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Posts Tagged ‘Claudia Alvarez’

Live from RSCCD on PLA Discussion Procedure in Relation to the Brown Act; RSCCD Board Officer Selection

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 12, 2013

RSCCDI’m live at the RSCCD Board meeting to cover Item 6.6 on their agenda. For background on this item, see my post earlier tonight on this. Basically, the RSCCD Board was discussing in closed session efforts to impose a PLA on all work done from Measure Q, the $198,000,000 bond passed in 2012 in the western half of the district (Santa Ana and very small portions of Garden Grove and Anaheim). Item 6.6 forces the PLA to be discussed in open session.

(5:42 PM): Trustee Claudia Alvarez says RSCCD wants to follow the law. She says many districts negotiate PLAs in closed session. She says the reason to negotiate a PLA in closed session is for the district’s strategic advantage. She says there is no cover-up effort because they’ve brought Item 6.6 in open session.

(5:43 PM): Trustee John Hanna says these PLA negotiations should no longer be discussed substantively in closed session. Hanna says he agrees with Alvarez. He says the Chancellor should negotiate privately, so the RSCCD Board can examine the negotiation product in open session.

(5:46 PM): Trustee Larry Labrado wants the Board Executive Committee (not just the Board President) to be able to privately confer with the Chancellor on the PLA. The Executive Committee consists of 3 of the 7 trustees: the President, Vice President, and Secretary.

(5:47 PM): Alvarez says there’s nothing wrong with each trustee being updated by the Chancellor on the PLA negotiations.

(5:48 PM): Hanna wants Item 6.6 to be amended to have Board to “continue its practice of refraining” from discussing the PLA negotiations.

(5:49 PM): Trustee Phil Yarbrough disputes that this is RSCCD’s practice, hence the need for Item 6.6.

(5:50 PM): Hanna says it is the practice. He hopes to get an Attorney General opinion that they can negotiate PLAs in closed session.

(5:52 PM): Yarbrough says amending the practice going forth like Item 6.6 is good because PLAs should be discussed in open session like the Brown Act requires.

(5:53 PM): Chancellor Raul Rodriguez warns that the Alvarez proposal could violate the Brown Act’s serial meeting rules.

(5:54 PM): Board President Arianna Barrios says there are four conflicting opinions, including the Chancellor’s and Craig Alexander’s. She is concerned that RSCCD would lose in an Attorney General’s opinion, so that’s one of the reasons she agendized Item 6.6.

(5:56 PM): The Hanna Amendment is passed unanimously.

(5:57 PM): I note that neither Trustee Jose Solorio nor Nelida Yanez has uttered a word in the debate.

(5:58 PM): Item 6.6 is approved unanimously.

(5:59 PM): Hanna says he will nominate Alvarez for Clerk. Yarbrough seconds.

Solorio says he would like to be President. (I would note this would enable him to be RSCCD President during his candidacy for the hotly contested 34th Senate District race in 2014 against Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen.)

Labrado says he would like to be Vice President.

(6:05 PM): Ironically, RSCCD staff are now doing a presentation on projects that were funded by Measure E, which was the $337,000,000 bond passed in 2002 in all of RSCCD (Santa Ana, Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim Hills, and small portions of Garden Grove). The presentation noted numerous projects that were over budget and behind schedule. Measure E projects are already subject to a PLA. (The PLA discussion related to Item 6.6 from tonight’s meeting were involving Measure Q, the 2012 bond for $198,000,000 in western RSCCD: Santa Ana and small portions of Garden Grove and Anaheim.)

(6:15 PM): I’m done with this live blog. It’ll be interesting going forward in future meetings, with their pledge to not discuss PLA negotiations in private. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the developments with the PLA, which will mandate only unionized labor working on Measure Q projects. The other union demands will also be included in the PLA, but obviously those are still being negotiated; OC Political will reveal those as soon as we know what they are. RSCCD President-designate Solorio will likely have his hands full when the PLA terms go public.

