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Archive for the ‘Yorba Linda Water District’ Category

Free Voter Guides Available at Robynnordell.com

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on October 21, 2016

Are you looking for voter recommendations from people that do not get paid from politics (i.e. consultants and slate cards)?

Are you looking for voter recommendations from people that do not accept money to give a proposition, a ballot measure or a candidate the thumbs up (or down)?

Are you looking for advice on national, state wide and local races that include all of the state wide and local ballot propositions / measures?

Then you should go over to Robyn Nordell’s web site for Voter Recommendations from Robyn and some of her friends like myself.

Her general web site is: Robyn Nordell.

Her Orange County page is: Robyn Nordell Orange County.

Finally my favorite page at her site is Craig’s Pics my voter recommendations which Robyn kindly allows to be published there.

She also has information on some other counties in California.

Who is Robyn Nordell?  She is an Orange County homeschool mother and advocate, a pastor’s wife, a tireless advocate for open and transparent government, a social and fiscal conservative and one of the most talented, honest, brightest and kind persons I know.  Robyn does not get paid one penny for her work in researching candidates and ballot propositions / measures, putting together her voter recommendations and publishing them on her web site.  Plus she is gracious to publish others voter recommendation lists (like my own) even when we make recommendations different from her own. She is a Patriot!

Posted in 38th Congressional District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 55th Assembly District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Board of Equalization, Brea, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Buena Park, Buena Park Library District, Buena Park School District, California, 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 Cemetery District, Orange County Sanitation District, 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, Rossmoor, Rossmoor Community Services District, Rossmoor/Los Alamitos Area Sewer 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, State Assembly, State Senate, 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, Uncategorized, Villa Park, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

OC GOP Endorsements So Far

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 1, 2016

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgThe Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee met on August 15 and August 31 to consider endorsements for local offices and ballot measures. Further endorsements will take place on September 19 (and possibly more after that).

OC Political live-blogged the August 15 meeting and the August 31 meeting, but by popular demand here is the list of endorsements so far:

  • City Councils and Mayors
    • Aliso Viejo City Council: Mike Munzing
    • Anaheim City Council, District 4: Lucille Kring
    • Anaheim City Council, District 5: Mark Lopez
    • Costa Mesa City Council: Allan Mansoor, Steve Mensinger, Lee Ramos
    • Dana Point City Council: Michelle Brough
    • Fountain Valley City Council: Steve Nagel
    • Fullerton City Council: Larry Bennett, Bruce Whitaker
    • Garden Grove Mayor: Steve Jones
    • Huntington Beach City Council: Patrick Brenden, Joe Carchio, Lyn Semeta
    • Irvine Mayor: Don Wagner
    • Irvine City Council: Anthony Kuo, Christina Shea
    • La Habra City Council: Tom Beamish, Dawn Holthouser, Tim Shaw
    • Laguna Hills City Council: Janine Heft
    • Laguna Niguel City Council: Laurie Davies, John Mark Jennings, Jerry Slusiewicz
    • Lake Forest City Council: Francisco Barajas, Dwight Robinson
    • Los Alamitos City Council: Dean Grose
    • Newport Beach City Council, District 5: Lee Lowrey
    • Newport Beach City Council, District 7: Will O’Neill
    • Orange City Council: Mark Murphy
    • Rancho Santa Margarita City Council: Tony Beall, Carol Gamble
    • San Clemente City Council: Dan Bane
    • Tustin City Council: Allan Bernstein, Austin Lumbard, Charles Puckett
    • Westminster City Council: Kimberly Ho
    • Yorba Linda City Council: Tara Campbell, Gene Hernandez, Craig Young
  • College Districts
    • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7: Ryan Bent
    • Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 5: Steven Nguyen
  • School Districts
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 1: Wendy Shrove
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 2: Jim Reardon
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3: Laura Ferguson
    • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 5: Jake Vollebregt
    • Santa Ana Unified School District: Angie Cano
  • Water Districts
    • Orange County Water District, Division 6: Cathy Green
    • Mesa Water District, Division 2: James R. Fisler
    • Moulton Niguel Water District, Division 6: Duane Cave
    • Yorba Linda Water District: Ric Collett, Andy Hall
    • No on the Yorba Linda Water District Recall of Directors Bob Kiley and Gary Melton
  • Ballot Measures
    • No on Measure J – Anaheim Elementary School District $318 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure K – Brea-Olinda Unified School District $148 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure M – Capistrano Unified School District $889 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure N – Centralia Elementary School District $49 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure O – Fountain Valley School District $63 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure P – Garden Grove Unified School District $311 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure Q – Huntington Beach City School District $159.85 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure R – Ocean View School District $169 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure S – Orange Unified School District $288 Million Facilities Bond
    • No on Measure T – Westminster School District $76 Million Facilities Bond
    • Yes on Measure U – Anaheim 2/3 Vote of the Council to Propose Taxes (Instead of Simple Majority)
    • No on Measure Y ­ Costa Mesa initiative to amend Municipal Code to require voter approval of certain changes in land use, retroactive to July 17, 2015
    • No on Measure HH – Fountain Valley 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)
    • No on Measure JJ – La Palma 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)
    • No on Measure LL – Laguna Beach 2% Hotel Tax Increase (from 10% to 12%)
    • Yes on Measure MM – Newport Beach 5/7 Vote of the Council to Propose Taxes (Instead of Simple Majority)
    • No on Measure OO – San Clemente 3% Hotel Tax Increase (from 10% to 13%)
    • No on Measure PP – Santa Ana 700% Pay Raise for City Council (from $125/mtg to $1000/mo for Council and $200/mtg to $1000/mo for Mayor)
    • Yes on Measure QQ – Stanton 1% Sales Tax Repeal (from 9% to 8%)
    • No on Measure SS – Westminster 1% Sales Tax Increase (from 8% to 9%)

