Update: Certified Final Official Results of the City of San Bernardino City Clerk’s General Election: Gigi Hanna by three votes.

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

The certified official results in the General Municipal Election for City of San Bernardino City Clerk are that Gigi Hanna has won by three votes:

From the San Bernardino Registrar of Voters:

Last Updated: February 13, 2012 2:31 PM
Registration & Turnout
71,881 Voters
Vote Count Percent
Precinct Turnout 12,205 16.98%
Total 12,205 16.98%

 

City Clerk, City of San Bernardino
170/170 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
GEORGEANN ”GIGI” HANNA 6,073 50.01%
AMELIA SANCHEZ-LOPEZ 6,070 49.99%
Total 12,143 100.00%
Compared to the semi-official results below, there were 13 new ballots added to turnout, and Gigi Hanna gained 8 new votes, and Amelia Sanchez Lopez gained 6 new votes.  From these numbers, there were 62 ballots that had problems, either under votes, over votes, write-ins, or spoiled ballots.  That is the same number as on the semi-official results.
Here are the previous numbers:
Last Updated: February 7, 2012 9:20 PM
Registration & Turnout
71,881 Voters
Vote Count Percent
Precinct Turnout 12,192 16.96%
Total 12,192 16.96%
City Clerk, City of San Bernardino
170/170 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
GEORGEANN ”GIGI” HANNA 6,066 50.01%
AMELIA SANCHEZ-LOPEZ 6,064 49.99%
Total 12,130 100.00%

 

There is also an automatic manual recount established by Election Code section 15360.  By law, a random sample of ballots from every election must be recounted manually to verify the computer count.  A minimum of one percent of all votes cast is included in the process.  This must occur before the election is certified.  The automatic manual recount is open to the public.  A court explained it like this:

“1 percent manual tally” is a procedure used in California to test whether there are any discrepancies between the electronic record generated by a voting machine and what is essentially a manual audit of that electronic record. Essentially, after each election, the “official conducting the election” is to conduct a “public manual tally of the ballots tabulated” by any voting machines “cast in 1 percent of the precincts chosen at random by the elections official.” (§ 15360.)  Nguyen v. Nguyen (2008) 158 Cal.App.4th 1636, 1643.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

A: 300 E. State St., Suite 517
Redlands, CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708

The Recount Process: What happens during a recount?

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

California Elections Code section 15620 et seq. governs recounts requested by voters.  Any voter may file a request for a recount pursuant to Elections Code section 15620.

As discussed before, the recount is done publicly.  California Elections Code section 15629. The voter requesting the recount should request all ballots and other relevant material (which in the case of the San Bernardino City Clerk’s election, should include the voter envelopes that were not signed and the ballots not counted, in case there is a court challenge about whether the ballots were validly voted under California law).  Elections Code section 15630 says:

All ballots, whether voted or not, and any other relevant material, may be examined as part of any recount if the voter filing the declaration requesting the recount so requests. No examination of any ballot shall include touching or handling the ballot without the express consent of the elections official or the election officer supervising the special recount board. No ballot may be touched or handled during the examination unless the elections official or the elections officer supervising the special recount is present to observe the examination. Except as provided in this section no ballot shall be touched or handled by any person during the recount unless that person is the elections official, a person acting at the direction of the elections official, a member of the special recount board, or by order of the superior court.

The observers can challenge a ballot using the procedure found in Elections Code section 15631:

On recount, ballots may be challenged for incompleteness, ambiguity, or other defects, in accordance with the following procedure:

(a) The person challenging the ballot shall state the reason for the challenge.

(b) The official counting the ballot shall count it as he or she believes proper and then set it aside with a notation as to how it was counted.

(c) The elections official shall, before the recount is completed, determine whether the challenge is to be allowed. The decision of the elections official is final.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

A: 300 E. State St., Suite 517
Redlands, CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708

The San Bernardino City Clerk’s Election Results and The Recount Process in San Bernardino County

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

The semi-official results in yesterday’s General Municipal Election for City of San Bernardino City Clerk are that Gigi Hanna won by two votes:

Last Updated: February 7, 2012 9:20 PM
Registration & Turnout
71,881 Voters
Vote Count Percent
Precinct Turnout 12,192 16.96%
Total 12,192 16.96%
City Clerk, City of San Bernardino
170/170 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
GEORGEANN ”GIGI” HANNA 6,066 50.01%
AMELIA SANCHEZ-LOPEZ 6,064 49.99%
Total 12,130 100.00%

Close elections sometimes involve recounts. It can involve a closer look to see if ballots were correctly counted by machines and if any votes counted were illegal or improperly voted.

