City of Santa Ana Term Limits, Measures D and E (February 2008)
Measures D and E were approved.
Both measures had to do with term limits. Measure D extended the length of time that members of the Santa Ana City Council could stay in office from 8 years to 12 years. This measure was bankrolled by over $70,000 in contributions from:
- Robert Bisno, who at the time of the election was seeking the city’s approval to build a 31-story residential tower near MainPlace Mall. He gave $20,000 to the campaign to pass Measure D.
- Caribou Industries gave $6,000. Caribou was seeking permission to build a 37-story office tower called One Broadway Plaza.
- Ware Disposal and Madison Materials, who gave $20,000. At the time of the campaign on Measure D, Santa Ana city attorneys had been looking into possible code violations by the waste company.
- Political groups associated with Santa Ana's firefighters and police and the city workers' union gave $15,500.
Measure E extended the length of time that people could serve on city boards and commissions.
- These final election results are from the Orange County elections office.
The question on the ballot:
|Measure D: "An amendment to the City charter regarding City Council term limits; adds a provision calling for the adoption of a Code of Ethics and Conduct to govern members of the City Council, the City's boards, commissions and committees."|
The question on the ballot:
|Measure E: "This measure would make all terms of members of boards and commissions in the City four years, and change the terms limits from two to three to coincide with the term limits of city council members proposed by Measure D. If approved by voters, this measure will only become effective if Measure D is also approved by the voters."|
In the last days of the campaign, a robocall to Santa Ana voters implied that the Santa Ana teachers union supported Measure D. The head of the union quickly said this wasn't true.
In addition, the robocall did not identify the source of the call, which was a violation of California's laws regarding robocalls.
Claudia Alvarez lawsuit
In 2012, a supporter of long-time city council member Claudia Alvarez filed a lawsuit against the City of Santa Ana. The lawsuit contends that the Measure D term limits cannot be applied retroactively to Alvarez and that therefore, Alvarez is eligible to run for two more four-year terms.
At a city council meeting in July 2012, Alvarez herself said that she believes that other council members and the city clerk are in a conspiracy against her that seeks to prevent her from running for a fourth term. She said, "The very office in the city of Santa Ana that is supposed to be the most objective and supposed to be Switzerland and is the one you rely on to hold fair elections has fallen subject to the influences of council member Bustamante and council member Benavides."
The City of Santa Ana, relying on a legal opinion from an outside attorney, believes that Measure D is retroactive. The city paid $8,500 for the legal opinion.