Posted in Rancho Santiago Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rancho Santiago Community College District Board Accused of Violating Brown Act in Negotiating PLAs; Jose Solorio Accused of Leading Violation Effort

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 12, 2013

RSCCDThe Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) Board of Trustees has been accused of violating the Brown Act by negotiating PLA terms in closed session. (For those unfamiliar, PLAs are Project Labor Agreements, which basically require union labor terms on the projects in question, including requiring unionized labor to be employed by private contractors who are hired to work on the project.)

Conservative Trustee Phil Yarbrough has accused the liberal-dominated RSCCD Board of violating the Brown Act by negoiating PLAs in closed session. Yarbrough has retained attorney Craig Alexander (an affiliate attorney of the Pacific Justice Institute and an OC Political blogger), who sent this seven-page letter admonishing the district and demanding it comply with the Brown Act, the state’s government transparency law, by discussing the PLA in open session in front of the public.

In an apparent reaction to the letter, the RSCCD agenda for tonight’s meeting includes Item 6.6, which is entitled, “Discussion of Community and Student Workforce Project Agreement Negotiations with Los Angeles-Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council/Craft Unions/Carpenters Union” on the agenda. (“Community and Student Workforce Project Agreement Negotiations” is the RSCCD euphemism for “PLA negotiations”). The staff recommendation is: “It is recommended that the board formally agree to refrain from any discussion of negotiations on the Community and Student Workforce Project Agreement in closed session unless or until more conclusive information is provided to clarify the legality of such discussions in closed session per the Brown Act.” In other words, the RSCCD is no longer certain that its previous actions in discussing the PLA negotiations were legal.

Kevin Dayton has dissected the RSCCD PLA issue at the Flash Report.

OC Political has received emails from various groups on this issue pointing to Jose Solorio as the leader of this closed session PLA effort. The Associated Builders and Contractors had the most concise email on this issue, which was sent over yesterday:

Help Stop Jose Solorio From Illegally Hiding His $29 Million Taxpayer Give-Away To Special Interests

Help stop RSCCD Trustee Jose Solorio from illegally hiding his $29 million taxpayer give-away to special interests!  It is being voted on TOMORROW, TUESDAY 11/12/2013 at 4pm.

It seems the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) Board of Trustees has been violating California’s open meeting laws (also known as “The Brown Act”) by negotiating a discriminatory union agreement on their nearly $200 million dollar Measure Q bond passed by voters in November 2012. No mention of this wasteful special interest deal was of course ever made when selling this to the citizens – and now the public is being purposefully kept out of the debate.
Help Stop Jose Solorio From Illegally Hiding His $29 Million Taxpayer Give-Away To Special Interests
If that isn’t bad enough, they might vote tomorrow night to CONTINUE ILLEGALLY HIDING THIS FROM THE PUBLIC!

The PLA is Item 6.6 on the agenda and the last two pages of the document include an error-riddled memo from the Chancellor trying to pretend that “It is a common practice for…public agencies to discuss PLA negotiations in closed session.”

We need you to do the following:
Attend the meeting tomorrow. TUESDAY November 12th at 4:00pm at the RSCCD District Offices located at 2323 North Broadway, Board Room #107 Santa Ana, CA 92706. We need you to bring management, workers, and apprentices and tell the RSCCD Trustees to bring this deal out into the light of day!

These discriminatory union deals are traditionally called Project Labor Agreements or PLA’s, but in another effort to disguise this waste from the public, RSCCD went so far as to call the agreement a “Community and Student Workforce Project Agreement.”  Join us tomorrow night and help stop this ongoing deception!

If it is such a good idea to waste $29 million dollars of our teachers and students education dollars just to over-pay for construction, then why is Jose Solorio trying to cover this deal up?

