Letter to the Editor: Electing Our Mayor Will Have a Damaging Impact on Our City

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People should be aware that California law is very strict on collecting signatures for a petition, but you may not know that until you read the circulator portion at the bottom of the petition.

I was at the recent Republican Women’s luncheon and the “Elect the Mayor” petition was being passed around the table unattended. I was driving to my friend’s house on Saturday and a table was set up outside a garage with an unattended petition.

The person who will be turning in these petitions will be signing under penalty of perjury that they had personally witnessed the signed signatures. That is why you aren’t supposed to let a petition be out of your control. The penalty is up to $5000 fine and a year in jail. The law is pretty serious about this!

You may not know some of the details of this petition, but it creates an immensely powerful mayor for whom the 1992 voter approved term limits is exempted, allowing one person to serve eight years on city council and another eight years as mayor as well as specified powers granted only to the mayor.

Many of us are very concerned about one person having that much power, especially since no one else besides Mr. O’Neill has had a hand in writing it.

There are many problems with this initiative and if it becomes voter approved, only a second vote of the people at a future election can unwind it.

My fellow citizens, please do not be blind to the damaging impact an elected mayor will have on our city. Our charter requires that a City Council candidate live in the district for 30 days. There is no such requirement for a mayoral candidate. Anybody can come in with a ton of money and become mayor and ruin our beautiful city.

Are you really ready to let one person rush this petition through with no community debate or discussion?

It truly saddens me that people are not thinking about the long-term damage this can have on our well-run City. This petition is the potential takeover of our city by one man.

Lynn Swain / Big Canyon

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