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Public Comments

From: Mark Jones
Date: February 13, 2018 at 10:15:54 AM

To: Wendy Bucknum
Subject: District Voting

Hi Wendy,

Some much going on in our city.  Thank you for your continued and active service.

Not sure where you are on this District vs. At-Large voting issue.

Here are my humble thoughts...

As a citizen of this wonderful city, I often think of the great people we have leading our city government. I also have seen how difficult it is when folks with limited or no professional management experience get elected.  It becomes a drain on our collective energy and stifles any positive momentumwe have to tackle the difficult issues we face as a community.

It comes down to getting the most qualified, professional and thoughtful individuals on the ballot.  The City Council position is a demanding one.  While ANY individual has the right to run, a very small, I'd say tiny percentage have the "Right Stuff" to do the job well.  These local elections have a very small universe in which to select these rare individuals.  Rare in that they posses the qualities of thoughtfulness, professionalism, respectfulness, and most importantly can work as a team to get things done!

The major downside to District voting is it further shrinks that universe even further.  It provides the opportunity for those of marginal skills and abilities to run and get elected only based on geography.  Thus providing very limited options for the public.  If a district happens to have several excellent candidates and another has none then this opens the door to getting a sub-optimal City Council!

I for one want the best a brightest candidates and City Council.  Therefore, I support the current AT-LARGE model.

Mark Jones

From: Ted Olsen
Date: February 12, 2018 at 7:04:44 PM

To: wbucknum@cityofmissionviejo.org
Subject: District Not Needed

I feel that having voting Districts pits one area against another in representation and is not needed in a small city such as ours.

Ted Olsen

From: "Cole, Alexandra"
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 6:08 PM

To: "William P. Curley III" wcurley@lozanosmith.com
Subject: Re: Proposed Districting Maps for Mission Viejo

Mr. Curley: 

As a resident of Mission Viejo, I would like to provide citizen input into the process for potential district based City Council elections.

I am aware of the district criteria: 1. Equal population (within 5% per district); 2. Contiguity; 3. Compactness, and; 4. Communities of interest.

Each of the maps for public comment seem to fit the criteria of equal population and representation of a protected class (Latino population). However, they differ with respect to Communities of interest.

Map A and Map L split Aegean Hills into two voting districts. This violates the communities of interest requirement given that Aegean Hills is: 1. in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District; 2. in the El Toro Water District, and; 3. not part of Lake Mission Viejo. Should any issues come before the Council having to do with Education, water or Lake related issues, representation of residents in Agean Hills would see their representation diluted. For that reason I ask that you eliminate those two maps from consideration as they clearly violate the Communities of Interest requirement.

While the maps provided provide some information with respect to race and ethnicity, I also looked at factors such as poverty and lack of health insurance. As the city has discussed issues involved with an increase in the homeless population and and increase in the uninsured population, it also makes sense to see which communities might be more affected and thus also might be under represented in district elections. I have attached two maps which use census data to estimate areas of higher poverty and uninsured populations [please see attached]. 

Keeping these factors in consideration, I would like to propose Map G best fulfills the criteria as laid out by the City Attorney. 

I therefore ask the City Attorney as well as the City Council to support proposed district map G for the drawing of Districts in a Mission Viejo district election system.

Alexandra Cole

From: Paul Swanson
Date: January 26, 2018 at 16:47:35 PST

I think representative districts is a good idea.  I would like a local councilman to contact from my area of the city.  I think it should be required that anyone who runs must live in the district they represent. I think any Gerrymandering to pack an area with a certain type of voter should be avoided. The districts should be geographical rather than some silly demographic plan.

From: Bob Ollry
Date: January 25, 2018 at 11:05 AM PST

To: Kandace M. Hawkins <khawkins@lozanosmith.com>
Subject: RE: Memo to CVRA Residents Team

I have spoken to 45 neighbors on the North end of Mission Viejo over the course of the past month.