Posted in Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Newport Beach, Ocean View School District, Orange, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District, Stanton, Tustin, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Still Time to Run: 20 Races Where Incumbents Didn’t File for Re-Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 15, 2016

BeatTheClockUnder California law, the deadline for filing for most offices was this past Friday, August 12.  However, in races where there is an eligible incumbent who chose not to file for re-election, non-incumbents received an extra five days to file. Consequently, the deadline for non-incumbents to file has been extended until 5:00 PM on Wednesday, August 17 for 20 races for college board, school board, and special districts. None of these require nomination signatures, so a prospective candidate could literally pull and file papers in the final minutes before 5:00 PM on August 17.

Three of these contests actually have more seats than candidates.  In other words, there aren’t enough candidates for these races, so anyone who files will go unopposed, but at this point, if no one else files, these three districts will have vacancies:

There’s an additional five contests where the number of seats equal the number of candidates.  In other words, if no one else files, all of these candidates will be elected unopposed:

Looking at the list below, some of you may be wondering why Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 1 is not listed.  In that case, incumbent Jose Solorio (D) actually resigned from the seat, so there is no incumbent.  When there’s no incumbent at all, there’s no extension.

For those of you who are curious

Here’s the complete run-down on the 20 contests where filing has been extended to 5:00 PM on August 17 because at least one incumbent failed to file, giving non-incumbents an extra five days to file:

  • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 2
    • Incumbent Leonard Lahtinen (D) did not file for re-election, opting instead to run for Anaheim City Council.  Three candidates have pulled and filed papers to replace him so far:
      • Centralia School District Trustee Art Montez (D), who was on the Centralia Board from 1998-2010, when he was defeated for re-election, lost a 2012 bid to return to the Board, and then finally returned to the Centralia Board in the 2014 election, but he’s already looking for another office just two years later
      • College Educator Ed Lopez (?)
      • Businesswoman/Student Ann-Marie Stinson (D)
  • North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7
    • Incumbent Tony Ontiveros (R), the only Republican on the North Orange County Community College District Board, did not file for re-election.  Only one candidate has pulled papers to replace him:
      • Attorney Barry Wishart (D), who served on the North Orange County Community College District Board from 1985 until his resignation in December 2001, three years into his fourth term
  • Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 3
    • Incumbent John Alpay (R) did not file for re-election, opting instead to run for South Orange County Community College District.  Only one candidate has pulled papers to replace him:
      • Public Information Officer Laura Ferguson (R), who is the PIO for the City of San Clemente
  • Irvine Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Paul Bokota (D), Lauren Brooks (R), and Michael Parham (R).  Bokota and Brooks filed for re-election, but Parham did not.  In addition to Bokota and Brooks, four other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Irvine Businesswoman/Parent Betty Carroll (NPP)
      • Army Captain/Parent Mark Newgent (?)
      • Irvine Businesswoman/Parent Naz Hamid (D)
      • Attorney Geri Zollinger (D)
  • Laguna Beach Unified School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: William Landsiedel (R) and Jan Vickers (D).  Vickers filed for re-election, but Landsiedel did not.  In addition to Vickers, two other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Constitutional Lawyer/Author Howard Hills (R)
      • Community Volunteer Peggy Wolff (D)
  • Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 6
    • Incumbent Mark Wayland (R) did not file for re-election.  Three candidates have pulled papers to replace him:
      • Child Care Supervisor Nicole Baitx-Kennedy (NPP), the only one who has filed papers so far
      • Realtor Jeremy Wayland (R), the retiring incumbent’s son
      • Danielle Jacobs (R), who is director of operations for Sheldon Development, LLC, run by Orange County Water District Director Steve Sheldon (R)
  • Saddleback Valley Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Ginny Fay Aitkens (D), Amanda Morrell (R), and Suzie Swartz (R).  Morrell and Swartz filed for re-election, but Aitkens did not.  In addition to Morrell and Swartz, five other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Educator Edward Wong (NPP)
      • Teacher Bill Yarrington (R)
      • Water Agency Manager Mark Tettemer (R), a former Lake Forest City Councilman who retired in 2012 after two terms to pursue a Master of Public Administration
      • School Maintenance Specialist David Johnson (?)
      • Businessman Theo Hunt (D)
  • Santa Ana Unified School District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Jose Hernandez (NPP), Cecilia Iglesias (R), and Rob Richardson (R).  Iglesias filed for re-election, but Hernandez and Richardson did not.  In addition to Iglesias, seven other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Recreation Program Coordinator Gloria Alvarado (D)
      • Attorney/Santa Ana Commissioner Bruce Bauer (D)
      • Teacher/Parent Rigo Rodriguez (?)
      • Supervising Social Worker Alfonso Alvarez (D)
      • Congressional Liaison/Parent Bea Mendoza (D), who works for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D)
      • Educator/Santa Ana Commissioner Mark McLoughlin (NPP), a former Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee
      • Santa Ana Businesswoman/Economist Angie Cano (R)
  • Huntington Beach City School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Bridget Kaub (R) and Brian Rechsteiner (R). Kaub filed for re-election, but Rechsteiner did not.  In addition to Kaub, three other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Elementary Principal Ann Sullivan (AI)
      • Rob Fishel (NPP)
      • Elementary Teacher/Parent Karrie Burroughs (R)
  • Ocean View School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Gina Clayton-Tarvin (D) and Debbie Cotton (R). Clayton-Tarvin filed for re-election, but Cotton did not.  In addition to Clayton-Tarvin, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Social Worker Amalia Lam (D)
  • Westminster School District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Jamison Power (D) and Amy Walsh (R). Power filed for re-election, but Walsh did not.  In addition to Power, two other candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • Attorney/Business Owner Karl Truong (?)
      • Educator/Entrepreneur Frances Nguyen (R), a former President of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce
  • Capistrano Bay Community Services District
    • No one has pulled papers for these two seats!  There are two incumbents up for re-election: Ambrose Mastro (R) and Stephen Muller (R), the two Republicans on a board with one Democrat and two NPPs.  Neither Mastro nor Muller filed for re-election.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If fewer than two people file for these two seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint people to fill the vacancies.
  • Emerald Bay Service District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: William Hart (R) and John Marconi (R). Marconi filed for re-election, but Hart did not.  In addition to Marconi, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Real Estate Investor Phil De Carion (NPP)
  • Surfside Colony Community Services District
    • Incumbent Michael Farrell (NPP) did not file for re-election.  Two candidates have pulled and filed papers to replace him so far:
      • Retired Business Owner Rudy LaLonde (R)
      • Linda Garofalo (NPP), ex-wife of former Huntington Beach Mayor Dave Garofalo (R)
  • Three Arch Bay Community Services District
    • No one has pulled papers for the third seat!  There are three incumbents up for re-election: Alan Anderson (R), Elizabeth Gapp (R) and Gary Rubel (R).  While Anderson and Rubel filed for re-election, Gapp did not.  Only Anderson and Rubel have pulled and filed papers.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If a third person does not file for these three seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
  • Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: John Olson (D) and Chay Peterson (NPP). Neither Olson nor Peterson filed for re-election.  Four candidates have pulled and filed papers:
      • IT Consultant Steven Duff (D)
      • Retired Educator Tara Saraye (D)
      • Realtor/Artist/Parent Heidi Murphy-Grande (?)
      • Dion Sorrell (D)
  • Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District
    • No one has pulled papers for the second seat!  There are two incumbents up for re-election: John Cahoon (L) and Stephen Rowe (D).  While Rowe filed for re-election, Cahooon did not.  Only Rowe has pulled and filed papers.
    • At this point, anyone who pulls and files papers will walk into elected office unopposed.  If a second person does not file for these two seats, the Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
  • South Coast Water District
    • There are three incumbents up for re-election: Dick Dietmeier (NPP), Rick Erkeneff (R), and Wayne Rayfield (D).  Erkeneff and Rayfield filed for re-election, but Dietmeier did not.  In addition to Erkeneff and Rayfield, four other candidates have pulled papers:
      • Retired Business Owner Bob Moore (R), a former South Coast Water District Director who lost a 2014 re-election bid after foolishly using a non-incumbent ballot designation
      • Retired Project Manager Bob Oakley (R)
      • Civil Engineer Douglas Erdman (NPP), who appears to be the son of South Coast Water District Director Dennis Erdman (R)
      • Former South Coast Water District Director Richard Gardner (D), who lost a 2012 re-election bid seeks a return to his old seat after losing a 2014 bid to reclaim a seat on this board (or he might not seek a return since he has also pulled papers for Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 7)
  • Yorba Linda Water District
    • There are two incumbents up for re-election: Michael Beverage (R) and Ric Collett (R).  Collett filed for re-election, but Beverage did not.  In addition to Collett, only one other candidate has pulled and filed papers:
      • Retired Business Advisor Benjamin Franklin Parker (R)
    • Incumbent Susan Hinman (R) did not file for re-election.  Three candidates have pulled papers to replace her so far:
      • Moulton-Niguel Water District Director Donald Froelich (R)
      • Business Owner/Consultant Evan Chaffee (R)
      • Registered Professional Engineer Raymond Miller (R)
      • Former South Coast Water District Director Richard Gardner (D), who has also pulled papers for South Coast Water District

