UPLAND - Mayor Ray Musser's first action as mayor already has one council member questioning his decisions.

Musser was elected to the mayoral seat in November and made his appointments to city committees, which was approved by the council last week with the exception of Councilman Gino Filippi.

"First of all I think appointments bring forward a nuance of dictatorship and disrespect," Filippi said. "I think that's similar to what mayor accused the former mayor of doing."

Filippi was opposed to Musser's selection of Councilwoman Debbie Stone for mayor pro tem and his appointments to the Police and Fire Committee and the Upland Community Housing, Inc. Committee.

Filippi was taken off the Police and Fire Committee. Newly elected Councilman Glenn Bozar and Stone were selected.

Musser said he removed Filippi from the Police and Fire Committee in order to keep the city abiding by their ethics code.

In Filippi accepted a $2,000 campaign donation from the Upland Firefighters Association and soon after voted to approve their employment contract, which violated the city's ethics ordinance.

Filippi said it was an oversight and returned the donation, but Musser felt placing him on the committee could have put Filippi in an awkward position.

Secondly, Filippi was endorsed by the Upland Police Department during the election and also signed a pledge to not outsource police services.

"That is not representing the residents of Upland," Musser said. "That is representing the police department of Upland and so therefore I had to remove him on that. So he really developed his own pattern. It wasn't my choice. I just can't put someone on there with a conflict of interest."

However, Filippi disagrees.

"I think he took me off because he feels with them endorsing me, I would be unfair and that's simply untrue," Filippi said. "My reason for wanting to be on that committee is I'm interested in that and public safety is a priority to me and the residents of Upland."

As for Filippi's opposition to Stone being selected as mayor pro tem, he said he believed Councilman Brendan Brandt would have been the obvious choice due to his experience on the council.

Brandt had served as mayor pro tem when former Mayor John Pomierski was in office.

"I think he was the logical person,but more importantly the issue deserves discussion among the full council in public," He said.

Musser said he chose Stone because he thought the council needed a new view.

"I felt we needed to have a new look at things in light of everything that has happened," he said. "We needed fresh eyes and a fresh mind was number one reason I went with Debbie. I just felt she has a passion that I like and tries to do the right thing."

Filippi was chosen as the city representative of the Housing Committee, but he says the committee is not supposed to have a city representative.

Musser said he understood the bylaws, but that he still felt the city should have a line of communication with the committee.

"I was elected by the residents and will always do my best for Upland and I'm not going to agree with Ray on all matters," Filippi said.


Reach Sandra via email, call her at 909-483-8555, or find her on Twitter @UplandNow.