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Orange County Digest

Local News in Brief : Santa Ana : Jail Issue Misses June Ballot; Fall Targeted

February 09, 1988

The Santa Ana Merged Society of Neighbors, or SAMSON, has abandoned efforts to get a proposed city charter amendment barring new jails in Santa Ana on the June ballot and will aim for the November ballot instead, group president Harry Greenberg said Monday.

"The timing was lousy," Greenberg said. "We're going to get it on in November, though . . . no ifs, ands or buts."

The deadline for collecting the signatures of about 6,200 registered voters in Santa Ana to get the measure on the June ballot is today. Greenberg said SAMSON supporters had gathered only about 2,500 signatures since they launched their effort in late January. "There just wasn't enough time," he said.

The proposed amendment would bar city officials from approving construction of a new jail or expansion of an existing one within two miles of a school, public park or hospital. It also would restrict utility hookups for a new jail facility.

Both city and county officials have said the amendment probably carries no legal weight because the county is not bound by city building or zoning codes.

Greenberg and other SAMSON members, however, say the measure goes beyond what the City Council has done to counteract a proposed countywide initiative that would require that all future county jails be placed in Santa Ana.

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