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Appeals Court Rejects Lawyer’s Ballot Measures

VENTURA, Calif. (CN) - The city of Ojai is not required to consider a pair of ballot initiatives proposed by an attorney, despite a strong public policy for putting initiatives before voters, because the measures are unconstitutional, the California Courts of Appeal ruled.

Jeff Furchtenicht submitted a pair of ballot initiatives to Ojai City Council. One directed the council to consider the deterrent of further expansion of chain stores into the city. The other ordered the council to improve affordable housing within the city.

City attorney Monte Widders replied that he would refuse to prepare ballot language for Furchtenicht's proposals because they did not propose actual legislation.

Justice Perren agreed with the trial court's declaration that Widders did not have to prepare the ballot initiatives.

"Furchtenicht made no meaningful effort to oppose Widders' request for a stay of his duty," Perren wrote. "Had he done so, the court may have denied the stay ... Furchtenicht therefore cannot be heard to complain that Widders prevented him from proceeding."

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