Posted in Anaheim, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Emerald Bay Service District, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine Unified School District, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, North Orange County Community College District, Ocean View School District, Orange Unified School District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Santa Ana Unified School District, Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District, South Coast Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Surfside Colony Community Services District, Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District, Three Arch Bay Community Services District, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

YLWD Water Rate Referendum Proponents Retain State GOP’s Lawyer in Effort Against District

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 16, 2015

In October, I wrote about how an effort to overturn the Yorba Linda Water District’s recent rate increase had qualified for the ballot after the Orange County Registrar of Voters had verified the number of valid signatures submitted was sufficient.

The YLWD Board was expected to rescind the rate increase, place the rate increase on the November 8, 2016 general election ballot, or place the rate increase on a special election ballot.

Unexpectedly, in November, the YLWD determined that the water rate increase was not subject to referendum and did not act on the petition.

Yorba Linda Taxpayers Association, the recently-formed organization which had submitted the signatures, has retained the law firm of Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk in their effort to force YLWD to rescind the rate increase or place it on the ballot.

Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk is well-regarded throughout the state for its effectiveness on campaign and election law and is one of the leaders, if not the leader, in this field.  Senior Partner Chuck Bell is also the General Counsel of the California Republican Party.

If YLTA and Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk prevail, it would behoove YLWD to place the measure on the June primary ballot, as that would allow the voters to give a final verdict on this allowing YLWD to plan its finances accordingly while also enabling the voters to render an opinion quickly on this yet still keeping costs down by consolidating the special election with the June primary instead of making it a standalone special election.

