Arguments Begin in Measure V Challenge

Times Staff Writer

With the Jan. 28 election for supervisor hanging in the balance, a judge on Tuesday began to hear the arguments of critics of Measure V, the successful March ballot initiative that gave voters rather than the governor the power to fill vacancies on the Board of Supervisors.

Measure V, which created a special charter for Orange County, is being challenged by some who contend voters were given incorrect information. The outcome of the case will decide whether voters in the 3rd District vote for a new supervisor.

Critics argued Tuesday that the charter approved was rushed to the ballot with voters wrongly told they had exclusive control over future changes.

Attorney Dean Zipser asked Superior Court Judge Andrew Banks to invalidate Measure V, which created the charter and provided for special elections to fill vacancies on the Board of Supervisors. Zipser's law firm, Morrison & Forrester, is representing the state on behalf of Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer.

Banks has said his ruling on the charter's legality could come as late as Saturday -- just days before the election.

Deputy County Counsel Nicole Sims argued Tuesday that voters properly exercised their right to create a charter that contained a single provision -- to change the filling of board vacancies. Measure V "empowered Orange County citizens with the ability to choose their own representatives," she said.

Five candidates are running to replace Todd Spitzer, who vacated his seat representing the county's central region when he was elected to the state Assembly last year. They are former Assemblyman Bill Campbell, former Tustin Councilman Jim Potts, county veterans worker Douglas Boeckler, college professor William A. Wetzel and postal worker Robert Douglas.

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