A Visalia civil rights lawyer warned the Lindsay City Council Tuesday not to discriminate against Council member Ramona Caudillo, whose request for medical leave was rejected by the council last month.

Documented by James Ruelas

What happened: After her request for medical leave was rejected last month, Lindsay City Council member Ramona Caudillo attended the council’s Tuesday meeting against her doctor’s recommendations in order to retain her seat — but she wasn’t alone.

Visalia Civil Rights Lawyer Maggie Melo spoke during public comment in support of Caudillo’s request for medical leave. She asked that her prior absences be excused due to documented health issues and that she be allowed to attend the next three meetings remotely due to her medical condition.

“It’s documented, it’s legitimate, and there’s no reason those absences should not be excused,” Melo said. “So we encourage you to make the right decision and not discriminate against those who are temporarily impacted.”

Later in the meeting, Council member Ramiro Serna made a motion to discuss excusing Caudillo’s prior absences, but it did not carry after City Attorney Megan Dodd said that per Rosenberg’s Rules of Order it would require a motion for reconsideration since it had already been decided on by the council.

Dodd said the motion for reconsideration can only be brought back by council members Yolanda Flores and Rosaena Sanchez. The two council members did not support Caudillo’s initial request for leave.

Another motion was made by Serna to discuss the absence policy at a future meeting. It was seconded by Caudillo. Mayor Hipolito Cerros voted in favor, while Flores and Sanchez voted against it, but the motion carried 3-2.

And also: Mayor Hipolito requested that reviewing and updating the city charter be added to a future meeting agenda and City Clerk Francesca Quintana said they are working to select a date for the council’s Brown Act, Harassment and Ethics in Public Service Training.

Quintana said the training is routine and occurs every two years.

Up next: The Lindsay City Council will meet again Sept. 12.

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The Fresno Documenters are a group of local residents who are trained and paid to attend and take notes at local public meetings where officials decide how to spend public money and make important decisions...