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Upland calls off meeting to oust councilman

January 30, 2009 |  5:11 pm

After an apology from Councilman Ray Musser, the mayor of Upland this afternoon called off plans for a special meeting to ask for the councilman’s resignation. They mayor had pushed for the resignation earlier because of remarks Musser made about President Obama’s inauguration.

“I want to reiterate my sincere apology to anyone who was offended by my choice of words describing the mass of Americans and world leaders" at the inauguration, Musser said in a statement.

On Monday, Musser, 73, told the council about his experiences at the inauguration. At one point he commented on the throng of people. “There was [sic] a lot of nonwhites in the crowd, well behaved, and that was so gratifying,” he said. The remark sparked outrage, exacerbated later when a local newspaper quoted him as referring to "colored" people. His fellow council members then scheduled the special meting for next Tuesday.

But Mayor John Pomierski met with the councilman today in an effort, he said, to keep from tearing apart the community. “I wanted to stop it before we went too far,” he said. “I don’t think Ray is racist. I think he is from a different era. I thought his apology hit the mark. There may some hurt feelings, but now is the time to move on and not make a sideshow out of this.”

-- David Kelly