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Smart Voter
Orange County, CA March 7, 2000 Election
Measure F
New Or Expanded Jail, Hazardous Waste Landfill Or Civilian Airport Project.
County of Orange

Initiative to Require Two-Thirds Vote for Ratification

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Arguments |
. Shall the initiative measure, which would require that no new or expanded jail, hazardous waste landfill or civilian airport project (all as defined in the measure) shall be valid and effective unless ratified by a two-thirds majority of the voters voting in a county general election and requiring that the Board of Supervisors conduct a public hearing in each affected city prior to project approval, be approved?
This measure would require two-thirds of County voters to approve any new design or construction of any jail, hazardous waste landfill or civilian airport within the County, or the expansion of any existing jail, hazardous waste landfill or civilian airport within the County.

The measure affects jails which contain at least 1,000 beds and are situated within one-half mile of at least 100 dwellings. The measure does not provide a time at which to determine if these criteria exist.

Prior to ratification by the voters, and after the County Board of Supervisors holds a public hearing on the matter, the County would be permitted to spend funds for planning a jail, hazardous waste landfill or civilian airport project, and submitting the project to the voters. The County could also expend funds to prepare, evaluate and certify a legally required environmental impact report for a jail, hazardous waste landfill or civilian airport project.

Following certification of the environmental impact report for a jail, hazardous waste landfill or civilian airport project, the Board of Supervisors would be required to hold at least one public hearing in every city in the County affected by the proposed project. Since the measure does not define "affected city" except for one limited type of project, it is theoretically possible that the measure would require the Board of Supervisors to hold hearings in every city in the county before it could approve a particular project.

The measure would require two-thirds of County voters in a County General Election to ratify any legislative action by the County in furtherance of a new or expanded jail, hazardous waste landfill or civilian airport project. The term "County General Election" is not defined in the measure or by California law, so there is uncertainty as to when the voters could ratify a legislative action. While such an election could probably be held on any election date set by Elections Code Section 324, it is possible that the vote could be only held in conjunction with even-year primary or general elections, thereby delaying voter ratification for as much as two years.

The voter ratification requirement applies to a project despite any prior act by the County or Orange County voters, including the Orange County/El Toro Economic Stimulus Initiative (Measure A) adopted by the voters on November 8, 1994.

The measure states that if any provision is held invalid by any court, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions. The measure further states that the people of Orange County declare that the initiative would be adopted with or without the two-thirds ratification vote requirement, and therefore, if a court holds that requirement invalid, the initiative shall be construed as requiring a majority vote for ratification.

This measure requires an affirmative vote of a majority of the electors voting on the measure.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure F. If you desire a copy of the Measure, please call the Registrar of Voters office at (714) 567-7600 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

Fiscal Impact from County Counsel:
Although an accurate fiscal analysis of this measure's impact on County expenditures and revenue is impossible, a general description of its impact is possible. In the event that the County undertakes to build or expand a commercial airport, build or expand a jail of over 1000 beds within one-half mile of residences, or build a hazardous waste landfill subject to the provisions of the Initiative, the following is an estimate of the additional costs that will occur:

Cost Per Project

Additional costs for the County Registrar of Voters for ballot processing, $30,000 - $50,000 printing and mailing costs for any projects requiring a 2/3 vote at a General County Election, as required by Section Three of the Initiative.

Additional costs for the Board of Supervisors, Clerk of the Board and other county $500 - $35,000 staff to plan and conduct public hearings, as required by Section Five of the Initiative.

Additional costs (legal and/or administrative) needed to determine whether and $5,000 - $20,000 which projects are, in fact, subject to the Initiative.

Total Cost Per Project $35,500 - $105,000

Other potential costs or lost revenue areas are more speculative and are more difficult to estimate than those mentioned above. For example, although there is a strong likelihood for future litigation costs to defend County decisions regarding which projects are, or are not, subject to the Initiative, the amount of these costs and their frequency is not determinable. Also, project delays resulting from delays imposed by the initiative may create additional costs or reduce future revenues. For example, future state and federal grants for jail and airport projects could be lost if the County is unable to meet application deadlines or assurances as a result of the public notice and/or vote requirements.

