On Tuesday, August 2nd, City Council candidate Jane Rands explained to the Fullerton City Council that their prior adoption of the bar owners’ Map # 8A for the District Election measure in November was not an option for the ballot because a judge had found fault with the map’s division of the downtown residential district into five parts. I am including both the video above and the text of her comments below.
Map 8A Violates the Settlement Agreement – Select Map 10A Instead
Comments given to the Fullerton City Council by Jane Rands, August 2, 2016…
“We are discussing this issue again because a judge has GRANTed the plaintiff’s motion and ORDERED you to hold another public hearing, this time, “to adopt a map that complies with the procedure and requirements of the Settlement Agreement.” If your goal tonight is to “ensure that the district elections measure is included on the November 2016 ballot,” as stated in the staff report, you cannot select map 8A again as it violates the settlement agreement.
Contrary to the assertion in the staff report that, “The court rejected the plaintiffs’ claim that Map 8A …was not the product of the public process set forth in the settlement agreement,” the hearing minutes reveal that “the court’s review of the transcripts of the 5-17-16 and 6-7-16 Council meetings indicates that Map 8A was not developed in accordance with the procedure provided in paragraph 6 of the parties’ settlement agreement.” The judge reasoned that since, “There is no evidence that the proponent of Map 8 and Map 8A ever participated in the community deliberative process,” that, “that map (Map 8A) arguably constitutes a breach of the settlement” and was “adopted through a process completely antithetical to that contemplated by the Agreement.”
In the staff report, I also take umbrage to the dismissal of the court’s admonishment on the importance of the principle of a community of interests, particularly as I am a resident of the downtown community that Map 8a disrespectfully divides into 5 districts. I attended the July 20 hearing, took copious notes, and studied the court’s Minute Order. It is beyond me how any competent assessment of the proceedings could conclude that “the Court indicated that it was unclear whether the selected map took into account communities of interest in dividing the downtown.” What the judge did state was “unclear” was “how many of these supporters (of Map 8A) actually reside in the downtown area” and “how the division of the downtown area of the city gives appropriate consideration to this principle (of a community of interests as described in the California Constitution).”
At the July 20 hearing, Judge Horn’s ruling was confirmed that “The parties’ Settlement Agreement requires that the electoral district map be drawn in accordance with those criteria (in Elections Code Section 21601),” including community of interests. It was very clear from the discussions that afternoon, that the judge’s statement that “Map 8A would seem to run afoul of at least one of those factors (in Section 21601)”was in reference to communities of interest being violated by Map 8A’s dismemberment of the downtown neighborhoods.
The staff report says that the City Council can select Map 8A again tonight, but that does not mean that you should. From observing the mess that has resulted from the hostility of the Council towards the inclusion of voices from throughout the city being represented on our City Council by way of district elections, I can only conclude that this advice is intended to thwart the district election ballot measure.
To affirm your previous selection of map 8a would be mistake, a mistake that will cost Fullerton taxpayers scads more money to litigate a resolution to the plaintiffs’ simple request to put district elections with a legitimate map before the voters on November 8, 2016.
If you want to move forward, select a map that complies with the state and federal voting rights acts and the Settlement Agreement, including all aspects of Section 21601 and the map author having participated in the public process, select Map 10A.”