TUSTIN : Term, Gift Limits Set for Final Council OK

Residential design guidelines for Old Town Tustin, a possible time limit on the length of council meetings, and a proposed law that would prohibit people from sleeping in parked vehicles at night are among the agenda items coming before the City Council today.

In addition, the council will consider endorsing Proposition 187 on the November ballot. The controversial initiative, dubbed Save Our State, would bar illegal immigrants from receiving public schooling, non-emergency health care and social services.

Council members will also consider giving final approval to measures that would impose term limits on city commissioners and place restrictions on gifts received by municipal officials.

Two weeks ago, the council gave preliminary approval to a proposal that prohibits members of the Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission from serving more than three consecutive terms. Each term lasts two years.


Councilman Jim Potts, who introduced the measure, said that an influx of new commissioners results in fresh perspectives and helps avoid a “burnout factor.” The commissioners are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the City Council.

The term limits measure passed unanimously and without debate at its initial reading.

The council was divided, however, on the issue of restricting gifts that public officials receive from people doing business with the city.

By a 3-2 vote, preliminary approval was given to a measure that would prohibit elected officials and city employees from accepting $250 or more in gifts during a calendar year.


The proposed law is slightly stricter than a statewide measure that will take effect Jan. 1. The state law, which expands the Political Reform Act, will prohibit state and local officials from accepting more than $270 in gifts annually. That figure will be adjusted every two years based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.

When the proposal to limit gifts was debated by the council two weeks ago, Potts and Councilman Michael J. Doyle argued unsuccessfully that public officials should receive no gifts at all.

Prevailing in the debate were Mayor Thomas R. Saltarelli, Councilman Jeffery M. Thomas and Councilwoman Tracy Worley.

They all agreed that accepting no gifts whatsoever would be overly restrictive.