  • This group consisted of all different ethnic backgrounds, a combination of male and female residents and not one of these folks felt there was any racially polarized voting in our City.
  • We all felt our city is racially diverse but also well integrated.
  • Most of this group would prefer the council and Mayor represent all of us and not a specific district which is one reason they oppose going that route.
  • The majority of this group was also in favor of pushing back on this request from the out of town law firm that initiated it.
  • One other concern many had was if we choose to fight this request and we join in with other cities, that the current situation in those other cities does not hurt our cause vs helping it ie: they are not as integrated as Mission Viejo is.

From: "Early, Timothy"
Date: January 22, 2018 at 10:07:57 PM PST

To: "'wbucknum@cityofmissionviejo.org'"
Subject: Districts

We do not need districts… this will just create political issues as one district fights another via the council. Council members need to be accountable to all city residents and not just a section.
This is another way to have the wealthy areas dominate the poorer areas.
Thank you

Tim, Mission VIejo

From: "Jim McGlinn"
Date: Friday, January 19, 2018

To: "William P. Curley III" <wcurley@lozanosmith.com>
Subject: Mission Viejo Information


Please see my input on the Mission Viejo project.  Spreadsheet attached.

I have followed all the City Council Meetings and the Public Hearings to date.  It is disappointing that more individuals are not participating or concerned.  One thing our City needs to do is "think" differently about getting information to the residents.

The City website, Council members newsletters and the little articles in the OC Register are great.  Generally, individuals do not go to these sources for their important news or information.   Think differently for a moment.

Why not mail a letter? Why not e-mail? Get help from the HOA's. Use Churches or Civic organizations to get information out. For example, St Kilian's Catholic Church may have 25,000 members. An one page letter included with the weekly bulletin would go a long way.   Add in all the other Church groups  and you quickly get to +75,000 members.

Reverse 911 calls. I am not being critical, we need to try to change "the way we always do things".

Good Luck to you and the team.  We appreciated the hard work and creative thinking required.

We support you and our City officials in this project.

Jim & Sue McGlinn

Submitted by Larry Gilbert on January 16, 2018

Although we can refute discrimination in our council elections I hereby submit the following two maps to address the "protected class" voters in Mission Viejo.

[Submitted] are two proposed maps if and when districting becomes a solution. If districts are mandated to address the allegatio nthe following five district maps will provide two separate and segregated districts (3 & 5) in one submission and (4 & 5) in the second proposed map to address this issue. Note: see maps H and I under "Districting Maps."

Submitted by Joe Tully on January 16, 2018

I am against establishing voting districts in Mission Viejo. Although we have many minorities in our city, for the most part they are fairly evenly scattered throughout our community and have been elected to office.

The threat of a potential lawsuit has been brought forward to protect the Latino minority in our city. There are two general areas in our city that have a small density increase of Latinos compared to the rest of Mission Viejo

The map that the city of Mission Viejo has produced as a starting point for designing voting districts, appears to be a blatant example of intentionally maintaining the status quo. It is insufficient in meeting the requirements that the potential lawsuit addresses.  This may be viewed as racial gerrymandering and it blatantly breaks the rule that voting blocks are to be adjacent of one another.

As previously stated, I don't believe any minorities have a distinct voting disadvantage. However, a court required districting decision would likely identify two voter areas making two of five districts "Latino". With a districting requirement such as this, I have produced one proposed drawing with supporting documentation that addresses the potential lawsuit (contact city clerk's office for supporting documentation.) In addition, I have also provided three more potential five district maps without gerrymandering.  These maps provide a solution for the long term benefit of our community that eliminate political or racial gerrymandering.  Note: see maps D, E, F and G under "Districting Maps."

Submitted by Larry Gilbert on January 14, 2018 - 8:15am

In the next few weeks the city of Mission Viejo will submit a proposed map for consideration of changing to district" voting. Reflecting back to my application for the Citizens Redistricting Commission we were asked to respond to two essay questions. First. "Please describe why you are interested in serving on the Citizens Redistricting Commission" (in approximately 500 words). My concerns at that time apply today should the City retain map Z as covered in my prior posts. Here are the first two paragraphs of my 3/28/10 response to that first question:

"We need to fix a broken system in which not one party lost seats after the 2000 census due to gerrymandered Districts by the 2001 legislature. Self-serving incumbency protection should not trump voters right to a healthy representative democracy.

