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Orange County Focus

IRVINE : Election Ordinance Revisions Approved

September 21, 1993|SHELBY GRAD

The City Council has approved changes to Irvine's election ordinance in an effort to make it easier for residents to understand.

Last week's action modifies the city's procedure for filling vacancies on the council. Under the new ordinance, residents will have 30 days from the time a council member resigns to submit petitions demanding a special election to fill the seat.

If the signatures of 7% of the city's registered voters are collected on a petition and verified, an election will automatically be called. If petitioners fall short, the council will decide whether to call an election or appoint someone to the post.

Under the previous ordinance, the deadline for submitting petitions was based on a complex formula that several council members considered too confusing.

"Before, it was so difficult to understand how many days you had" to collect signatures, said Councilwoman Paula Werner.

City officials sought the changes in June after William A. (Art) Bloomer announced that he was resigning from the council to take a job in Virginia. At the time, some residents expressed puzzlement over the complicated election law.

"This clarifies things, makes them clearer to people," Werner said. "Before, you had to have (the) city clerk or city attorney" explain the process.

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