By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
At least one of Gary Wysocky’s Santa Rosa City Council colleagues is miffed over remarks Wysocky made about last week’s decision to grant camping permits to Occupy Santa Rosa protesters.
During last Thursday’s emergency City Council meeting, Wysocky proposed adding language to the draft ordinance that would require applicants to affirm they are not a registered sex offender, parolee, gang member or on probation.
Police officials had told the council they had encountered such individuals among the protesters.
But City Attorney Caroline Fowler advised Wysocky that adding such language “creates real potential legal issues.”
That triggered one of the first sharp exchanges of the evening.
“I’m not asking you what you think it creates,” Wysocky replied. “Could we not do that?”
“Not without risk,” Fowler said.
Later in the meeting, after Wysocky proposed adding the language anyway, Councilman Scott Bartley said he would support the draft ordinance — but not Wysocky’s additions. Bartley cited Fowler’s concerns and his discomfort with Wysocky trying to make “modifications made on the fly.”
“So you’re OK with having known sex offenders …” Wysocky began.
“No that is NOT what I’m saying!!!” Bartley interrupted.
Wysocky eventually withdrew the provision, and the measure passed without it.
But the spat spilled over onto the airwaves Friday, when Wysocky suggested in a radio interview on KSRO that Bartley is somehow soft on crime.
“I think a good reason for not allowing someone to camp where there are kids is the fact that they are a registered sex offender,” Wysocky said in the KSRO interview. “If he (Bartley) disagrees with me, then that’s a difference of opinion.”
That prompted Councilman Jake Ours, a frequent ally of Bartley, to call into the show, “The Drive with Steve Jaxon.” He told Wysocky that he owed Bartley an apology for insinuating “that Scott is for perverted behavior.”
“That’s just an insult. It’s a horrible thing for you to say. You owe him an apology. I think you are way off base,” Ours said.
Wysocky defended his proposals as a good faith effort to rectify a “significant omission” from the ordinance, but Ours wasn’t buying it.
“Gary, you were showboating, is what you were doing,” Ours said. “You were showboating and it’s beneath our council for you to do that.”
Click the triangle below to hear a 6-minute audio recording of the Nov. 11, 2011 exchange between Jake Ours and Gary Wysocky on KSRO radio’s “The Drive with Steve Jaxon.“