Court of Appeal Dashes Bryan Pease’s Hope for San Diego City Council General Election

by on August 21, 2018 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Colleen Cochran

The Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s ruling that Lorie Zapf, incumbent and winner of the San Diego City Council District 2 primary, is eligible to seek reelection in the November 2018 general election. The court made its decision last Friday, August 17.

Attorney Bryan Pease, third place finisher in that primary, appealed the Superior Court’s ruling in hopes of being declared the next eligible candidate for nomination to the general election.

He argued that a provision of the city charter precluded Zapf from serving a third term as council member because she already served two consecutive terms while residing in District 2. Seventy-five percent of San Diego voters enacted term limits in 1992.

This section 12(c) provision states “no person shall serve more than two consecutive four-year terms as a Council member from any particular district.”

When redistricting took effect in September of 2011, Zapf’s Bay Ho residence in District 6 became part of District 2. She thus remotely represented District 6 from her District 2 residence for the majority of her 2010-2014 first term in office. The city charter in effect at the time allowed for such occurrence in the case of redistricting. She served from District 2 when she represented District 2 during her present second term in office.

Pease argued that the word “from” as used in the charter clearly references place of residence because should a council member willfully move residence to outside of the district he or she represents, such action serves to forfeit the seat.

The appeals court refused to isolate the word “from” or the phrase “from any particular district.” It determined that the charter language must be read in the context of the entire charter scheme. It looked at other relevant city charter provisions that set focus on the district that elected that member and on whose behalf that member serves, not on a council person’s place of residence.

It decided “The term limit provision regulates the number of terms an incumbent may serve on behalf of the electors of a given district and is not solely dependent on residency.”

In November, San Diego voters will have the opportunity to vote on a measure to impose a lifetime limit of two terms for service on the council. If approved, it will go into effect in 2020.

District 2 voters will choose between Lorie Zapf and second top vote-getter Dr. Jennifer Campbell for the City Council seat. Bryan Pease will not be a contender.

Colleen Cochran is a legal editor and a San Diego-based coordinator for Food & Water Watch, an energy and environment advocacy group based in D.C.


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: