Cerritos : Council Expected to Reject Addition of Names to Suit

The Cerritos City Council tonight is expected to reject a request to make Mayor Diana Needham and Councilman Barry Rabbitt defendants in a lawsuit that, if successful, would bar them from seeking reelection next year.

The request is from proponents of Proposition H, the charter amendment passed by voters in 1986 which prohibits council members from serving more than two consecutive terms without a two-year respite from office. If she runs, Needham would be seeking her fourth term. Rabbitt has already said he will seek his sixth term.

Proposition H backers filed the suit last year when Councilman Daniel K. Wong ran for a third term. A Superior Court judge, saying that the amendment's effective date was vague, let him run. The suit is still open, however, and Proposition H supporters want the court to tell Rabbitt and Needham they cannot run again.

City Atty. J. Kenneth Brown has told the council that the amendment is not legal, Rabbitt said by way of explanation that he will vote against adding new names to the suit. Needham said she does not want her name added. Wong says he will cast the third vote on the five-member council against the request.

Lacking council permission to add the names, proponents of Proposition H must convince the court to overrule the council and add the names.

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