Election code, regulations there for a reason
As a prior City Clerk for the City of Solvang I would like to express my disappointment at the handling of the election of candidates for Solvang City Council 2020.
There is a lot of information that a potential candidate, especially new candidates need, and it is up to the city elections official to provide the information. A 10-minute meeting is far from sufficient to accomplish this. The Notice of an Upcoming Election was not published, as is stated by election law and at the Council meeting prior to the beginning of the filing process no mention was made for public awareness of the approaching election.
When the nomination papers were issued, Elections Code §10227 was totally disregarded, papers were not legally certified for signatures as it states “the Elections Official will type name of candidate, office for which they would like to be a candidate, imprint with a stamp reading Official Filing Form and the officials’ signature.”
Yes, it can be completed prior to being sent to the County for verification but the purpose is to let people see it is an official document. The Election Code was established for a reason.
When the public inquired about reviewing the candidate activity log, which most cities prepare for public review, and include a list of possible candidates, date papers were pulled, position candidate is filing for, and date returned, the city asked “Where is it written?”, and then stated they would have to check with legal counsel. It’s called transparency
I can only hope as the process progresses that the Government Code, Election Code and FPPC regulations will be handled correctly.
Mary Ellen Rio
Former Solvang City Clerk
State hasn't involved stakeholders in Dunes talk
Upon learning that the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Area (ODSVRA) will be closed until Oct. 1, dozens of offroaders attended the California Coastal Commission (CCC) meeting on July 9.
They argued that they are being denied enjoyment of the beach; that they pay with Off Highway Vehicles Division (OHVD) money, their money, for their park and the conservation measures it needs; that they are low income families deserving cheap camping on the beach; that disabled people can't acces the beach but on a vehicle.
In truth, people don't need to drive on the dunes and beach to enjoy them and have a good family time. Without thousands of vehicles destroying the beach and dunes, we wouldn't need conservation measures.
OHVD receives 70% of its funds from the gasoline tax which we all pay. State Parks (SP) has beach wheelchairs for special needs citizens. An electric vehicle, boardwalks to the wet sand, and a boardwalk through the dunes would allow special needs people to reach them. Middle income families (over $50,000) participate in off roading at higher rates (23 to 27 percent) than the lowest income class (12%).
Finally, an offroader announced there are thousands of them and can storm the beach. She asked: will thousands be arrested?
State Parks claimed it reached out to Oceano for input and feedback on the management plan for the ODSVRA’s future. When questioned by a commissioner for details, State Parks admitted it never reached out to Oceano.
Support those who protect your safety
In 1965 in Los Angeles, I was deployed as a California Highway Patrol Officer to the first Watts riot. In the six-day riot, vandals, looters and rioters destroyed dozens of Black-owned businesses and private homes.
In addition, hundreds of civilians, law enforcement officers, and firemen were attacked and injured. Over 40 people were killed. In response, the Governor declared martial law and called in the National Guard. Within two days the destruction and violence was ended. Quelling the violence, looters, illegal actions was accomplished by forceful arrests and incarceration of all violators in this out-of-control situation.
We should learn from history. Peaceful protests are protected under our Constitution; unlawful acts and criminals are not!!!
Support law enforcement who protect your safety and civil rights and freedom of all citizens.
Retired California Highway Patrol Officer
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