Drama in Merced after controversial comments, actions by city leaders

“No elected leader on the dais was spared” at the City Council meeting in Merced last Monday, the Merced County Times reports.

Criminal justice advocates, including members of People of Color, were primarily there to call for policing reforms. But a number of attendees were also there to voice disapproval of two members, including one who demonstrated a chokehold at a recent town hall meeting. That council member, Fernando Echevarria, has faced calls to resign

At the meeting, city leaders approved Merced’s new $265 million budget—a $10.8 million increase from the last fiscal year. Despite millions in tax revenue lost to the pandemic and lockdown, there were no layoffs. However, several positions were left unfunded, including a lead dispatcher, a senior police officer, and a firefighter.

Read more about the heated Merced Council meeting here.


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