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Judge Denies Lawsuit Disputing Measure Y Language

An Orange County Superior Court judge this week denied a petition filed by two Newport Beach residents disputing the language in Measure Y, the proposed general plan land use element amendment.

Petitioners Susan Skinner and Bert Ohlig alleged that there is a “complete lack of impartiality” in the ballot language and is an “egregious violation” of the elections code, according to court records.

“We are disappointed that Judge Miller has ruled against us in our lawsuit against the egregious ballot language approved by the Newport Beach City Council for Measure Y,” Skinner wrote in a press release.

“It now falls upon the No on Measure Y committee to educate the voters about the massive development planned for Newport Center, a huge task given to us by a developer friendly City Council and one that we hope to perform successfully,” Skinner wrote, referring to the group of opponents that launched the website.

The suit was filed Aug. 14 in the Orange County Superior Court and name Newport Beach City Clerk Leilani Brown and OC Registrar-Recorder Neal Kelley as respondents.

Skinner and Ohlig criticized the ballot question claiming that the language is unfair and impartial.

“Nothing could be farther from the truth,” city attorney Aaron Harp previously wrote in an email. “The ballot question was carefully considered by the City Council following an 18-month public hearing process and is an accurate summary of the  impacts that will occur if the General Plan amendment is approved by the voters.”

“All of these facts came directly from the material considered by the City Council and to say that relying on these facts is somehow unfair and impartial is nonsensical,” he added.


Judge Upholds Ballot Occupation Designation for Council Candidate

The November ballot will describe Newport Beach City Council district 4 candidate Tim Brown as a planning commissioner and businessman, an Orange County Superior Court judge ruled Monday.

The designation “was appropriate based on the evidence provided,” a press release from Brown’s campaign reads.

Bob McCaffrey, chairman of the Newport Beach Dock Owner’s Association and head of the group Stop the Dock Tax, filed the lawsuit on Aug. 18, according to court records.

McCaffrey challenged the occupation description listed for Brown, calling it “misleading.”

“I am proud of my faculty status as a professor,” Brown said in the prepared statement. “However, I am equally proud of my consulting business and that I serve on the Planning Commission. The ballot designation is limited to three words. Because at this point in my career, I spend more time building my business and engaged in civic leadership than I do teaching, I chose those three descriptors.”


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