TWO COMMUNITY BALLOT INITIATIVES WILL LIKELY APPEAR ON THE JUNE BALLOT - SUPPORTERS QUALIFY SIGNATURES A SECOND TIME
CHULA VISTA, CA – Let Chula Vista Vote. It remains to be seen if it will happen, but residents concerned about what has been going on at City Hall have worked tirelessly to qualify two ballot initiatives for the June ballot. The two measures, if successful, will give Chula Vistans more of a say by letting them vote on high-rise developments in their neighborhoods and making the City Attorney an elected officer, independent of the Council and other City officials. It is amazing that the politicians don't want to let the citizens vote. It makes one think that they are afraid the measures will pass and give the citizens a greater voice in their government.
This is the second time this year that proponents of the initiative submitted over the required number of signatures to the City Clerk in order to qualify the measure. The initial signatures were disqualified when a prominent San Francisco attorney threatened litigation due to a technicality involving the publication of the notice of intent to circulate the petition. “The City’s actions only furthered our resolve to have an elected City Attorney in office,” said Norma Cazares, who signed the petitions Statement of Reasons. Read more here.
The General Plan Protection Initiative would require voter approval for any amendment to the General Plan that would allow high rise buildings over 84 ft in areas which are not currently designated for high rise in the plan. The areas designated for high-rises now in the General Plan are the Eastern Urban Center, E and H street transit focus areas, and the Bayfront. It also establishes a 45-foot height limit on Third Avenue between E and G Streets to preserve the Third Avenue Village. Concerned residents believe this will help maintain Chula Vista’s “small-town” feel and protect residential neighborhoods. Currently, the height limit can be amended by three votes of the City Council. Read more here.
The Elected City Attorney Initiative would amend the City’s Charter to establish the City Attorney to an elected position. Currently, they are appointed by the City Council with only a simple majority. If the initiative passes, residents of Chula Vista will benefit from having a City Attorney who will be able to advise the City and act in the best interest of the public. The Charter amendment will establish greater independence from the Mayor, Council Members and City officials, while giving the City Council the power to approve all lawsuits filed on behalf of the City. Read more here.
Seven of the 20 largest cities in California have an elected City Attorney, which include Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Oakland, Long Beach, Huntington Beach and San Bernardino. Chula Vista is ranked as the 14th largest city in California.
Chula Vista resident Norma Cazares, who signed the petition’s Statement of Reason said, “Chula Vista is growing and it is time make some necessary changes that will give the residents of Chula Vista more of a say in what goes on at City Hall. This is common sense to most people and we have created necessary safeguards within the measure to ensure the City is protected.”Read An Open Letter to the Citizens of Chula Vista by Norma Cazares. The County Registrar of Voters Certifies this petition for the ballot.
Unfortunately the Chula Vista City council again displayed their unwillingness to allow the citizens to decide this issue by changing the wording of the agenda item and voting 3 to 2 to put this on the ballot in November instead of June. Councilmen Rudy Ramirez and Steve Castaneda tried to get this on the June ballot as the signers of the petition wanted and the agenda stated. The Mayor and Councilmen McCann and Rindone refused to listen. Did they decide this together before the meeting in violation of the Brown Act? There certainly was not much discussion. Read a letter by Norma Cazares.