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Sandbagged by Laguna Niguel Council

October 25, 1992

In July, a citizens committee presented the Laguna Niguel City Council with a well-thought-out ballot measure limiting campaign contributions with the request to put it on the November ballot.

Instead of discussing the merits of the ballot measure, the City Council instructed staff to study the cost of an election.

At the next council meeting, the council scheduled a special workshop to review the proposed ballot measure.

Normally, the city attorney would be instructed to review a ballot measure and provide the council with his comments and/or recommendations.

The main obstacle appeared to be the $100 limitation, since none of the other provisions were even discussed.

In order to facilitate the process, I suggested putting an advisory measure on the November ballot so the electorate could express their preference for a maximum contribution of $100, $150, $200 or $250. Fair enough?

The council summarily rejected this proposal.

The workshop itself was a fiasco. Meaningful discussion of the provisions of the ballot measure were skillfully avoided. No further workshops were scheduled.

A letter was sent to the council requesting a meeting with staff and one or two council members. This letter and other forms of communication were ignored.

In the meantime, the deadline for (getting measures on) the November ballot expired.

Unfortunately, the citizens of Laguna Niguel will not be able to express their opinions, at least in this election, on campaign contribution limits.

PAUL T. WILLEMS, Laguna Niguel

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