In a seven-page letter (see this PDF for the full version including footnotes), Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk wrote:

December 14, 2015

BY FACSIMILE AND U.S. MAIL
Fax: (714) 701-3028

Yorba Linda Water District
1717 E. Miraloma Ave
Placentia, CA 92870

Re: Demand Regarding Yorba Linda Taxpayers Association Petition

Dear District Board Members:

This law firm represents the Yorba Linda Taxpayers Association (“YLTA”). This letter is an attempt to administratively resolve the issue of the Yorba Linda Water District Board’s refusal to repeal the District’s recent water rate increase or, alternatively, present the question to voters by placing the issue on the next special or general election ballot.

I. Introduction.

As you are well aware, the YLTA circulated a petition asking voters whether the Yorba Linda Water District’s (“YLWD”) newly enacted water rate increases should be repealed. YLTA’s petition requested the following:

We, the undersigned, demand that RESOLUTION NO. 15-22 be reconsidered by the Governing Board of Yorba Linda Water District and repealed, or if not entirely repealed, that RESOLUTION NO. 15-22 be submitted to a public vote of the VOTERS OF THE YORBA LINDA WATER
DISTRICT at the next regular election.

Each petition section included a complete copy of YLWD Resolution No. 15-22 (the challenged water rate increase). YLTA circulated the petition for a mere 19 days, but amassed almost double the number of required valid signatures necessary to qualify the mater for the ballot.

Upon submission of the petition to the YLWD (and a report from the Registrar of Voters certifying the petition had collected more than the required number of valid signatures to proceed), the District Board refused to take action to repeal the rates or present the matter to voters. The primary basis for the YLWD’s refusal to put the rate repeal question to voters is apparently that the petition was circulated as a “referendum” petition and not as an “initiative” petition. In response to the certification of the signatures on the referendum petition, the District Board’s legal counsel opined that the “referendum process is not applicable to water rates adopted in compliance with Prop 218.”

As of the writing of this letter, the YLWD has taken no further action with respect to our client’s petition other than only to receive them into its possession. The YLWD’s failure to take appropriate action violates the California Constitution, including the provisions amended by Proposition 218.

II. Referendum May Be Used To Challenge The YLWD’s Rate Increase.

The “referendum” is the power of the electors to approve or reject legislative enactments. (Cal. Const., art. II, § 9.) Article II, section 11 of the California Constitution specifically grants the electors of each city or county (and the special districts therein) the right to exercise referendum powers. The ability to refer legislative acts to voters is a right that the people have retained for decades, and is one which cannot be limited by the whim or proclamation of an elected body. (Dwyer v. City Council of Berkeley (1927) 200 Cal. 505, 516 [“It is clear that the constitutional right reserved by the people to submit legislative questions to a direct vote cannot be abridged by any procedural requirement”]; and see Citizens Against a New Jail v. Board of Supervisors (1976) 63 Cal.App.3d 559,563 [“Neither an elected board nor a court has the power to limit that reserved right (of referendum and initiative) …. Whatever our view as to factors of cost and practicality, the decision must be left to the voter-taxpayers, to whom we must and do commit it”].) Simply put, the people reserved the power of referendum as a check on elected bodies making the rules under which the people must live — whichever legislative power exercises that power inherently accedes to the ultimate authority of the people through the referendum right. This includes, of course, the Yorba Linda Water District.

The YLWD is a county water district, formed pursuant to Water Code sections 30000, et seq., and is a “local public entity” within the meaning of the Section 900.4 of the Government Code. Under those provisions of law, the YLWD is granted the authority to make legislative enactments. In response to those legislative enactments, the voters in the YLWD are guaranteed specifically the right of referendum. Division 12 (entitled “County Water Districts”), section 30831 of the California Water Code provides unambiguously that ordinances enacted by county water districts, like YLWD, are subject
to referendum:

Ordinances may be subject to referendum in accordance with Article 2 (commencing with Section 9140) of Chapter 2 of Division 9 of the Elections Code.

(Emphasis added.)

