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Orange County Digest

Santa Ana : 3 Council Members, Recall Group to Meet

December 24, 1985|Andy Rose

A group of residents threatening an attempt to recall all seven members of the City Council have formed a 15-person committee to meet with three council members Friday in an attempt to iron out the problems.

SAMSON (Santa Ana Merged Society of Neighbors) members met Saturday and voted to meet with Mayor Daniel E. Griset, Vice Mayor P. Lee Johnson and Councilman Robert Luxembourger at 9 a.m. at Willowick Golf Course. Griset said he decided to try a meeting after Cypress Councilman John Kanel acted as a mediator between the two sides last week.

Jim Lowman, a SAMSON spokesman, said he feels that Griset's offer is a "good-faith" effort to attempt some resolution. "SAMSON was formed because several groups felt the council wasn't being responsive to the community," Lowman said. "So we view this as a really positive step."

He said recall backers will draw up proposals during the week but declined to say what they might suggest. However, when SAMSON members announced their intentions for a recall attempt Dec. 14, several mentioned a ward election and direct election of the mayor as possible solutions. Council members represent various areas but are elected on a citywide vote, and the mayor is appointed by a vote of the council.

SAMSON is a coalition of several groups which contend that the council has ignored their protests over several issues, including a proposal to raze Santa Ana Stadium for a sports arena, a plan for an $11-million replacement stadium in Centennial Park and commuter traffic restrictions on north-central Santa Ana streets.

The Firemen's Benevolent Assn., representing about 200 Fire Department employees, is also involved, citing years of alleged unfair discipline, harassment and the recent conversion to an all-civilian paramedic corps.

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