San Bernardino County Sues to Usurp Vote of the People

December 8, 2020 By Stephen Frank – Mirrored from Capital Review

This is why voters hate to vote and have no trust of government. On November 3, by a two to one margin the people of San Bernardino cut the pay of Supervisors to $60,000 a year, including benefits and termed them out after one, four year term.

Now the Board is taking the voters to court, saying it is not fair. Seriously!! Instead of accepting the vote, using tax dollars, they are suing the voters and taxpayers of their county.

“San Bernardino County is suing to stop a voter-approved measure that would slash county supervisors’ pay and limit them to only one term in office.

Measure K passed with a ratio of more than 2-to-1 in Nov. 3 election results that were certified this week. It promised to cut each of the five county supervisors’ total compensation — pay and benefits combined — to $60,000 and limit them to a single term in office.

That is a cut from $242,000 a year, including benefits!! That is why the people revolted. Why vote if the politicians go to court to overturn your decisions?

According to Ryan Hagen with the Press Enterprise in his article titled, San Bernardino County sues to stop newly approved Measure K, which cuts supervisor salaries:

San Bernardino County is suing to stop a voter-approved measure that would slash county supervisors’ pay and limit them to only one term in office.

Measure K, which was sponsored by the Red Brennan Group, passed with a ratio of more than 2-to-1 in Nov. 3 election results that were certified this week. It promised to cut each of the five county supervisors’ total compensation — pay and benefits combined — to $60,000 and limit them to a single term in office.

Based on the language of the measure, the pay cut — from a minimum of $242,000 in pay and benefits that each supervisor makes now — could become effective as early as the certification of the election.

See related detailed article

Supervisors Sue Their Own Clerk To Block Voter-Mandated Cuts To Their Pay – The San Bernardino County Sentinel, December 4, 2020

Update: December 18, 2020

THE RED BRENNAN GROUP INTERVENES TO DEFEND VOTERS’ INTERESTS IN MEASURE K LAWSUIT

Office of County Counsel Refuses to Defend Measure Approved by Supermajority of Voters
Friday 18 December 2020

On Friday afternoon, San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge David Cohn approved a motion by The Red Brennan Group to intervene in a lawsuit targeting Measure K, a local government reform effort passed by voters in the November election. Approved by a “supermajority” of over 66% of county voters the initiative set total compensation for an elected supervisor to $60,000 per year. This figure reflects the median household income of county residents. The measure also limits an elected supervisor to one, four-year term.
Once the election results were certified, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, using taxpayer dollars, contracted with an outside law firm to sue the County’s own Clerk of the Board. Symbolically, this lawsuit is the Board’s way of suing their own citizens over Measure K. The initial motion requested a Temporary Restraining Order directed at the Clerk that would prohibit any effort to implement the law.
The Office of County Counsel is responsible to defend both the Clerk of the Board and vigorously defend the law on behalf of San Bernardino County voters. However, as demonstrated both in court filings and in open court discussion, County Counsel refuses to undertake either responsibility. The result is that an initiative approved by over 66% of county voters would be ignored by the very same elected officials sworn to protect the voters’ interests.
The county’s actions are particularly perplexing when viewed from the perspective of shepherding tax-payer resources. The Board of Supervisors is using tax-payer funding to pay an outside law firm $400 to $600 per hour to block a measure approved by a majority of voters in the county. At the same time, taxpayers fund the Office of County Counsel to the tune of $12.7 million per year. There are 107 employees in the County Counsel’s office all supervised by Michelle D. Blakemore who earned nearly $450,000 in total compensation last year. Yet County Counsel refuses to defend Measure K in court!
The Red Brennan Group and the Inland Oversight Committee stepped into the gap. Attorneys from each organization filed motions of intervention to defend both the measure’s proponent and voters’ interest in the matter.
Friday’s hearing started in Judge Cohn’s court and ended in front of Judge Donald Alvarez. Judge Cohn, in accordance with settled law, approved The Red Brennan Group’s motion to intervene. The group’s attorney followed this approval with an immediate request to “paper” Judge Cohn. This is a legal procedure where a party that “…believes that he or she cannot have a fair and impartial trial or a hearing before the judge” is allowed to shift the case to a different judge.
After moving to the new venue, Judge Alvarez delayed further rulings on the case and scheduled a hearing for the 28th of January.
For more information contact:
Natalie Zuk
(909) 206-2826
info@redbrennan.org
www.redbrennan.org

Article Links

12-11-2020 – Their Own Lawyers Suggest Current & Past Supervisors Owe Taxpayers $3.64 Million

12-18-2020 – Granted Intervention, Red Brennan Group Papers Judge In Suit To Vacate Measure K