“[R]eferendum provisions are to be construed liberally in favor of the right of referendum.” (Kuhs v. Superior Court (1988) 201Cal.App.3d966, 972-73.) Section 30831 of the California Water Code is declarative of established case law authority in California holding that “any legislative act may be … subject to referendum.” (De Vita v. County of Napa (1995) 9 Cal.4th 763, 787, fn. 9 [The right of referendum applies to any legislative act “regardless of whether that act is denominated an ‘ordinance’ or ‘resolution”‘]; see also Midway Orchards v. County of Butte (1990) 220 Cal.App.3d 765 [Holding that the Elections Code provisions relating to referenda must be read to include all legislative acts in order to protect the people’s constitutional right of referendum].) There is no indication in the legislative history of California Water Code section 30831 that the statute was intended to abrogate the referendum power with respect to enactments of rate/fee increases.

Moreover, Article II, section 11 of the California Constitution contains no restrictions on the use of the local referendum power to repeal rate increases. In fact, California law establishes only two mechanisms by which the Legislature could have even theoretically foreclosed the power of local referendum of the YLWD’s enactment. The first would require a clear showing of legislative intent to revoke the power of local referendum through an exclusive delegation of legislative authority to the YLWD. (See, e.g., De Vita, supra, 9 Cal.4th at 780.) The second would require a showing that setting of rates in the YLWD somehow was an administrative action where the state’s system of regulation over a matter of statewide concern is so pervasive as to convert the local legislative body into an administrative agent of the state. (See, e.g., Yost v. Thomas (1984) 36 Cal.3d 561, 571.) Of course, neither of these situations are present in this
case.

Based upon the foregoing, YLTA’s referendum effort is a valid exercise of constitutional rights afforded to voters in California to refer legislative actions to a vote of the people. YLTA’s referendum in no way impermissibly interferes with the powers of the YLWD. By this letter, and on behalf of our client, we demand that the challenged legislative action (Resolution No. 15-22) be immediately suspended and that the Water Board forthwith consider its repeal or set it for an election. Delaying any of these actions is a denial of our client’s constitutional rights in the worst form.

III. Referendum May Be Used Even Under A Strict Prop. 218 Analysis.

By its own terms, Proposition 218, did not create or redefine the referendum or initiative power. Indeed, Prop. 218 contains no bar to utilizing referenda to challenge a legislatively enacted fee or rate increase. In fact, the specific purpose of the law is to limit local government revenue and enhance taxpayer involvement in revenue-related decisions. Article XIIIC, section 5 of Prop. 218 is entitled titled “Liberal Construction” and provides:

The provisions of this act shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes of limiting local government revenue and enhancing taxpayer consent.

(Emphasis added.)

Moreover, the law was drafted to specifically apply to actions by local government in California:

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution … the initiative power shall not be prohibited or otherwise limited in matters of reducing or repealing any local tax, assessment, fee or charge. The power of initiative to affect local taxes, assessments, fees and charges shall be applicable to all local governments.

(Cal. Const., art. XIIIC, § 3 (emphasis added).)

In addition to the plain language of the law, a review of the opinion of the state Legislative Analyst’s Office concerning Prop. 218 reveals that even the LAO agrees that Prop. 218 challenges may be brought by referenda. In Appendix I, titled “Areas in which legislative or judicial clarification may be needed – Elections,” the LAO queries: “Who may vote on referendums to repeal assessments, fees, or taxes?” (Emphasis added.) It is clear that the LAO is inquiring as to which voters would be entitled to cast ballots in a referendum election to repeal rate or fee increases — it correctly presupposes that a referendum is entirely appropriate when pursued to repeal an enactment of local fee or rate increases.

More broadly, it is clear that where Prop. 218 mentions the “initiative power,” it undeniably includes the power of referendum. This is because the structure of our Constitution is that if the right of initiative can be invoked, the corollary right to referendum must be conceded to exist. (See, e.g., Save Stanislaus Area Farm Economy v. Bd. of Sup’rs. (1993) 13 Cal.App.4th 141, 152 fn. 3 [“There is no textual basis for construing the power of referendum as broader than the initiative power, or vice versa”].)

The petition qualified by YLTA requests a vote to repeal the District Board’s recent rate increase. Utilizing a referendum procedure to qualify the repeal question for the ballot is entirely consistent with the California Supreme Court’s repeated “recognition that the local electorate’s right to initiative and referendum is guaranteed by the California Constitution … and is generally co-extensive with the legislative power of the local governing body …. ” (De Vita, supra, 9 Cal. 4th at 775 [‘”(W)e will presume, absent a clear showing of the Legislature’s intent to the contrary, that legislative decisions of (local agencies) … are subject to initiative and referendum”‘], quoting Voters for Responsible Retirement v. Board of Supervisors (1994) 8 Cal. 4th 765, 777.) Since referendum matters frequently follow in response to unpopular action or inaction by the local government, the potential for misuse of power by a governmental body strongly supports the referendum power in local fee/rate matters.

