Council illegally submitted argument

On April 2 Glendalians will vote on Measure B. I've argued the measure legalizes the city's current practice whereby, in violation of its charter, it annually transfers $21 million of electrical receipts to the general budget fund; and, at the same time it claims the electric infrastructure is in dire need of repairs but there is no money for them without a rate increase. That's why, as mandated by Municipal Code 1.08.060, I filed a request with the city clerk to write Measure B's opposition argument. I did so within the deadline that fixes the pool of eligible writers.

The city clerk has confirmed that the City Council filed no such request. Nevertheless, the council appointed a council majority to write and submit to the Clerk Measure B's pro argument. This, even though the law mandates, without any exception, “that from the persons or associations making such requests the council shall appoint... a person or an association” to draft the pro and con arguments. Having failed to make the 1.08.060 request the council isn't among the pool that can be appointed to write arguments.

Not only has the council ignored this law, but the city attorney's office, the council's employee (without citing legal authority), has emailed me that the council, as a legislative body, need not file a request; and, it may and did appoint itself to write the argument — a position that would elevate the council to be above the law.

We must now rely on the city clerk, a charter officer voted by and answerable only to the people, to rebuke this illegally submitted argument.

This situation gives pause as to whether this April we should vote to make the treasurer the council's employee instead of a charter officer voted by and answerable to the people.

Harry Zavos

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