Opponents want Measure A removed

Town attorney says a provision violates law, supporters say they won't 'back down'
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Opponents of Measure A, the town council term limits initiative, have asked the initia-tive’s authors to remove it from the ballot or disavow it. Sandra Calvert, member of No on Measure A Committee, chaiperson of the Parks, Rec-reation and Open Space Committee and council candidate, called the term limits measure fatally flawed. If passed in November, term limits would be retroactive to Aug. 1, 2010, a provision which Dave Larsen, the Town of Loomis attorney, said violates a state law prohibiting retroactive term limits. When Sonja Cupler, Term Limits for Loomis committee member, was asked if she con-sidered the measure fatally flawed, she replied, “No. The only thing that is in question is the effective date. It still can go forward. The rest is fine.” “We will not back down, and we will not disavow Measure A until the 1,300-plus regis-tered voters who signed this petition to be placed on the June 2010 ballot tell us to do otherwise,” Cupler said. Cupler said she has not contacted those who signed the petition and none have contacted her. According to Ryan Ronco, Placer County assistant registrar recorder, Term Limits For Loomis submitted a petition with 1,108 signatures and his office, per standard procedure, verified a random sample of 500. Of those sampled, he said 374, or 74 percent, were deemed acceptable. “When you factor that percentage over the entire 1,108 signatures turned in by the peti-tioners, the petition was deemed to have received 828 valid signatures, which makes the petition acceptable to be placed on the ballot in accordance with Elections Code,” Ronco said. Ronco said signatures from 10 percent of Loomis’ approximately 4,000 registered voters, or 400 signatures, were needed to place the measure on the ballot. Tom Millward, former town council member and Term Limits committee member, said voters should “read the sample ballot arguments and decide on the merit themselves.” In an e-mail to the Loomis News, Millward offered two options for dealing with the ret-roactive effective date. He said, “When Measure A passes, the counsel can let it go through and don’t disenfran-chise the voters by fighting one small aspect of it.” Millward also said, “The voters can vote all the incumbents out of office this election cycle and then the effective date won’t be an issue.” Term limits proponents planned for the initiative to appear on the special election ballot in June 2010. According to the Election Code, the town of Loomis has regular elections in November of even numbered years. Placing items on the ballot for any other election makes it a special election and required that petitioners include that information on the petition. Special elections may cost Loomis significantly more than regular elections. Town council then voted to include the same term limits initiative, with the same lan-guage as the original, on the November general election ballot because it would be less expensive and would allow more voters to participate. At that point, voters would have voted on the initiative twice – once in June and again in November. The term limits initiative was dropped from the June ballot after the county clerk noted that the petition unintentionally failed to include that it was a special election. Nancy Beck, a No on Measure A committee member and former planning commissioner, said Measure A, if passed, “could easily throw the election and town government into confusion and turmoil.” “Town government would likely have to spend more scarce funds on legal expenses to resolve the impasse,” Nancy Beck said. Bill Branch of Loomis, also a No on Measure A committee member, called the initiative an “embarrassing clunker” and a “poster child for how not to do term limits.”