Posted in Rancho Santiago Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Republican, Democrat, Independent??? The Partisan Affiliations of Everyone Holding Office In Orange County

Posted by Chris Emami on March 22, 2013

I was working on a database of the part affiliation of all Orange County local elected officials. Finally, I have completed the project with all of the special districts and county seats being added. I also fixed some errors in the previous versions (here, here, and here) and have combined the database into one post.

duck-elephant-donkey-logos

We have added a button on the menu bar for our readers to always be able to access this database and use it for whatever research/political needs that they may have. Due to the length of th epost you are going to have to click the below link to read the rest of the post.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 2nd Supervisorial District, 3rd Supervisorial District, 4th Supervisorial District, 5th Supervisorial District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Brea, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Buena Park, Buena Park Library District, Buena Park School District, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Coast Community College District, Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, Cypress, Cypress School District, Dana Point, East Orange County Water District, El Toro Water District, Emerald Bay Service District, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Fullerton School District, Garden Grove, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District, Irvine, Irvine Ranch Water District, Irvine Unified School District, La Habra, La Habra City School District, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Los Alamitos Unified School District, Lowell Joint School District, Magnolia School District, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Midway City Sanitary District, Mission Viejo, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, North Orange County Community College District, Ocean View School District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Board of Supervisors, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia, Placentia Library District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Margarita Water District, Savanna School District, Seal Beach, Serrano Water District, Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District, South Coast Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Stanton, Sunset Beach Sanitary District, Surfside Colony Community Services District, Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District, Three Arch Bay Community Services District, Trabuco Canyon Water District, Tustin, Tustin Unified School District, Villa Park, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

2012 School Board Party Affiliation Post

Posted by Chris Emami on November 16, 2012

As promised, I have now put together a database for the School Board members and their party affiliation based on who will be serving post election. Based on results in a couple of races being close, this list may change before it goes up on the website permanently.

If anybody reading this finds an error (like the situation where I thought Wendy Leece ran unopposed for NMUSD) please let me know so I can fix it.

Here is the database: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Buena Park School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Coast Community College District, Cypress School District, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Fullerton School District, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach City School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District, Irvine Unified School District, La Habra City School District, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Los Alamitos Unified School District, Lowell Joint School District, Magnolia School District, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, North Orange County Community College District, Ocean View School District, Orange County Board of Education, Orange Unified School District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Santa Ana Unified School District, Savanna School District, Tustin Unified School District, Westminster School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

RSCCD: Alvarez-Chapel-McLoughlin Slugfest for Area 5, Gordon-Yanez-Tapia Contest for Area 3

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 10, 2012

While the races in Trustee Areas 1 and 7 are cancelled for being single-candidate affairs, a pair of tri-candidate campaigns have emerged in Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Areas 3 and 5.

Mark McLaughlin, David Chapel, Claudia Alvarez

Mark McLoughlin, David Chapel, Claudia Alvarez

The slugfest between Rancho Santiago Community College District Vice President Mark McLoughlin (D-Santa Ana), Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee David Chapel (NPP-Santa Ana), and Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez (D-Santa Ana) should be the most fun college board race to watch this November.  Read my full pre-campaign analysis of this Trustee Area 5 race here.  Sadly, rumors of a Republican Vietnamese candidate proved untrue in Area 5.

Thomas Gordon

Thomas Anthony Gordon

Nelida Yanez

Nelida M. Yanez

Public School Inspector Thomas Anthony Gordon (R-Santa Ana), Paralegal Nelida M. Yanez (D-Santa Ana), and Construction Laborer Antonio “Tony” Jesus Tapia (D-Santa Ana) will contest Trustee Area 3.  Gordon is of course a blogger here at OC Political.  Ken Nguyen (NPP-Santa Ana) and Myriam Tinajero (D-Santa Ana) failed to return their papers before filing closed.

While Gordon and Yanez (like the trio in Area 5 of Alvarez, Chapel, and McLoughlin) wisely chose to place a candidate’s statement in the sample ballot, Tapia did not even bother getting a statement, which will make it difficult for voters to take him seriously when he doesn’t even take the voters seriously enough to tell him anything about himself.  The candidate’s statement in the sample ballot is the single thing that actually reaches every single voter.

(In the interest of full disclosure, Custom Campaigns, which owns OC Political, is the consultant on Gordon’s race.)