California Elections Code section 15620 et seq. governs recounts requested by voters.  Any voter may file a request for a recount pursuant to Elections Code section 15620.  The request must be filed no later than five days after the completion of the official canvass.  The completion of the canvass occurs when the elections official signs the Certification of  Election Results.  Elections Code section 15620.

The request must be in writing, specify the contest to be recounted, and state on behalf of which candidate (in this case), slate of electors, or position on a measure it is filed.  Elections Code section 15620.  The request may specify the order in which precincts shall be recounted, it may specify the method of counting to be used, and any other relevant material to be examined.  Elections Code sections 15622, 15627, 15630.

If it is not a statewide measure, as this is not, the request needs to be filed with the county election official responsible for conducting the election.  However, the request needs to be filed with the City Clerk if it is a city election or if the city has not consolidated with the County.  Elections Code section 15620.

The election official will post a notice stating the date and place of the recount at least one day before the recount, and the candidates will be notified by overnight mail or personally.  Elections Code section 15628.

A recount is open to the public, and must start no later than seven days following the receipt of the request and shall be continued daily, except for Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, for no less than six hours a day until completed.  Elections Code sections 15626, 15629.  A manual recount must be conducted under the supervision of the election official by recount boards, (each consisting of four San Bernardino County voters), appointed by the election official.  Elections Code section 15625.  Every vote in every precinct must be recounted, or the results are null and void, and if a different candidate wins, the results of the official canvass will be changed.  Elections Code section 15632.  A copy of the results shall be posted conspicuously in the office of the election official.  Elections Code section 15633.

There is a cost associated with a recount, and the amount for this San Bernardino City Clerk General Municipal Election recount, should it occur, will depend on a variety of factors.  The election official determines the amount of the deposit necessary to cover the costs of the recount for each day.  The voter filling the request must deposit, before the start of the recount and at the beginning of each day , the amounts to cover the cost of each day.  If the results are reversed, the deposit must be returned.  Elections Code section 15624.

How much will the recount be, if one is requested?  San Bernardino County does not give the typical fees, but some other California Counties do (information was obtained from the Internet and is not necessarily reliable or up-to-date:

Santa Cruz:

COST BREAKDOWN FOR MANUAL TALLY:

  • 1 Board $240 – Supervisor Pay $325 – Cost per day $565
  • 2 Boards $480 – Supervisor Pay $500 – Cost per day $980
  • 3 Boards $720 – Supervisor Pay $675 – Cost per day $1395

Sutter:

COST AND PAYMENT
Manual Tally Recount Fees
Number of Boards Fee Per Day
1 $969.00
2 $1,674.00
3 $2,379.00

Other Costs
Item Fee
Legal Notices Actual Cost
Security Actual Cost
Computer Support $106.00/hr
Materials Actual Cost
Copy Charges Per Code/Resolution
Postage Actual Cost
County Counsel $112.00/hr
Accounting $56.57/hr

There is also an automatic manual recount established by Election Code section 15360.  By law, a random sample of ballots from every election must be recounted manually to verify the computer count.  A minimum of one percent of all votes cast is included in the process.  This must occur before the election is certified.  The automatic manual recount is open to the public.  A court explained it like this:

“1 percent manual tally” is a procedure used in California to test whether there are any discrepancies between the electronic record generated by a voting machine and what is essentially a manual audit of that electronic record. Essentially, after each election, the “official conducting the election” is to conduct a “public manual tally of the ballots tabulated” by any voting machines “cast in 1 percent of the precincts chosen at random by the elections official.” (§ 15360.)  Nguyen v. Nguyen (2008) 158 Cal.App.4th 1636, 1643.

There are court challenges available after the recount, but since the recount in this case is mere speculation, they will be discussed at a later time.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

A: 300 E. State St., Suite 517
Redlands, CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708

Voter Pamphlet in the February 7, 2012 San Bernardino City Clerk General Municipal Election

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters has the Voter Pamphlet online, including candidate statements, a copy of the ballot showing ballot position, voting instructions and a letter from San Bernardino City Clerk Rachel Clark.  The materials are in English and Spanish.

The General Municipal Election is the run-off from the Primary Municipal Election held in November 2011.  The top two candidates were Amelia Sanchez Lopez and Georgeann “Gigi” Hanna, and they are the only candidates in this race.  This is an all mail-in election, and the votes must be received by February 7, 2012.

For more coverage of the San Bernardino General Municipal election, go to sbdpolitics.com.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law.