Reviewing election results in our state Senate, covering the past decade, confirms that only once did a party lose control of a Senate seat---the 18th SD. Incumbent Senator (D) Jack O'Connell decided to run  for Superintendent of Public Instruction and prevailed  in November 2002 .The Democratic Party did not enter an 18th SD candidate in 2002 to retain that seat .This enabled Republican Roy Ashburn to capture that Bakersfield area seat which still remains in Republican control.

Term limits is not the solution. With the exception of the 24th SD Senator Gloria Romero, none of the senators holding office since the last redistricting are still in office. That being said each party has successfully retained their seats."

In closing. If we do not break up draft Map Z we will end up with incumbents in each of the proposed districts where they will have the advantage of incumbency and, at the same time, not have to compete against each other as we have since forming our city in 1988.

Case in point. In 2014 Ed, Greg and Wendy competed for their current seats. If the Map is not changed Ed and Greg will not face off in future elections.

The City attorney urged us to encourage submission of maps for consideration. I'm in the process of drafting my own which will be submitted this week. If residents fail to do so they might argue that we simply do not care about gerrymandered districts.

Submitted by Larry Gilbert on January 13, 2018 - 1:17pm

Last night we attended a California Voting Rights Act workshop that was presented in the Mission Viejo City Hall council chambers by our City attorney who is a contract employee.

On September 29th the city received a letter from attorneys Shenkman and Hughes alleging violation of the California Voting Rights Act. They claim that "voting within Mission Viejo is racially polarized, resulting in minority vote dilution." In response the city council has taken the initial step to avoid litigation by educating the public on District versus at-large voting. There is a ticking clock that relates to the initial complaint. We are currently in what is called a Safe Harbor. The deadline for the next step is January 22 after which time we are exposed 4 litigation.

During the hour and a half Workshop resident Joe Tully question the City attorney on reviewing Latino voting to see if that data might show that they voted for the successful candidate showing that there is no voting disparity in our community. City attorney Curley said that's right, we are mining data now that we are supposed to have tonight. Folks the Registrar of Voters has available list of every registered voter in the city. That list, which anybody can access, has the street address, the names of the registered voters living in that residence, their party registration, ages, gender and voting history. We use that data to locate High propensity voters in campaigns. What the data will never show is whom we voted for. Therefore the City attorney misled Mr. Tully with his answer.

In my presentation I agreed with a City attorney that we are all busy in December which was his excuse for delaying the process of this activity. However, I stated we are almost halfway into January yet there are only 11 residents in the chambers not counting three council members. Six of those 11 residents are friends of mine who were there to get the latest update. With over 50,000 registered voters in Mission Viejo this indicates either a poor job of informing the public or voter apathy. I fault the city for not getting a representative of the Orange County Register to attend, in that the meeting was not televised. I did speak to the City Clerk who confirmed that fact but stated that the audio will be on the City website.

So once again we limit the amount of exposure of this "gerrymandered" map Z that the City attorney said is just a starting point. I believe at a council meeting City attorney Curley said it was a staff decision to preserve the status quo. How do you define status quo? Each of the five council members will not have to compete against each other by making sure they were not in the same draft "district" or we have five council members so we will create 5 rather than 7 or 9 districts. To be status quo was demonstrated by the draft map Z where 3-4 council members are living minutes apart yet are in five different proposed districts. You decide.

Submitted by Gail Reavis on January 12, 2018 - 7:00pm

I don't think we should or need districts. We have had 4 Hispanics on the Council and Mayor. If we end up going to districts, #1 mapping should be done with a blindfold without special consideration for any or all Council Members. The current draft map is gerrymandering. SCRAP the current draft map.

