Calaveras County Planning Commissioner Will Keep Job After Controversial Comment

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Calaveras County has decided not to remove a county official for making what some call an "openly racist" comment.

Planning commissioner Kelly Wooster referred to people from Mexico as an "invasive species" at a March 3 meeting.

"I'd like to report out there was no action taken,” Cliff Edson, a Calaveras County supervisor said on Thursday.

In a unanimous decision, the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors decided not remove Wooster from his position two weeks after he made what some have called a racially insensitive comment.

At the time the comment was made, commissioners were discussing the topic of invasive plant species. A commissioner asked in the video, "Maybe we can just say invasive species?" and Wooster replied, "including people from Mexico."

Wooster apologized last week. That apology, along with the promise to never make the same mistake, led the board to their decision. They also made a proclamation that stated in part:

"The Board of Supervisors of Calaveras County recognizes that Commissioner Wooster’s comment at the March 3rd Planning Commission meeting was inappropriate and should not have been said."

Residents who attended the special meeting were in support of the board's decision.

However, groups like the California Latino Legislative Caucus are disappointed and stated:

"The supervisors had an opportunity (to) make a clear statement that racist behavior will not be tolerated by any representative of county government. Their decision to let Mr. Wooster continue to represent County government is a slap in the face and reflects poorly on the entire county."

"I would ask that they take a look at our proclamation and read into it. Know that it’s very sincere,” Edson said.

County board members would not elaborate on their decision, but they said they will provide sensitivity training for all elected and appointed officials.

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors plans to ratify their proclamation this coming Tuesday.

Many groups are still asking for Wooster to step down and are planning to attend the board meeting in an event they’re calling "Calaveras County Invasion."

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