A: 300 E. State St., Suite 517
Redlands, CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708

Mailbag: The League of California Cities Ethical Princples for City Attorneys and the San Bernardino City Attorney

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

Jeff Thurman of San Bernardino asked me this question on my Facebook page, and I told him on Facebook I would write about here at the blog:

“Would be interested in your take on CA City Attorney Code of Ethics regarding Mr. Penman’s activities in the last election.”

I do not know Jeff Thurman, I only know that he posted this on Gigi Hanna’s campaign website, which I had seen before today:

“Jeff Thurman I campaigned for David McKenna – if you’d like my help, please contact me.”

Here is some Background for people unfamiliar with the context of this election:  San Bernardino, a charter city in Southern California, had a primary election in November 2011.   David McKenna was a candidate for City Attorney in November 2011.  The incumbent, James F. Penman, won reelection.  Gigi Hanna is a candidate for City Clerk in the San Bernardino City General Election in 2012, after having been one of the top two candidates in 2011.  Amelia Sanchez Lopez was the top vote getter in the City Clerk’s race, and in the primary election, she shared elections signs with City Attorney James Penman.  City Attorney Jim Penman was first elected in 1987 and has been elected every four years since; he defeated City Attorney Ralph Prince, who first won election in 1959.  City Attorney Jim Penman’s opponents say that he is a polarizing figure, and have accused him of a variety of ills, including a lack of professionalism, including numerous ethics complaints to the State Bar of California over a number of years.  However, he has no public record of discipline by the State Bar of California

This blog is neutral politically, my only loyalty is to my clients, and I do not currently represent the City of San Bernardino, nor have I since January 2, 2006.

Mr. Thurman is asking about is not the California Rules of Professional Conduct or the California Business and Professions Code’s mandatory ethics rules and duties that each attorney in California must follow.  His reference  of “CA City Attorney Code of Ethics” is to a document properly called “Ethical Principals for City Attorneys” adopted on October 6, 2005 by the League of California Cities City Attorneys Department Business Section, and I believe (since I was at the conference as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Redlands, but I could find no citation) ratified by the City Attorney Section of the League of California Cities by a voice vote in May 2006.

There is some misunderstanding about this document, particularly in San Bernardino, and what it means.  First, the League of California Cities is not a governmental entity.  According to the League itself, the “League of California Cities is an association of California city officials who work together to enhance their knowledge and skills, exchange information, and combine resources so that they may influence policy decisions that affect cities.”

The League does wonderful work, particularly with its conferences.  I have attended a few League functions, and they are very educational.  I have been both to a League of California Cities Spring City Attorney’s Conference and the Annual Conference.  I was also the City of Redlands’ staff member for the League of California Cities, Inland Empire Division, Legislative Task Force for a period of time as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Redlands.  I also contributed to the League’s California Municipal Law Handbook by reviewing a section during my time in Redlands (the book is now published by CEB).

However, its injection into San Bernardino politics, is a red herring, for a few reasons to be discussed later.

Here is the preamble: of the Ethical Principles for City Attorneys:

Preamble

A city attorney occupies an important position of trust and responsibility within city government.  Central to that trust is an expectation and commitment that city attorneys will hold themselves to the highest ethical standards.  Every effort should be made to earn the trust and respect of those advised, as well as the community served.

The City Attorneys Department of the League of California Cities has therefore adopted these ethical principles to:

  •   Serve as an aspirational guide to city attorneys in making decisions in difficult situations,
  •   Provide guidance to clients and the public on the ethical standards to which city attorneys aspire, and
  •  Promote integrity of the city and city attorney office.

City attorneys are also subject to the State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct.  For an explanation of how the rules apply to city attorneys, please see Practicing Ethics published by the League of California Cities in 2004, available at www.cacities.org/attorneys.   These aspirational ethical principles are not an effort to duplicate or interpret the State Bar’s requirements or create additional regulatory standards.

The role of the city attorney and the client city varies.  Some city attorneys are full-time public employees appointed by a city council; some are members of a private law firm, who serve under contract at the pleasure of a city council.  A few are directly elected by the voters; some are governed by a charter.  When reflecting on the following principles, the city attorney should take these variations into account.

The city attorney should be mindful of his or her unique role in public service and take steps to ensure his or her words and deeds will assist in furthering the underlying intent of these principles.

Note the statement that these principles are “aspirational ethical principles.”   Note also that the “role of the city attorney and the client city varies.”  That is certainly the case in the relatively few cities in California which are elected City Attorneys.  There are 11, and the link to the left tells you they are San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Compton, Huntington Beach, Oakland, San Bernardino, Long Beach, San Rafael and Chula Vista.

The preamble continues a “few are directly elected by the voters” which is a grudging nod to the peculiar institution of the elected city attorney in California.