Submitted by Kathy Dittner on January 12, 2018 - 6:30pm

I do not think we need to bow to a lawsuit that threatens us with an accusation that our city is racist if we do not divide up our city. I feel we need to challenge the lawsuit and not be bullied into capitulate.

Submitted by Kathy Dittner on January 12, 2018 - 6:30pm

I do not think we need to bow to a lawsuit that threatens us with an accusation that our city is racist if we do not divide up our city. I feel we need to challenge the lawsuit and not be bullied into capitulate.

Submitted by Carolyn Kruebbe on December 22, 2017 - 8:29am

I was going to write EXACTLY what Frank wrote. Let's have some transparency about what brought this about.

Submitted by Alan Dougherty on December 21, 2017 - 8:05pm

Districts are the way to go.

Submitted by Frank Nikkhou on December 21, 2017 - 7:01pm

It would be interesting to see who is funding the litigation by this Malibu-based law firm and what is the motivation behind it. I am not pro or against this possible change yet, but would like to get myself educated, before I make a decision.

Submitted by Sharon Cody on December 21, 2017 - 5:09pm

Lets go to court. It is ridiculous that an outside law firm is telling our citizen that we MUST change to districts rather than at-large elections.

From: Jo Anne Simon
Date: November 17, 2017 at 8:55:07 AM PST

To: <citycouncil@cityofmissionviejo.org>

Subject: At-Large vs District-Based City Council Elections

Mayor Bucknum, Mayor Pro Tem Sachs, and Council Members Raths, Goodell, and Kelley,

As 40 year residents of Mission Viejo we strongly support the current at-large election process large rather than gerrrymandering ourselves into districts.

Bob & Jo Anne Simon

From: Anna Marie Cwieka
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 9:41 AM

To: Karen Hamman

Subject: Voting Districts

I'd like to chime in on the topic of voting districts.  I am opposed. 

While I can appreciate having a voting district for an area as geographically spread out as CUSD, I cannot for Mission Viejo.  Yes, we are somewhat spread out but I don't think the issues change all that substantially regardless of where you live.  From my perspective, ALL of the Council needs to represent ALL of the City.  We don't need intentionally designed divisiveness.

That said, there is an "older" section of Mission Viejo (original tracts many with long time, older homeowners and many that are now rentals) and "newer" neighborhoods (think Pacific Park, Califia with homeowners associations that manage landscaping, etc.).  They have different needs but from a macro standpoint, one affects the other in terms or property values as a whole.  I need the entire council focused on these issues, not just one segment being territorial against the other.
From a business (tax) standpoint, we can't just look at the mix within a small area.  We need to look at the big picture - and then we need to look at the even bigger picture of our adjacent communities.  I choose which Kohls or Target I am going to on any given day by other errands I have to run....not what city they are located in.  Our retail mix needs to be addressed from a regional perspective.

In summary, voter districts make sense for certain entities but not Mission Viejo City Council.


Anna Marie Cwieka
Mission Viejo Resident for 28 years

From: "Michael Ferrall"
Date: November 14, 2017 at 6:38:41 PM PST

To: "'Ed Sachs"
Subject: council districts
Ed: The important Council agenda topic. I  want to let you and other members know that I am strongly opposed to council districts being created. We do not want the city to be divided by racial or ethnic factors. I likely will not be able to attend the meeting tonight, but will try to make my views known to the other council members also. I assume that no final decision will be made on the issue tonight.

From: CA Schlicht
Date: Friday, November 10, 2017 2:51 PM

To: Robert Schick 
Subject: Records Request - District Voting Outreach

 On 10/24/17, the city attorney stated from the dais that the city was “starting tomorrow with public outreach.” What steps has the city made since 10/25/17 for public outreach. Thank you, Cathy. 

This email is in response to the Public Records Act request that you placed regarding “District Voting Outreach” and for “what steps has the city made since 10/25/17 for public outreach?”  While there is no applicable record on file as to “steps,” you may wish to visit the following links to pages on the City website about Mission Viejo Districting and to the article concerning scheduling public hearing 1 of 5.