Posted in Rancho Santiago Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Redistricting Put Chapel and McLoughlin in Same RSCCD Seat; Alvarez Joins Slugfest

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 2, 2012

Mark McLaughlin, David Chapel, Claudia Alvarez

Mark McLaughlin, David Chapel, and Claudia Alvarez

You may have seen Emami’s Twitter-style post, so here’s a more in-depth examination of the race for Rancho Santiago Community College District Board, Trustee Area 5.

In what may be the most awesome November slugfest not involving Republicans, Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez, has pulled papers to run for the RSCCD Trustee Area 5.   There are already two incumbents in the seat, as the RSCCD board recently switched from a multi-member three-area at-large election system to a vote-by-area system.  When they drew the lines for Area 5, they put three incumbents into Area 5, but Brian Conley chose to retire in June, leaving David Chapel and Mark McLoughlin to duke it out in November.

Now, we have a three-way slugfest with RSCCD Trustee Chapel (NPP), RSCCD Vice President McLoughlin (D), and Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Alvarez (D).  City council members have typically been able to defeat sitting school board members for school board seats (for example, Costa Mesa Councilwoman Katrina Foley unseated Newport-Mesa Unified School District Trustee Michael Collier 55%-45% in 2010).  Here, Alvarez is a sitting Councilwoman running for a single college board seat where two trustees are already in the race.

Alvarez has several advantages:

  • City Councilmembers’ general ability to unseat school board members
  • The pro-incumbent vote is split between Chapel and McLoughlin
  • She is the sole woman
  • She is the sole Latina
  • She has higher name ID, due to her Council seat and her 2006 bid for Assembly (she lost the primary to Jose Solorio, who incidentally is now running for RSCCD Trustee Area 1)
  • She has the largest warchest

This will be a tall order for Chapel to beat both McLaughlin and Alvarez.  It will be a similarly tall order for McLaughlin to beat both Chapel and Alvarez.  Of the three, Alvarez has the clearest path to the RSCCD victory in November.

For those wondering, Area 5 is:

  • Fountain Valley north of Edinger Avenue
  • Garden Grove south of Garden Grove Boulevard between Harbor Boulevard and Euclid Street
  • Santa Ana north of 17th Street and west of Santiago Street
  • Santa Ana between Euclid Street and the Santa Ana River
  • Santa Ana north of Civic Center Drive between Bristol Street and Flower Street

For visual learners, it’s the yellow portion on this map:

Posted in Costa Mesa, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Santa Ana | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

BREAKING NEWS: Claudia Alvarez Pulls Papers For College Board

Posted by Chris Emami on August 2, 2012

Many of you may have read recently about Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez failing to convince a judge to allow her to run for a 4th term on the Santa Ana City Council. It apparently didn’t take her very long to come up with another office for her to run for.

According to the Orange County Registrar of voters filing log Alvarez pulled papers today to run for the Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 5. This race currently holds 2 incumbents vying for just 1 seat and Alvarez jumping in makes things very interesting.

It is still very early to make a clear prediction as to who would win, but if the election were today I would say Alvarez is the clear front-runner for the seat.

Posted in Rancho Santiago Community College District | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Santa Ana City Council To Discuss Term Limits Monday

Posted by Chris Emami on July 13, 2012

Apparently the City of Santa Ana is going to be discussing term limits at their meeting on Monday. We here at OC Political have received a tip that item 85B on the agenda will be discussed. The item was agendized by Councilwoman Michele Martinez and is titled “DISCUSSION OF POTENTIAL BALLOT MEASURE REGARDING MAYORAL AND COUNCIL TERM LIMITS.”

Information is limited at this time as to specifically what the Santa Ana City Council will be discussing with regards to term limits, but this should make for an interesting topic of conversation with all of the recent buzz.

In a recent article that I posted here on our blog, I discussed a lawsuit that was filed by Parks & Recreation Commissioner Max Madrid. The lawsuit is looking to allow Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez run for a 4th consecutive term. Chris Nguyen has speculated that the lawsuit may get thrown out due to Madrid does not have sufficient standing to bring the suit forward.

