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Dhillon called on carpet for using term ‘mayor' during state visits

June 07, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

El Centro City Councilman David Dhillon was taken to task for continuing to use the term mayor for himself during certain visits to Sacramento and in dealing with state government.

The issue came to light at Wednesday's City Council meeting, when Mayor Cheryl Walker said she was questioned by a state employee when Walker visited the governor's deputy legislative secretary's office. She said she was asked several times if she was the mayor of El Centro and was told someone else had represented himself as mayor.

Walker, who was with the city manager and the city's lobbyist at the time, said the experience was uncomfortable and embarrassing.

"Needless to say we felt that our credibility had been damaged," Walker said during open session. "I was embarrassed on behalf of the city of El Centro. I felt that the meeting with the deputy legislative secretary had been compromised and I felt that we were made to look foolish."


Dhillon said he was to blame, but he would have preferred the issue be dealt with away from the public session.

"It's a total misunderstanding," Dhillon said this morning. "It will stop."

Dhillon said misunderstandings occur when people use old business cards of his that still say mayor and when individuals are accustomed to referring to one as mayor even after the office is held by another.

"It's my fault, I'm to blame, I apologize to Cheryl," Dhillon said at the meeting.

Other council members were displeased by the news.

Councilman Larry Grogan said "it is the damnedest thing" for adults to have to go through this. He asked that the issue be brought back in two weeks for discussion under the council's norms and procedures.

This morning Grogan said one solution might be to request that IVAG remove Dhillon as its representative to the Southern California Association of Governments.

Councilman Jack Dunnam said it was too bad the issue had to be dealt with in public. He said there have been other issues and that perhaps it is time to put those on the table. He did not elaborate.

Dhillon said he would send letters to the state and to SCAG to ensure the problem is cleared up.

City staff was directed to do the same.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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