Moreover, even if (contrary to fact) the District Board had raised some conceivable doubt about YLTA’ s petition, that doubt would necessarily have to be resolved in favor of the electorate’s power to repeal increases to water rates by means of the YLTA petition. It is long accepted in California that if doubts can reasonably be resolved in favor of the use of the reserve power of initiative and referendum, our courts
will preserve it. (Blotter v. Farrell (1954) 42 Cal.2d 804, 809; McFadden v. Jordan (1948) 32 Cal.2d 330, 332; Martin v. Smith (1959) 176 Cal.App.2d 115, 117; and see De Vita, supra, 9 Cal. 4th at 776 [Recognizing and applying the longstanding “judicial policy to apply a liberal construction to this power wherever it is challenged in order that the right (to local initiative or referendum) be not improperly annulled”].) In fact, this concept is laid-out in Prop. 218. Once again, citation to the actual text of Prop. 218 is instructive: “The provisions of this (measure) shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes of limiting local government revenue and enhancing taxpayer consent.” (Prop. 218, § 5 (reprinted in Art. XIIIC, preceding§ 1) (emphasis added).)

Finally, no voter signing YLTA’s referendum petition would have been misled as to the intent or purpose of the petition (to place a measure on the ballot seeking repeal of the YLWD’ s water rate increase). The statement at the top of each petition section made clear the purpose of the petition was demand the YLWD reconsider and repeal the water rate increase “or if not entirely repealed, that RESOLUTION NO. 15-22 be submitted to a public vote of the VOTERS OF THE YORBA LINDA WATER DISTRICT at the next regular election.” Each petition section also included a copy of the challenged enactment.

YLTA gathered over 5000 signatures on its referendum petition — approximately double the amount necessary to qualify the measure for the ballot. There is no allegation that even a single voter was misled into signing the petitions, but it is inconceivable that 5000 voters would somehow have been misled because the petition was not styled specifically as an initiative (in fact most voters are not aware of the detailed differences between the two). On this basis alone, YLTA’s petition should be accepted by the YLWD and the rates immediately reconsidered by the Board or set for election.

Courts in California have held that it is appropriate to withhold a question from the ballot based upon defects in the petitioning process only when the alleged defect in the challenged referendum petitions threatens, as a realistic and practical matter, to frustrate or undermine the purposes of the statutory requirements in ensuring the integrity of the referendum process, such as when a defect “affect[ s] the integrity of the process by misleading (or withholding vital information from) those persons whose signatures are solicited.” (Costa v. Superior Court (2006) 37 Cal.4th 986, 1016-17.) The court in Costa explained that the governing cases in this area have recognized that an “unreasonably literal or inflexible application of constitutional or statutory requirements” fails to take into account the purpose underlying the particular requirement at issue “would be inconsistent with the fundamental nature of the people’s constitutionally enshrined” initiative and referendum power and with the well-established “judicial policy to apply a liberal construction to this power wherever it is challenged in order that the right be not improperly annulled.” (Id. at p. 1013 [internal quotations and citations omitted].)

IV. Conclusion.

The YLWD continues to improperly infringe upon rights reserved by our client under the California Constitution, and continues to use alleged technical deficiencies to summarily invalidate a repeal effort with which it disagrees. The District Board’s refusal to act on YLTA’ s petition is a patent violation of the constitutional rights afforded to YLTA’s members as proponents of the petition. By this letter, our client reserves all rights to pursue enforcement of establish constitutional, statutory and case law in pursuit of a resolution of this matter. Our client further reserves the right to recover any and all attorneys’ fees expended in pursuit of enforcing their rights and enumerated herein.

Please contact the undersigned within 72 hours to discuss further our client’s position and any possible resolution the parties may reach to avoid a court challenge. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Posted in Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Water Rate Referendum Qualifies for Ballot in Yorba Linda Water District

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 27, 2015

An effort to overturn the Yorba Linda Water District’s recent rate increase has qualified for the ballot.

