Judge Rejects Bid to Delete Ballot Argument Language

A judge on Monday rejected the city's efforts to delete references to Mayor Ben Wong, the departure of five top officials and a crisis at City Hall from an argument against a special tax on homeowners for park maintenance on the April ballot.

The city had sued Mike Spence, who wrote the ballot arguments, saying his statements were not relevant information and should be deleted from the ballot.

But in a tentative ruling, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Jaffe said irrelevancy is not a basis for deleting language from a ballot under the law.

"Furthermore, the arguments in question are relevant to the ballot proposition in that they accuse politicians who run the city of West Covina of squandering the taxpayers' money. . . ," the judge wrote.

Responding to the ruling, Spence said, "You can fight City Hall and win. This shows how this City Council is out of control."

Measure C on the April 28 seeks to charge homeowners about $49 a year to maintain parks and remove graffiti.

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