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Troubling Timeline On Term Limit Changing BBB. Here's What Mayor/Auditor/City Att'y Did And How They Did It In Putting BBB On The Ballot And What's Happened Now is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(November 1, 2018, 2:25 p.m.) -- Below is a timeline of salient actions by Mayor Robert Garcia, City Auditor Laura Doud and City Attorney Charles Parkin that brought term-limits changing Measure BBB to the November 6 ballot, along with salient actions thereafter.

[Scroll down for further.]

May 31, 2018 After re-election to new terms (ultimately with all Council incumbents seeking re-election in 2018), Mayor Garcia and City Auditor Doud sign a joint letter announcing proposed Charter Amendments they describe as "good government" measures that include "strengthening our term limit laws."

June 12, July 17, August 7: The City holds three minimally required hearings on the Mayor/Auditor proposed Charter Amendments. At no point during the hearings does the City Attorney publicly mention that under state law, term limits measures may only apply prospectively. The Mayor doesn't mention this, nor does the City Auditor, nor do any Councilmembers.



Aug. 7: The Council votes 9-0 to put the term limits measure on a special citywide Nov. 6 ballot and directs the City Attorney to prepare an impartial analysis of the measure.

August 17 The deadline for submitting direct ballot arguments pro and con elapses.

August 18 The City Attorney's "impartial analysis" becomes publicly visible during a legally required public examination period and states in pertinent part:

[Salient portion of City Attorney impartial analysis text]...The proposed measure would provide that during his or her lifetime, a person may serve no more than three terms, as further defined in the measure, as Mayor, and no more than three terms as City Councilmember. From the November 6, 2018, general municipal election and for all future elections, any write-in candidacy will count towards the three-term limit. The proposed measure would further prohibit any candidate for the office of Mayor who has served three terms or City Councilmember who has served three terms from running as a write-in candidate. Under state law, term limits measures may only apply prospectively.


August 27 The time for submitting rebuttal ballot arguments pro and con ends.

August 29 The public examination period for direct ballot arguments and the City Attorney's impartial analysis ends

Sept. 7 The public examination period for rebuttal arguments ends (closing the window in which court challenges to election materials might be filed.)

Sept. 27: Sample ballots are mailed.



Oct. 5 A non-lawyer, Ann Cantrell, emails the following inquiry to City Attorney Parkin (cc'd to the Mayor and all Councilmembers):

In reading the ballot arguments for the proposed charter amendments, I was puzzled by this sentence in your analysis of Measure BBB: "Under state law, term limits measures may only apply prospectively".

Will you please tell me -- and other voters -- what this means and how it applies to this measure? My dictionary defines 'prospective' as in the future, with no definition for the adjective.

October 6 Retired Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, who is an attorney and publicly opposes Measure BBB, publishes an article on her OpenUpLongBeach website titled, "OpenUpLongBeach Discovers Bombshell About Measure BBB," explicitly citing CA Government Code section 36502(b) which requires that any term limits provision may only apply to terms served after the effective date of the measure. Ms. Schipske writes on Oct. 6: "This means that should Measure BBB pass, this current Mayor and City Council will be allowed to seek 12 more years in office. No wonder they are pushing so hard for its passage!"

Oct. 8: The City Attorney's office issues the following statement which publishes in full:

[City Attorney Parkin Oct. 8 statement] Government Code section 36502(b) requires term limits to be prospective. Since 1992, the City of Long Beach has had a two-term limit for City Council and Mayor candidates. If someone has served two full terms subject to that limit, the current Charter section applies. This means that any former or current Mayor or Council member who has served two full terms as a non-write-in candidate would be eligible to run for and be elected to only one additional term if Measure BBB passes.

The current Charter section, does not limit the number of write-in terms. In order to keep the application of Measure BBB prospective, a current or former Council member who has served two full terms and any number of write-in terms would be eligible to run for one additional term.

Oct 31: The LB Reform Coalition PAC which opposes BBB releases an opinion letter from attorney Gautam Dutta (a Yale undergrad/Georgetown law school grad) whose law firm handles matters an opinion letter stating that he believes Measure BBB would let incumbent Mayor Robert Garcia and current two-term Council members serve up to 12 more years -- a third, fourth and fifth terms in addition to the two terms to which they've already been elected -- not one additional term as contended by Mayor Garcia and the City Attorney.

Contacted for follow-up Q & A by, attorney Dutta further indicated that Measure BBB could lead to litigation in which the incumbent Mayor or Councilmembers could sue the City and assert the right to three more terms and if he/she prevails would not only be allowed to pursue and serve the additional three terms but also recover attorney fees from the City (meaning LB taxpayers.) To launch audio of's Q & A (4:56), click here..

Vote by mail ballots, and mailers from a Garcia-Doud titled "Good Government" campaign committee (in support of AAA-DDD) and the Reform Coalition PAC (in opposition to BBB) have been flying since early October. The campaigns' respective contributors are visible in Follow the Money coverage here. Election day is November 6.


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