October 1992 Home   Newsletters

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January 1993

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Policy Statement on Alternatives to Rail for Honolulu (Astrid Monson)
Voter Service Committee Highlights (Jacqueline Vogt)
People's Water Conference #9
Help! Help!
Membership Directory
General Membership Meeting
Voter Service
Silver Legislature at the State Capitol Building
Day for Women
Would This Work Here? California Town Confronts Deficit
Public Forum - Ottawa's Bus Rapid Transit

President's Message

The electorate spoke loud and clear on November 3 and rejected 6 of our 20 recommendations on the proposed charter amendments.

We spent 8 months following the deliberations of the charter commission from the first public workshop on March 7 to the final Council public hearing on October 28. We attended and testified at every session on those issues on which we held positions.

Before resolving our final recommendations on the proposed amendments, we held several meetings at which time we discussed the pros and cons of each of the 32 proposals and made our determinations on which ones we could address.

After we made the final decisions on those proposed amendments we could support and those we would oppose, we made presentations to AAUW on October 17, Arcadia on October 19, Dialog program on October 30 and the Council Public Hearing on the evening of October 28.

We mailed and faxed our recommendations to various groups and individuals who requested our aid. Finally, on October 29, we took out a full page ad in the Election Guide supplement of both daily papers.

Of the recommendations we made that where rejected by the voters, we feel most strongly about two. First, we think it is a travesty that the voters chose to change the signature requirements on a petition for recall or initiative to "total registered votes" rather than "total votes cast". It is unclear whether the voters really understood the intent of the amendment -- which was to raise the percentage of signatures necessary so significantly that it would make mounting an initiative or recall action nigh on impossible.

We also think that lumping initiative together with recall was faulty. The recent controversy over the recall of Councilman Doo may have had some impact on the voters' decisions. Perhaps consideration could be given to a future amendment to lower the percentage of signatures necessary on a petition from the current 10%.

The second recommendation we made that was reversed by the voters was that of limiting councilmembers to two consecutive terms of office.

Since this Charter provision will go into effect in 1994 when we vote in 9 council members, the possibility exists that in 8 years we may be voting in 9 new, inexperienced councilmembers.

Arlene Ellis

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