Did Inglewood City Clerk Break the Law by Proposing Charter Resolutions?

INSIDE INGLEWOOD - Inglewood city clerk Yvonne Horton may have acted beyond her authority in proposing two resolutions to the Inglewood city charter. 

 

The amendments, which Horton proposed at the Inglewood city council meeting on December 4, are titled CC-1 and CC-2 and are recognized as having been proposed by the city clerk on page 5 of the respective agenda. 

Now known as Props M and P, they are on the ballot for the April 2 City of Inglewood municipal election. 

Introducing the city charter amendments at the council meeting, Horton took several minutes to announce her intent. 

“[These are] resolutions ordering the submission to the qualified electors of the City of Inglewood, a proposal to adopt and ratify an amendment to the charter of the city relating to publishing of city ordinances. 

“Um, mayor and council and, members of the public, um, I want to give a little report on this. 

“First I want to start out by saying [these are] not initiative[s]; [They are] charter amendments and [are] going to the people for a vote—which means that [they have] to be done within a time frame.”

“The council had nothing, NOTHING (emphasis Horton’s in video transcript)—let me make that VERY clear—the mayor and council had NOTHING to do with [these resolutions.] This is Yvonne Horton.” 

The time frame to which Horton alluded was not mentioned in detail. 

What was made clear was the violation of California state law. 

Elections Code Section 9255-9269 states that “[a] charter or charter amendment proposed by a charter commission, whether elected or appointed by a governing body, for a city or city and county shall be submitted to the voters at an established statewide general, statewide primary, or regularly scheduled municipal election date pursuant to Section 1200, 1201, or 1301, provided that there are at least 95 days before the election. A charter commission may also submit a charter pursuant to Section 34455 of the Government Code.” 

California’s Elections Code Section 9255 requires such an amendment be proposed by either a charter commission or a petition from the people. Horton does not constitute “charter commission” nor a “governing body.” She did not she proffer a petition. 

The city clerk’s videotaped public testimony clearly contradicts that which is printed on the very proposals made available to the public via the respective night’s agenda. 

Horton made it clear at the meeting and on video that she and she alone was responsible for the proposals. 

The matter has been formally presented to Inglewood City Attorney Cal Saunders as well as the California state Fair Political Practices Commission and the state Attorney General.

 

(Randall Fleming is a veteran journalist and magazine publisher. He has worked at and for the New York Post, the Brooklyn Spectator and the Los Feliz Ledger. He is currently editor-in-chief at the Morningside Park Chronicle, a monthly newspaper based in Inglewood, CA and on-line at www.MorningsideParkChronicle.com) 

-cw

 

 

 

CityWatch

Vol 11 Issue 21

Pub: Mar 12, 2013