On Friday morning, the city of Hesperia issued an unusual press release, apologizing for an outburst by a city council member at the meeting earlier in the week.
"At the end of the vote, some audience members became very upset, yelling comments at the city council at which time a recess was called as the audience left the chambers," the press release reads in part.
During the break, a female council member approached the dais and announced that she was going to "get" the city council members who had voted in favor of the service animal ordinance.
"Mayor Pro Tem Russ Blewett regrettably was caught up in the emotion of the moment and responded inappropriately," the release continues.
"I regret that I became caught up in this emotional issue and responded in an intemperate manner, and I apologize to my constituents," Blewett said in a prepared statement.
All Hesperia City Council meetings are recorded and are available on the city's website (CityofHesperia.us). But Blewett's exchange with the resident isn't available: The five-minute recess, including their comments, has been edited out.
"Anything that takes place during city business has to remain," city spokeswoman Kelly Malloy said on Friday. "Since the action had already happened and we called for recess ... it's cut at the break."
"We routinely have high school students and service groups view our meetings as part of their school assignments and service projects," City Manager Mike Podegracz is quoted as saying in the press release. "The portion removed was not in any way related to the business at hand and was done to protect the audience members who were visible on camera."
Viewers have watched city council meetings online 3,100 times in the past 12 months, according to Malloy.
The next regular meeting of the Hesperia City Council will take place on April 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Hesperia City Hall, 9700 Seventh Avenue.
Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.