George Bosy, motel keeper to the homeless, antagonist of city officials and promoter of trailer villages for the poor, has been scratched from the City Council race after he apparently tried to become a candidate before he was registered to vote.
Bosy, who filed July 11 to run for the 3rd District seat vacated by the recall of C. L. (Clay) Bryant, received notice from city officials last week that his name has been taken off the ballot for the Sept. 18 election. Officials said neither Bosy nor 11 other signers of his nomination papers were registered voters when the papers were filed with the city clerk.
Bosy could challenge the disqualification in court, or he could run as a write-in candidate. Bosy said he would not comment on his plans until he has talked to city officials and obtained legal advice.
City Clerk Elizabeth Villarel said that in order to qualify for the special election ballot, candidates were required to submit nomination papers signed by at least 20 registered voters who live in the 3rd District. She said the county registrar of voters checked the 30 signatures on Bosy’s petition July 12 and found only 15 qualified signers.
City Atty. Arnold Glasman asked the registrar’s office to recheck the signatures. The county then determined that 12 of the 15 disqualified signers, including Bosy himself, had become registered voters July 13. But, Glasman said, their signatures could not count on the nomination papers because state law specifies that signers be registered at the time nomination petitions are filed.
Bosy had filed his nomination papers two days earlier, on July 11. Therefore, Glasman said, the city had no choice but to keep Bosy’s name off the ballot. “It’s unfortunate,” he said.
The problem apparently arose because some signers of the nomination papers filled out forms to register to vote at the same time they signed the petitions, Glasman said. There would have been no problem with that procedure, he said, had the voter registration forms been filed with the county before the nomination papers were filed with the city clerk.
Bosy had been planning to run with the support of some longtime backers of Bryant, a colorful and controversial council member who was recalled June 5 by voters amid charges that he had been abusive to city employees and promoted special interests.
In his last weeks on the council, Bryant was an enthusiastic backer of a plan by Bosy to house the homeless in trailers on surplus city property. Bosy, who runs the Four Aces Motel, which he has converted into a refuge for the homeless, has been seeking city permission to house additional homeless people in trailers next to the motel and has asked the city to provide other locations where he could set up mobile home complexes for the homeless and other low-income people.
In his appearances at council meetings, Bosy has frequently clashed with Mayor Donna Smith and city staff members, berating them for allegedly impeding his efforts to help the homeless.
Bosy grew especially irate at one council meeting when Smith suggested that the city conduct a thorough background investigation before making any agreements with him. Soon thereafter, Bosy was arrested by Pomona police on warrants for failing to appear at municipal courts in El Monte and West Covina on misdemeanor charges of drunk driving and of contracting to do construction work without a license.
Police said they made the arrest after an informant saw a Los Angeles Times article and picture on Bosy’s homeless project. Bosy’s contracting case was scheduled for a hearing Thursday, and a Sept. 24 trial has been set for the drunk driving matter.
The removal of Bosy’s name from the ballot leaves the Sept. 18 special election with three candidates: Boyd Bredenkamp, a planning commissioner; Bob Dahms, a businessman, and Nancy Lopez, a community volunteer.