On May 15, 2018, the Dana Point city council officially approved an ordinance for Dana Point district voting by a council vote of 4 in favor, 1 opposed (Debra Lewis). The move has stirred controversy throughout the city since the process began in February 2018.
It is a complex and confusing process, to be sure. Even though the final ordinance has been passed, many unanswered questions remain, but none as vexing as exactly why the process was shorter than state law requires.
Why was the change rushed to force this year’s election to be by-districts when it appears that the city could have qualified for the legal safeguard called “Safe Harbor” and still have the usual, at-large elections in 2018?
The following timeline demonstrates:
The city attorney, Patrick Muñoz, and city manager, Mark Denny, did not reply to requests for comment.
Update/Correction: The “Results” section of the above graphic is not accurate. To qualify for the “safe harbor” Dana Point was required to enact the district elections in 2018.