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Local News in Brief : Plan to Elect Council by District Off Ballot

Voters in Pomona will not have a chance, after all, to decide next spring whether their City Council members are to be elected by district or at large. The council voted early Tuesday morning to pull a referendum on the matter from the March ballot.

The council had voted, 3 to 1, on Sept. 19 to have a referendum on whether to have elections by district. But Councilman Mark Nymeyer proposed this week that the city table the matter until after final resolution of a lawsuit filed in 1985 by the Southwest Voter Rights Education Project. The San Antonio group is appealing a verdict in favor of the city in the case.

The suit alleged that Pomona’s at-large elections, in which council members are picked by a citywide vote, are an obstacle to black and Latino candidates. Although the city’s population is 30% Latino and 19% black, only three members of those groups have ever been elected to the council.

City Atty. Patrick Sampson said the appeal will likely be resolved in time to have an ordinance proposing district election before the 1990 council campaign.

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