A City Council-appointed commission has concluded that it "cannot support Measure C," a June 3 ballot measure that would alter the form of city government.
Charter Review Commission Chairman Gregory Sanders said the conclusion is not intended to be a "criticism of the substance" of the measure, which would require council members to be elected by wards and the mayor to be elected by a citywide vote.
The two should, instead, be separate issues, Sanders told the council Monday, because voters might support one and not the other.
"We believe that the failure to exercise such care in the construction of Measure C represents a serious deficiency," he said in a prepared statement.
Sanders said the commission will continue to meet after the June 3 election and will consider whether to draw up another ballot measure for the November election or stick with the status quo.
Jim Lowman, a spokesman for Santa Ana Merged Society of Neighbors, a group supporting the measure, said the criticism was a forgone conclusion.
He said the report, given during a council meeting and aired on cable TV, was unfairly presented because he and other supporters were not alowed to immediately respond.
"I'm sure they influenced some people tonight," he said.
Group member George Hanna said that even if the commission draws up a new ballot measure to go before the voters in November, success in June would mean all seven council seats and the mayor's office would be up for election.