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By Daniel Ritz
Dana Point City Attorney Patrick Munoz gave a presentation to Dana Point City Council during its Feb. 20 meeting as they considered adopting a Resolution of Intention pursuant to transition from an at-large election system to a district-based election system.
Munoz explained that Dana Point would be able to maintain “safe-harbor” status due to an Elections Code amendment made by California Legislature in 2016 that states a city is given 45 days from reception to respond to a demand letter, after which the potential plaintiff is prohibited from filing a California Voter’s Choice Act action for an additional 90-day period.
City staff’s recommendation to take advantage of the “safe-harbor” provisions by adopting the proposed resolution and process of voluntarily implementing a by-district election system passed unanimously.
Toward the end of his presentation, Munoz made it clear that adoption of a resolution would affirm, but not commit, Dana Point’s City Council’s intention to adopt a by-district election system.
The resolution includes a tentative timeline for implementing the necessary five public meetings. In accordance with the 90-day time limit, this timeline proposes holding public hearings at City Council meetings March 6 thru May 1.