To better understand what Mr. Thurman is talking about, former City Attorney candidate Marianne Milligan alleged, both in 2007 when she was running to be City Attorney and 2011 in an opinion piece in the Sun on August 25, 2011 that City Attorney James F. Penman, provided in part (I don’t have access to the full version, and this is only part of the version that is available elsewhere on the web):

It is important that we, the voters, understand that city attorneys in California are expected to abide by ethical principles adopted by the City Attorneys Department of the League of California Cities.

This universally adopted Code of Ethics states: There should be “no politicization” of the office of city attorney and more specifically states “the city attorney or persons seeking to become city attorney should not make campaign contributions to or participate in campaigns of that city’s officials.”

Marianne Milligan was my immediate supervisor at the time that I transitioned from a Deputy City Attorney in San Bernardino to become the Assistant City Attorney for the City of Redlands, and before that we were briefly Deputy City Attorneys together in San Bernardino (though she was of higher rank).  In that time, and since, I never had any problems with her either as a boss or as a coworker.  We last spoke when she was leaving Code Enforcement in 2010 and I believe that we are on good terms though we haven’t spoken since 2010.

I think that it is unfair to categorize a document which purports to be “aspirational ethical principles” and designed for the vast majority of city attorneys that are either in-house and appointed or are outside contract attorneys as “universally adopted.”

The “aspirational ethical principles” fail to take into consideration the needs of the eleven elected City Attorneys in California. And the basic fact is that an elected official inherently is involved in politics because they are elected.  It is also incorrect to say that city attorneys in California are expected to abide by the principles; the use of the passive voice is no doubt intentional, even the preamble says that the “aspirational ethical principles are not an effort to duplicate or interpret the State Bar’s requirements or create additional regulatory standards.”

Here is the politicization principle: from the aspirational principles:

Principle 3 (No Politicization).  The city attorney should provide legal advice in a manner that avoids the appearance that the advice is based on political alignment or partisanship, which can undermine client trust.

Explanation.  The city attorney and the city attorney’s advice needs to be trusted as impartial by the entire council, staff and community. 

 

Examples
1.        The city attorney should provide consistent advice with the city’s overall legal interests in mind to all members of the city team regardless of their individual views on the issue.
2.        Each city council member, irrespective of political affiliation, should have equal access to legal advice from the city attorney, while legal work on a matter consuming significant legal resources should require direction from a council majority.
3.        The city attorney or persons seeking to become city attorney should not make campaign contributions to or participate in the campaigns of that city’s officials, including candidates running for that city’s offices or city officers running for other offices.  For private law firms serving as city attorney or seeking to become city attorney, this restriction should apply to the law firm’s attorneys.

4.         When considering whether to become involved in policy advocacy on an issue that may potentially come before the city, the city attorney should evaluate whether such involvement might compromise the attorney’s ability to give unbiased advice or create the appearance of bias.

The example in 3 shows why this does not apply to the City of San Bernardino because the City Attorney has to participate in the campaign of at least one city official, their own.  A better guide of what the City Attorney should and should not do is the Charter of the City of San Bernardino.

The Charter of the City of San Bernardino, as amended in 2004, effective in 2006 reads:

Section 55. Position – Duties – Salary. (a) The office of City Attorney shall

be a full-time position, and the incumbent shall not engage in private practice.

(b) To be eligible to hold the office of City Attorney, the person elected or

appointed shall be an attorney at law, duly licensed as such under the laws of the

State of California, and shall have been engaged in the practice of law for at least

five (5) years prior to his/her election or appointment, and shall have been a

resident and elector of the City for a period of at least thirty (30) consecutive days

next preceding the appointment or the filing of nomination papers for election to the

office.

(c) In the event a vacancy shall occur in the office of City Attorney during

his/her term, such vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the Mayor and

Common Council, which appointment shall be valid until the next general municipal

election, at which time a City Attorney shall be elected for the remainder of any

unexpired term, or for a full term in accordance with Article II of this Charter.

(d) The City Attorney shall be the chief legal officer of the City; he or she

shall represent and advise the Mayor and Common Council and all City officers in

all matters of law pertaining to their offices; he or she shall represent and appear

for the City in all legal actions brought by or against the City, and prosecute

violations of City ordinances, and may prosecute violations of State law which are

misdemeanors or infractions and for which the City Attorney is specifically granted

the power of enforcement by State law without approval of the District Attorney, or

those violations which are drug or vice related; he or she shall also act and appear

as attorney for any City officer or employee who is a party to any legal action in his

or her official capacity; he or she shall attend meetings of the City Council, draft

proposed ordinances and resolutions, give his or her advice or opinion in writing

when requested to do so in writing by the Mayor or Common Council or other City

official upon any matter pertaining to Municipal affairs; and otherwise to do and

perform all services incident to his or her position and required by statute, this

Charter or general law.

