Oaks Project Condemns Santa Monica City Council Attempt to Derail Voter-Approved Reform
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May 22, 2001

CONTACT: Carmen Balber - 310-392-0522, x320

Oaks Project Condemns Santa Monica City Council Attempt to Derail Voter-Approved Reform

Citizen Group Refutes City Attorney's Unfounded Claims that LL is Unconstitutional
Fredric Woocher, attorney with the Santa Monica-based Strumwasser and Woocher, delivered a letter on behalf of the Oaks Project today to the Santa Monica City Council demanding the immediate implementation of Proposition LL. Proposition LL, the anti-kickback initiative qualified for the ballot by all volunteers and endorsed by the Sierra Club and Common Cause, received 59% of Santa Monica voters’ support in the November 2000 election.

Proposition LL, the Taxpayer Protection Amendment, is now law in Santa Monica, as it is in several cities across California. However, the Santa Monica City Council continues their opposition to the new law and is considering using taxpayer money to initiate a court case to challenge the constitutionality of the measure.

In the letter, Woocher declared to the City Council that it is "completely false and erroneous for the City Attorney to repeatedly assert – and to use as the premise for her advice to the Council – that the Oaks-sponsored initiative ‘has been declared unconstitutional elsewhere.’" The San Diego Superior Court decision on which the City Attorney was basing this assertion was reversed and vacated.

Woocher further denounced the City Council for challenging the will of the voters. "If any public officials believe that they cannot in good conscience implement or obey the law, then they should resign from office. They simply do not have the freedom to pick and choose which city laws they will of will not implement."

Woocher also objected strenuously to any taxpayer money being spent to challenge the initiative. "Any expenditure of taxpayer dollars to challenge rather than to defend the constitutionality of the laws enacted by the voters of the City will subject those who authorize those expenditures to personal liability for the misuse of public resources."

Oaks Project volunteers will be at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting to express public outrage at the City Council's delays and their consideration of using public funds to challenge the measure.

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