Any estimate of the future impact on Orange County tax revenues resulting from passage of the Initiative would require development of a full-scale econometric model. This would require a forecast of the impact on the County's tax revenues of jail, airport, and hazardous waste landfill projects not being constructed or expanded due to the Initiative, as compared to the economic impact of such projects going forward absent the Initiative's requirements. For example, assessed valuations and resulting property tax revenues could be impacted (positively or negatively) depending upon the public's reaction to cancellation of projects as a result of this Initiative. Such forecasts would be very complex and overly speculative. Accordingly, they have been excluded from the scope of this analysis.

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Arguments For Measure F Arguments Against Measure F
Measure F gives voters - not County bureaucrats or special interests - the final decision on major taxpayer-financed projects.

Over 192,000 Orange County voters signed petitions to put Measure F on the ballot because the County's bankrupt planning process has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars and ignored legitimate community concerns.

Measure F requires County bureaucrats to:

Fully disclose negative impacts caused by new jails, hazardous waste landfills, and new or expanded airports. After full disclosure, they must get voter approval before spending our tax dollars.

Measure F gives us the same protection against threats to our quality of life that Proposition 13 gave us against unnecessary tax increases. It requires that two-thirds of the voters approve projects that threaten the health, safety, and welfare of Orange County residents.

Measure F protects every Orange County community.

For residents of Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Tustin, Measure F prohibits expansion of John Wayne Airport without voter approval.

For residents of Santa Ana, Orange, Anaheim, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Yorba Linda and other communities impacted by 53 potential sites identified within theCounty, Measure F prohibits large jails less than half a mile from your neighborhood without voter approval. For residents of Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Cypress and Central and South Orange County, Measure F prohibits commercial airports at El Toro or Los Alamitos without voter approval.

Voters should make the final decision.

Special interest opponents of Measure F are spending millions trying to confuse and mislead voters. But this election comes down to one simple question: Who do you trust to make the final decision on major taxpayer-funded projects - you or County bureaucrats?

For our Families. For our Future. YES on Measure F.
The Safe & Healthy Communities Initiative

For more information, contact (949) 768-4583 or

s/Todd Spitzer, County Supervisor
s/Tom Wilson, County Supervisor
s/Pat Bates, Member, California State Assembly
s/Mike Alvarez, City Council Member, City of Orange
s/Susan Withrow, Chairman of El Toro Reuse Planning Authority

Good For Convicted Criminals. For more than twenty years, our local citizens, business and law enforcement have worked together to make our county, and our quality of life, the best in our state. But much of that is at risk because of Measure F.

Measure F promoters will have you believe this initiative is about converting El Toro Marine Air Station into a commercial and passenger airport. But after reading the fine print, you will see Measure F goes much farther than that.

Measure F will make it virtually impossible to build additional jail space in Orange County to keep prisoners behind bars where they belong.

According to Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona, "If the Safe & Healthy Communities Initiative is enacted, the County's ability to provide adequate numbers of jail beds to house arrested and convicted criminals will be made much more difficult and public safety and quality of life in Orange County will be diminished." [November 5, 1999]

In addition, The Orange County Register said in an editorial of October 29th, "The South County Measure threatens to gum up the works in the future, especially with regard to building a new jail ... That's why we oppose it."

Regardless of your position on an airport at El Toro, Measure F is bad public policy that benefits convicted criminals at the expense of law-abiding citizens. Measure F threatens our quality of life.

On Tuesday, March 7th, say "NO" to those willing to risk public safety.

Vote "NO" on Measure F.

s/Tony Rackauckas, Orange County District Attorney
s/James I. Cook, Chief of Police, City of Westminster
s/Tom Daly, Mayor, City of Anaheim
s/David P. Garofalo, Mayor, City of Huntington Beach
s/Dr. Judy B. Rosener, Professor, Graduate School of Management, UCI

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Created: April 13, 2000 02:34
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