(e) The salary of the City Attorney shall be fixed by the Mayor and Common

Council, but shall not be less than seventy-five hundred dollars ($7,500.00) per

annum. He/She shall be provided with office space and equipment, and clerical

help by the City.

That is the language of the Charter of the City of San Bernardino, and that gives the incumbent City Attorney some flexibility in operating.   Former City Attorney Ralph H. Prince had one type of style, which I know only from reading old newspaper articles, hearing from former city officials and his son, and old City Attorney opinions.  Current City Attorney Penman has a different style that he calls elected watch dog”.   That style is a political decision, and if the voters do not like the style of the incumbent, they can vote the incumbent out or recall the incumbent.  They can even try to change section 55, which the City Attorney’s opponents unsuccessfully attempted with Measure C in 2010.

Remember that the aspirational principles have not been adopted by any government agency, including the State Bar of California and the California Legislature, is not a fair question.  It is reminiscent of the song lyric: “we thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong.”  The introduction of these principles were a red herring to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt in the political process  because these voluntary aspirational ethical principles are not “universally adopted” and because they should not apply to a situation like in San Bernardino.  Voters should look to Charter section 55, and to the results of the office in judging the efficacy of an elected city attorney.

The proper method for evaluating the job of an elected city attorney is whether the legal advice given to the City as an entity is sound; whether the elected city attorney has done the things promised in their campaigns, whether the elected city attorney has observed the State Bar’s ethical rules, the dictates of the Business and Professions Code and the case law related to both, whether the elected city attorney is performing the duties given to them by the city’s charter, and whether the city attorney has performed the duties required by state law.

An appointed city attorney is a different creature than an elected city attorney.  An appointed city attorney serves at the whims of elected officials.  In a general law city with a five member council is just two votes from the unemployment line, if a quorum is three.   The appointed city attorney must be political in a different way.  However, it was the appointed city attorneys writing the voluntary aspirational principles, not the elected city attorneys.

Appointed city attorneys often just want to do their job (which is “political” with a small “p”) and avoid Election Politics. They don’t want to be hit up by everyone running for election.  The preamble of the voluntary ethical aspirations states that it exists to “provide guidance to clients and the public on the ethical standards to which city attorneys aspire.”    That means that if Council member A asks the appointed City Attorney to sign her nominating petition or make a donation to the campaign, appointed City Attorney can show her the voluntary aspirational principles and politely say that it is unethical to do so.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law.

A: 300 E. State St. Suite 517
Redlands CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708

Last Minute Mailers from Amelia Sanchez-Lopez and City Attorney James F. “Jim” Penman

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

First, a disclaimer:  this site is neutral as explained in the post “Why We Try To Keep Partisan Politics Out of These Postings”  These postings are provided as a community service, and not to push a particular candidate, or slate of candidates.

These are the seventh and eighth mailers (not including slate mailers) that I have seen from incumbent City Attorney Jim Penman. Both say they they were paid for by Jim Penman for City Attorney 2011, though one has a return address for Amelia Sanchez Lopez for San Bernardino City Clerk 2011.

The first of the two mailers is a black and white mailer with the Amelia Sanchez Lopez for San Bernardino City Clerk 2o11 return address on the back.  The front says:

Candidate David McKenna joins the

Republican Assault

against Working Families!

ELECTION WARNING!

MORE LAYOFFS

Candidate David McKenna says he supports more layoffs for city workers.

Source: San Bernardino Sun – Sept. 28, 2011

UNFAIR BUDGET CUTS

Candidate David McKenna supports slashing retirement and other benefits for employees who have already been forced to accept furloughs and pay cuts. [Source: Press Enterprise Interview – Oct. 13, 2011]

“Mr. McKenna has betrayed local Democrats.

Please join the working families of the AFL-CIO, the Assoc. of Colton Educators, and the San Bernardino Public Employees Assoc. in Voting for Jim Penman on November 8th.”

~ Laurie Stalnaker, Executive Secretary/Treasurer

Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO of the San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.

To contact Jim Call (909) 882-8986 or

Email friendsopenman@yahoo.com.

The second column, taking up one quarter of the right side of the front of the mailer says:

City Attorney

Jim Penman

Fights For

Working Families!