Tensions will be high at this meeting with the recent arrest of Councilman Carlos Bustamante, what looks to be a very long agenda, and Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez looking to be out of office in the very near future. My though is that discussing term limits will likely not be the most friendly part of this meeting.

We will have more information on this item as soon as it becomes available.

Posted in Santa Ana | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Will the Santa Ana Term Limits Lawsuit Be Dismissed by the Court?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 11, 2012

 You may have read the post by Emami yesterday or the Voice of OC article from Monday about the lawsuit filed by Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Commissioner Max Madrid, a staffer for State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), to try to get Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez (D-Santa Ana) ruled eligible for another term despite her serving the maximum number of terms permissible under Santa Ana Charter Section 401 on the basis that when the term limit was changed from two terms to three terms was changed by Measure D in 2008 that the clock restarted for Alvarez since the measure didn’t say that terms prior to 2008 counted under Section 401.  Madrid is represented by Rancho Santa Margarita City Councilman Steve Baric, who is also Vice Chairman of the California Republican Party.

This morning, Chris Prevatt at The Liberal OC noted:

First, Madrid is not the party harmed by the determination by two legal opinions sought by the Council which are the foundation of Huizar’s statement in April that Alvarez is ineligible to serve past the end of her current third term. The only party harmed if Alvarez is denied access to nomination papers is Alvarez, not a third party like Madrid.

Looking at a copy of the suit, I suspect Prevatt is right, and the judge may dismiss the suit because Madrid indeed has insufficient standing to bring the suit.  As justification of Madrid’s standing, the suit states:

Petitioner and Plaintiff MAX MADRID (“Petitioner”) is, and at all relevant times hereto was, a resident voter and taxpayer of the City of SANTA ANA, (“City”), California.  Petitioner is currently registered to vote in the City and has paid property and/or sales taxes to the City within the past twelve months.  Plaintiff, as a municipal taxpayer seeking to avoid the waste of municipal assets, falls into the category of a type of claimant long recognized to possess a sufficiently intense interest in his claim to establish his “standing” to enter the courtroom.  Because a successful attack on wrongful municipal spending or disposition of assets in all likelihood may reduce the municipal taxpayer’s burden of meeting the expenses of government, courts do not doubt that a municipal taxpayer will effectively present his claim.  “[T]axpayers have a sufficiently personal interest in the illegal expenditure of funds by [municipal] officials to become dedicated adversaries.” (Harman v. City and County of San Francisco (1972) 7 Cal.3d 150.) In this capacity, Petitioner has standing to bring this action pursuant Code of Civil Procedure section 526(a) and case law.  Additionally, as a registered voter he has standing to challenge any implementation or application of the City Charter and ordinances.

I don’t see how preventing the City from stopping a Councilmember from running for another term prevents “the illegal expenditure of funds” by the City or “wrongful municipal spending” by Santa Ana.   The suit offers no justification for why registered voters have “standing to challenge any implementation or application of the City Charter and ordinances,” particularly since this one merely deals with the eligibility of a candidate.

California Code of Civil Procedure Section 526(a) states:

526. (a) An injunction may be granted in the following cases:
(1) When it appears by the complaint that the plaintiff is entitled to the relief demanded, and the relief, or any part hereof, consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the act complained of, either for a limited period or perpetually.
(2) When it appears by the complaint or affidavits that the commission or continuance of some act during the litigation would produce waste, or great or irreparable injury, to a party to the action.
(3) When it appears, during the litigation, that a party to the action is doing, or threatens, or is about to do, or is procuring or suffering to be done, some act in violation of the rights of another party to the action respecting the subject of the action, and tending to render the judgment ineffectual.
(4) When pecuniary compensation would not afford adequate relief.
(5) Where it would be extremely difficult to ascertain the amount of compensation which would afford adequate relief.
(6) Where the restraint is necessary to prevent a multiplicity of judicial proceedings.
(7) Where the obligation arises from a trust.

