Lawsuit claims Signal Hill city clerk prepared inaccurate ballot label

Maria Harris, a Signal Hill resident and proponent of the Taxpayer’s Right to Know and Vote measure, filed litigation against the City of Signal Hill on Tuesday, March 11 alleging that the City Clerk prepared a ballot label that is inaccurate, misleading and incomplete, and that it results in bias against the proposed initiative. The City maintains that the ballot language is the exact language on the petitions that were circulated by the petitioners when gathering signatures.
The proposed amendment to the City’s Charter would require that all new taxes, assessments and fees be subject to a two-thirds vote of the electorate, as are fee increases. Among other provisions, the proposed charter amendment would expire fees in 10 years and assessments in 20 years.
“It is important that any material Signal Hill voters see on the June 3, 2014 ballot on the Taxpayer’s Right to Know and Vote initiative be accurate and complete,” Harris said in an emailed statement March 13. “I challenged the City of Signal Hill’s proposed ballot label because it expresses the Citys opinion. That opinion is inaccurate and misleading. The ballot is the first time most voters see information on an issue. The law states that the ballot label is required to contain the main purpose of the initiative, and, has to be true, impartial, and not argumentative. Because the ballot label the City produced does not meet this standard, it necessitated judicial review.”
The case was assigned to Judge Luis Lavin (BS147681) with a hearing date of Wednesday, March 19.

Source: City of SH, Maria Harris

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