Proudly Endorsed by

Labor and Democrats

  • Central Labor Council-AFL-CIO
  • San Bernardino Public Employees Assoc.
  • Association of Colton Educators
  • San Bernardino/Riverside Building Trades & Construction Workers
  • San Bernardino Police Officers Assoc.
  • Former Mayor Judith Valles

~ Partial List

The back of the mailer features a picture of City Clerk candidate Amelia Sanchez-Lopez.  The copy says:

Amelia Sanchez Lopez

Our Democratic Choice for City Clerk!

Endorsed by:

The AFL-CIO Central Labor Council

Former Mayor Judith Valles
Democrat

The San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee

Congressman Joe Baca

Democrat

To Contact Amelia Sanchez-Lopez call (909) 882-7085

Email: friendsofamelialopez@yahoo.com

On the front of the second of the two last-minute mailers is a letter:

Dear Fellow Citizen, [with pictures of Judith Valles, Tom Minor, and Evlyn Wilcox]
We were all honored to serve as your Mayor.
We love our community and want the best for San Bernardino’s future.
Today we are putting aside our personal political differences and joining together
in support of City Attorney Jim Penman.
Jim Penman is truly dedicated to the people of San Bernardino. He has spent his
entire adult life working to make our city a better place as a former Executive
Director of the Horne of Neighborly Service, as a firefighter, Police Commission
Chairperson, Civil Service Board member, Human Relations Commissioner,
Scout Master (Boy Scout Troop #21), PTA treasurer, as an active community
volunteer for four decades, and as our City Attorney.
Sometimes we agreed with Jim, sometimes we didn’t, but we have never doubted
his outstanding professional abilities or his sincere commitment to our
community. His office has always won the vast majority of lawsuits filed against
our City, saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
As Mayors, we worked well with the City Attorney’s office under Jim Penman’s
leadership. We appreciated his integrity and willingness to stand up for his
principles.
Jim has brought innovative leadership to his office through the use of
Administrative Civil Penalties against absentee landlords and his use of legal
injunctions to combat gang crime. Jim’s record and his close relationships with
many of our police chiefs, has earned Jim the endorsement of former Police Chief~
B. Warren Cocke and Ben Gonzales, Lee Dean and Dan Robbins, all of whom
worked closely with Jim when they headed our Police Department.
please join us in supporting City Attorney Jim Penman. He is the best choice for
San Bernardino’s future.
Judith Valles
Mayor (1993-1998)
Tom Minor
Mayor (1998-2006)
Evlyn Wilcox
Mayor (1985-1989)

The front concludes with “On NOV. 8th, RE-ELECT City Attorney Jim Penman.”

The back of the mailer reads, superimposed on a picture of a gavel:

Who do all
3 Former Mayors,  4 Police Chiefs (ret.) and
5 Superior Court J (ret.) unanimously endorse?
“Between the two candidates for City Attorney we choose Jim Penman, the
better choice, beyond a reasonable doubt. He brings competence,
integrity and commitment to
the City Attorney’s office.”
Craig S. Kamansky
Superior Court Judge (ret.)

Stanley W. Hodge

Superior Court Judge (ret.)

John Wade

Superior Court Judge (ret.)
Paul Bryant
Superior Court Judge (ret.)

Robert W. Fawke

Superior Court Judge (ret.)

Copyright 2011 Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law.

Address : 300 E. State St. Suite 517

                  Redlands CA 92373-5235
Telephone: (909) 708-6055

Who Will Win the San Bernardino City Clerk’s Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2011?

The San Bernardino City Clerks Since the 1905 Charter

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

There have been just seven San Bernardino City Clerks since 1903, when Harry Allison became City Clerk for the pre-Charter City of San Bernardino.  The original 1905 Charter of the City of San Bernardino kept the existing City Clerk until the 1907 election.  Harry Allison won that first City Clerk’s election, and served until 1911, when S.G. Batchelor became City Clerk.  John H. Osborne became City Clerk in the next election in 1915, and served as City Clerk until at least 1950.  In 1951, Jack Felton was elected City Clerk.  He served at least until 1970.  In 1971, Deputy City Clerk Lucille Goforth was elected as City Clerk.  She served until the late 1970s.  In 1979, Shauna Clark was elected City Clerk.   Rachel Mendoza Clark was elected City Clerk in 1991, and again in 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007.  She is now retiring, and one of the following will be elected City Clerk, only the eighth City Clerk since 1903: William Valle, Amelia Sanchez-Lopez, Gigi Hanna, Esther Jimenez, or Peggi Hazlett.  I would expect any of the candidates, if they win, to be in office for four or five terms, so it is important that voters examine the candidates and their positions.  Should the next City Clerk serve four terms, the time period between 1903 and 2028 (125 years), there will have been only eight City Clerks, an average of only one City Clerk for every 15.625 years.