The recently-formed Yorba Linda Taxpayers Association submitted 5,520 signatures to overturn the YLWD rate increase.  2,157 valid signatures were required for the referendum to qualify for the ballot.  Conducting a random sampling of 500 signatures, the Orange County Registrar of Voters found that 444 (88.8%) were valid.  Using the random sample, an estimated 4,902 signatures were valid, 227% of the signatures required.

The rate increase was approved by the YLWD Board of Directors on September 17 and went into effect on October 1.  The YLTA began circulating for signatures on September 25 and submitted them on October 14.  The Registrar completed the verification of the random sample of 500 signatures on October 22.

At its November 12 meeting, the YLWD Board can choose to rescind the rate increase, place the rate increase on the November 8, 2016 general election ballot, or place the rate increase on a special election ballot.

When the YLWD rate increase was implemented, the district blamed “the Governor’s Executive Order and Regulations mandated by the State Water Resources Control Board…The regulations, which impose a 36% conservation mandate for YLWD, dramatically impact the financial stability of the agency.  The increase on the Basic Service Charge is a direct result of the revenue loss the District will face due to those State Regulations.”

The YLTA argues that the YLWD “used the drought to raise reserves, grow their overhead and increase administrative salaries and expenses without full public disclosure.”

Posted in Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

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

Posted by Former Blogger 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 »

Elections Where Candidates Went Unopposed

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 24, 2012

Congratulations to the candidates in the following races who went unopposed.  (It’s 1 seat per race listed below, unless otherwise noted.)

City Council

La Habra City Council (3 seats)

Newport Beach City Council

  • District 2
  • District 5
  • District 7

Seal Beach City Council

  • District 2
  • District 4

Villa Park City Council

  • Full Term (2 Seats)
  • Short Term

City Treasurers and City Clerks

Brea City Treasurer

Huntington Beach City Clerk

Huntington Beach City Treasurer

Laguna Beach City Clerk

Laguna Beach City Treasurer

Orange City Clerk

San Clemente City Clerk

San Clemente City Treasurer

Seal Beach City Clerk

Community College District

Coast Community College District

•Trustee Area 2

•Trustee Area 3

•Trustee Area 4

North Orange County Community College District

•Trustee Area 2

•Trustee Area 4

•Trustee Area 5

Rancho Santiago Community College District

•Trustee Area 1

•Trustee Area 7

South Orange County Community College District

•Trustee Area 6

Unified School Districts

Brea Olinda Unified School District (3 seats)

Los Alamitos Unified School District (3 seats)

Newport-Mesa Unified School District

•Trustee Area 1

•Trustee Area 3

•Trustee Area 6

Orange Unified School District

•Trustee Area 2

Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (3 seats)

Elementary School Districts

Buena Park School District, Full Term (2 seats)

Buena Park School District, Short Term

Fullerton School District (2 seats)

Huntington Beach City School District, Short Term

Savanna School District, Full Term (2 seats)

Savanna School District, Short Term

Special Districts

Capistrano Bay Community Services District (2 seats)

Emerald Bay Service District (2 seats)

Rossmoor Community Services District (3 seats)

Surfside Colony Community Services District

Three Arch Bay Community Services District (3 seats)

Serrano Water District

•Division 2, Full Term

•Division 4, Short Term

•Division 5, Full Term

Sunset Beach Sanitary District (3 seats)

Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District (2 seats)

Irvine Ranch Water District (2 seats)

Moulton Niguel Water District

•Division 1

•Division 5

Trabuco Canyon Water District (2 seats)

Yorba Linda Water District (2 seats)

Orange County Water District

•Division 4

•Division 6

Buena Park Library District, Full Term (3 seats)

Buena Park Library District, Short Term

Posted in Brea, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Buena Park Library District, Buena Park School District, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Coast Community College District, Emerald Bay Service District, Fullerton School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Irvine Ranch Water District, La Habra, Laguna Beach, Los Alamitos Unified School District, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Newport Beach, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, North Orange County Community College District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Rossmoor Community Services District, San Clemente, Savanna School District, Seal Beach, Serrano Water District, South Orange County Community College District, 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, Villa Park, Yorba Linda Water District | Leave a Comment »