The Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on June 17 to put the pension-killing initiative on the November ballot, after County Counsel, Leroy Smith found the initiative to be illegal.
This seemingly contradictory position comes as the Board felt that based on state law it had to either put the initiative on the November ballot or to adopt the initiative.
After the Board voted to put the initiative on the ballot there was a second Board item that asked the Board members to vote on whether the County would take a position on any subsequent lawsuits related to the initiative. Supervisor Peter Foy was the only Board member who voted against this item. Foy is a key proponent of the initiative and is also the California state chairman of Americans For Prosperity, a Koch Brothers backed national organization. The Board vote means that the County will take the position that the initiative is illegal.
During discussion on this item, the Board asked lawyer Deborah Caplan, who spoke earlier, if she intended to file a suit today on behalf of Citizens for Retirement Security (CRS) and she indicated that a lawsuit would be filed. CRS is a coalition of labor and community members that includes SEIU 721.
SEIU 721 County of Ventura retiree, Christine Will, spoke and pointed out that many initiative petition signers had little or no information on what they were signing and that they certainly didn’t know it was proposing something illegal. This sentiment was reiterated by a couple of Board of Supervisors as well during their comments on the item.
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- Supervisors put pension initiative on ballot, call it illegal (VC Star)
- VC PENSION MEASURE HEADED TO VOTERS, COURT (KVTA on Facebook)