Voters decided by an overwhelming percentage that they wanted to vote for City Clerk.  Make sure to make an informed decision on the candidate, as voters have only changed City Clerks six times since 1903.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Address : 3o0 E. State St.#517
                   Redlands, CA 92373
Telephone: (909) 296-6708

Re-Elect San Bernardino City Attorney Jim Penman 2011 Mailer Number Two

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

The second mailer from the Jim Penman for City Attorney 2011 campaign has arrived, quick on the heels of the first mailer.  This mailer is in color and is four pages long.  Here is page 1, page 2, page 3, and Page 4.

This mailer continues the themes of City Attorney Jim Penman’s election campaign.  On  the front, the mailer again emphasizes the theme  “The People’s Watchdog.”   To emphasize the point, an aggressive dog breed is draped in the American flag, and there are some clip-art animal paw prints.  Below the motto, is a graphic, in the style of a campaign sign, “City Attorney Jim Penman Integrity You Can Trust!”

The second and third pages are very busy.  Page 2 is headlined “Our Voice For Accountability.”  The main text of Page 2 reads:

City Attorney Jim Penman is dedicated to protecting the citizens of San
Bernardino and holding city leaders accountable.
The voters’ decision to reject Measure “O” and serving as the People’s
Watchdog made Jim unpopular with some politicians at City Hall. But
Jim answers TO YOU, the voters, not those politicians.

  • PROTECTING YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE

When politicians tried to take away our right to vote on city offices
last year, Jim Penman stopped them by leading the campaign to
defeat Measure C.

  •  STOPPING CORRUPTION

When city officials attempted to use their positions for personal
financial gain, Jim Penman took action. One Councilman was
forced to resign in February 2011 and others are still under
investigation.

  •  CLEANING UP BLIGHT

When slumlords ignored community concerns about blight, Jim
Penman took action. He forced them to clean up 256 slum
properties. and generated $1 million dollars in new revenues for
the city taxpayer, imposing penalties on the absentee landlords.

  •  FIGHTING CRIME

Jim wrote the city’s tough new moratorium against parolee housing
and he moved swiftly to shut down the notorious “Hudson Rave
Club” to keep drugs away from our youth.

Page 2 also has quotes from former Judge Craig Kamansky.  “I’ve known Jim Penman for many years and I have the highest regard for his integrity, his professionalism and his commitment to the community.”  Page 2 of the second mailer also repeats the quote from the first mailer from San Bernardino Police Officers Association President Steve Turner.  Above Steve Turner’s quote is a graphic stating “VOTE NO ON MEASURE C STOP CORRUPTION” with the legend “Nov. 2010 ballot measure rejected by voters by more than 60%.”

Below the Steve Turner quote is a picture of the City Attorney with a man in a jacket that says “POLICE.”

Page 3 is similar to Page 2 in design, though slightly less busy.  Its theme is “A Lifetime of Dedication” focusing on City Attorney Jim Penman’s experience.

  • MILITARY

United States Army Reserve. Member of American Legion Post 777.

  •  LAW ENFORCEMENT

As a Prosecutor, Jim has earned state-wide recognition for his
effectiveness in using injunctions and crime sweeps to crack down
on street gangs.

  •  EDUCATION

Jim served two terms as President of the Cal State San Bernardino
Alumni Association, and was A.S.B. President while an
undergraduate.

  • FIREFIGHTER

Jim worked his way through college at
Cal State San Bernardino as a Firefighter
with the Muscoy Fire Protection District.

  • Community

Jim is a long-time member of the
Kiwanis Club of San Bernardino, Elks
Lodge #836, President of the Shamrock
Club of San Bernardino and a member
of the Lutheran Church of Our Savior.
He formerly served as the Resident
Executive Director for the Home of
Neighborly Service for twelve years.

An oval to the lower left hand corner of page 3 has a quote from former Mayor Evlyn Wilcox “San Bernardino taxpayers just couldn’t ask for a better champion than City Attorney Jim Penman.  He is always there for us.  There is a picture of Jim and Judi Penman in the upper right corner of page three.  Its caption says “Jim and his wife Judi are lifelong residents of San Bernardino.”  Page 3 also lists a website of www.JimPenmanSBCityAttorney.com, but as of this post, it goes to a blank GoDaddy page.  The mailer also lists the same email as last time, friendsofpenman@yahoo.com.  The lower right hand corner of page 3 is a box that states “Re-Elect Our City Attorney Jim Penman.”

Page 4 of the mailer’s theme is “Independent Leadership . . . Integrity You Can Trust.”