I don’t see Alvarez’s inability to run for Council as harming Madrid in any of the seven ways above.

Now, if the City Clerk did allow Alvarez to run, then a person could bring suit to stop her on the argument that they could suffer harm by having an ineligible person on the ballot, as that could a) harm their own run for Council or b) be the illegal expenditure of funds cited in Madrid’s suit.

Relief can only be granted to Alvarez.  The only person who can be harmed by preventing Alvarez from running is Alvarez.  Madrid doesn’t have standing to bring the suit, and consequently, I suspect the Court will dismiss the case because of Madrid’s insufficient standing.  If Alvarez wants to be ruled eligible to run for a fourth term, she is going to have to file suit herself, as only she has suffered enough harm to gain sufficient standing in court.

Posted in Santa Ana | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Lawsuit In Santa Ana Over Term Limits

Posted by Chris Emami on July 10, 2012

According to the Orange County Register it appears that the City of Santa Ana is going to have a Judge determine whether or not Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez run for a 4th term. She is currently finishing up her 3rd term and needs a ruling quickly on this with filing opening up on Monday for this seat.

This lawsuit comes as a result of the passing of Measure D in Santa Ana back in 2008 which extended it from 2 consecutive terms to 3 consecutive terms a Councilmember can serve. Apparently Santa Ana has a rule that you must sit out 8 consecutive years after you finish your 3rd term (This seems extremely draconian compared to other cities).

It is important to note that the lawsuit has not been filed by Alvarez herself, but instead by Max Madrid a Parks & Recreation Commissioner appointed by Alvarez. Rancho Santa Margarita City Councilman Steve Baric (Vice-Chairman of the California Republican Party) is the attorney on behalf of Madrid on this case.

Based on the way Measure D is written the only change made to Section 401 of the Municipal Code was a simple change to simply the number of consecutive terms a Councilmember can serve. With no other changes being made by the measure it will make it tougher to argue a loophole.

The argument being made by the proponents of the lawsuit appears to be that with the passage of Measure D the term limit count on each Councilmember was reset. I will let you make your own judgement on the interpretation of section 401:

Sec. 401. – Qualifications of members.

To be eligible to be elected to the office of councilmember, a person must be a qualified voter and a thirty (30) day resident of the ward from which the candidate is nominated at the time nomination papers are issued as provided for in the Elections Code of the State of California, except that the mayor need only be a registered voter and thirty (30) day resident of the city at such time. In the event any councilmember other than the mayor shall cease to be a resident of the ward from which the councilmember (or, in the case of an appointee, the councilmember’s predecessor) was elected, or in the event the mayor shall cease to be a resident of the city, the office shall immediately become vacant and shall be filled in the same manner as herein provided for other vacancies; provided, that where a councilmember ceases to be a resident of the ward from which the councilmember (or, in case of an appointee, the councilmember’s predecessor) was elected solely because of a change in boundaries of any ward as in this charter provided, the councilmember shall not lose the office by reason of such change. If a member of the city council shall be convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, the office shall immediately become vacant and be so declared by the city council.

A person who has served three (3) consecutive terms of four (4) years each shall be eligible for appointment, nomination for or election to the office of councilmember (regardless of wards represented by that person during such period) no sooner than for a term beginning eight (8) years after completion of that councilmember’s third consecutive full term.

Short or partial terms shall not be considered in determining eligibility for appointment, nomination or election. For purposes of this Charter, short or partial terms shall only be those where the councilmember was elected or appointed to replace another councilmember who left office before the latter official’s term expired. Any councilmember who assumed office at the beginning of a term and left office early for any reason whatsoever shall be deemed to have served a full term.

Interestingly this section also points out what will happen to Councilmember Bustamante should he be convicted of the crimes he has been accused of. My interpretation of the section is clear that once you have served three consecutive terms you are termed out. It is not up to me though, as we will have to see what the court says.

Posted in Santa Ana | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

 
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