "an innocent man does not resign."

Arrested during a probation search, Jesse James White will go to trial on charges of possession of cocaine and of marijuana. His next scheduled court appearance is on July 15.

Resident Douglas Daniels then took the floor to urge White to step down, saying "you have caused the city enough embarrassment and the people don't want you anymore."

Another resident Ron Halbert then rose to defend White, saying he was the only councilmember who did not always go along with the staff reports and was willing to question and oppose the official view. Halbert ended by calling Madueno "the worst mayor the city ever had" and calling on her to resign.

Resident and former mayor Allen Trawick came to the podium to say he was tired of reading about White in the newspaper, there were four other people on the council and the city had a lot of problems it needed to take care of.

Once comments for and against White were over, the council then got some business done.

They adopted an operational budget; authorized use of Riverbank streets and facilities for the Rotary Club to stage this year's Cheese & Wine Exposition in October; approved another five-year contract with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department to provide policing for the city; finalized a contract with the City of Oakdale to provide Riverbank with animal control services, raising the hours to 32; and set up a budget advisory committee and invited citizens to serve on it. Councilmember Dan Fielder with Sandra Benitez as alternate will represent the city.

Coming to a resolution, however, to set policy and procedures for placing items on the City Council agenda, residents Charles Neal and Trawick argued against limiting speakers from the floor to only three minutes each and the matter was tabled for revision and more discussion.