It has a picture of City Attorney Jim Penman on the phone with the legend “Jim Penman, Our City Attorney” with the same contact information as in the first mailer.   Below that it says “Amelia Sanchez Lopez for City Clerk” with contact information.

In short, this mailer is an overview of City Attorney James F. Penman’s themes for this election.  It reemphasizes the “People’s Watchdog” theme of mailer number one, adds in biographical information, brings up the theme of accountability and fighting corruption again, and asks for support for City Clerk candidate Amelia Sanchez-Lopez.

Based on the FPPC Form 460 disclosures, expect slate mailers supporting City Attorney Penman and additional mailers as the election and early voting approaches.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Address : 300 E. State St. Suite 517

                  Redlands CA 92373-5235
Telephone: (909) 708-6055

The First Re-Elect Jim Penman Mailer In the 2011 San Bernardino City Attorney’s Election

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

The first mailer from the Jim Penman for City Attorney 2011 campaign was mailed last week.   Here is the front and the back.

This mailer focuses on the themes of City Attorney Penman’s reelection campaign.  On  the front, the mailer emphasizes the overarching theme of the campaign “THE PEOPLE’S WATCHDOG AT CITY HALL.”   The front features the pictures of five supporters and a quote from Steve Turner, the President of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association.  Counterclockwise, the supporters include City Clerk candidate and Planning Commissioner Amelia Sanchez-Lopez; Joe Solis and Mary Solis who are listed as “Verdemont Community Leader;” Victorville attorney and former Judge Stanley Hodge ; and finally small business owner and former San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce President Jack Hill.  The quote from the San Bernardino Police Officers Association President Steve Turner says “San Bernardino Police Officers proudly support City Attorney Penman.  He is an effective partner with Law Enforcement in working to combat crime.”   The front also gives contact information: “To contact Jim call (909) 882-8986 or email: friendsofpenman@yahoo.com

The back of the mailer has in large yellow block letters on a black background “San Bernardino Residents Speak Out: “Thank You Jim Penman!”  This side of the mailer has photographs of other supporters and family members: Again, it leads off with Verdemont Community Leaders Joe Solis and Mary Solis and their children; Oscar Gonzalez and Evelyn Wilson from the 2nd Ward; 4th Ward supporters Jim Smolders and Cathy Smothers and Kathy Toy and John Toy; San Bernardino firefighter and 4th Ward resident Nathan Lopez; City Fine Arts Commissioner and 7th Ward Resident Donna Howard, and a picture of City Attorney Penman with his granddaughter, a resident of the 1st Ward.

City Attorney Jim Penman’s mailer shows a range of ethnic, age and geographical diversity.  He has identified residents of the voting wards, the 4th, 5th, and 7th Wards.  He also pictures residents of the 1st, and 2nd Wards.  If any of the people pictured live in the 3rd Ward or 6th Ward, they are not mentioned.  Neither is a particular hotbed of support for City Attorney Penman, but no doubt he has supporters in those wards.

The quotes on the front further support the themes of City Attorney Jim Penman’s reelection campaign: City Clerk candidate Amelia Sanchez-Lopez says “Our community can count on Jim Penman to stand with us.  He isn’t afraid to speak out against dishonest politicians.”  This touches on City Attorney Penman’s theme of being a City Hall watchdog and fighting corruption within San Bernardino City Hall.  Attorney Stanley Hodge says “As San Bernardino’s Independent City Attorney, Jim Penman wrote the City’s moratorium against parolee housing and took swift action to close the controversial Hudson Theater, ending the teen drug activity at that location.”  This illustrates the campaign of using the tools available to the City Attorney to fight crime.  This is important for the City Attorney’s campaign to note because the San Bernardino City Attorney’s Office does not prosecute state crime misdemeanors like some other City Attorney’s Offices.  Joe and Mary Solis touch on the theme of responsiveness and the theme of the people’s watchdog at City Hall: “Jim is very responsive to the concerns of our neighborhoods.  We couldn’t ask for a stronger champion as City Attorney.  He helped us stop several group homes in the fifth ward.”  Former Chamber President Jack Hill praises the City Attorney’s track record: “Jim has always been there to support our community.  He’s truly dedicated to making San Bernardino a batter place for all of us.”

In all, this is the first mailer you would expect from the campaign.  The City Attorney has featured newer supporters, has emphasized his support from local public safety by featuring the quote from the San Bernardino Police Officers Association and the picture of Firefighter Nathan Lopez, features recent accomplishments like the Hudson Theater injunction, and is very positive.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Address : 300 E. State St. Suite 517

                  Redlands CA 92373-5235
Telephone: (909) 708-6055