Calabasas Right To Vote and Term Limits Measures are Right On!

Two measures will be placed on ballot next year for Calabasas residents:  Calabasas Right To Vote and Calabasas Term Limits, both proposed by Old Topanga Homeowner’s Association President Jodie Thomas.  Prior to her most recent effort, Ms. Thomas served this community through her substantial efforts in fighting the City of Calabasas’ misguided septic tank inspection program.

You can learn more about the latest initiatives at these sites:

Calabasas Right To Vote

Calabasas Term Limits

Right To Vote is in reaction to the City Council’s recent action to replace the Council seat vacated by Jonathan Wolfson with crony David Shapiro, and inspired by a similar measure recently passed in nearby Thousand Oaks.  Right To Vote says that if a Council seat is vacated, then an election will be held to fill it.

Term Limits would limit Council member terms to 8 years in office, requiring those who served before to sit out a full 4 year term before running for re-election.  A similar initiative was passed in Malibu in 2000.

Both initiatives target the severe cronyism that plagues the City of Calabasas.  Three Council members – Councilmen Bozajian, Gaines, and Shapiro – share alma maters for law school.   Councilman Bozajian has been on the Council for 16 years, and Councilwoman Maurer for 8.  During their tenure, the City has engaged in expensive legal fights with certain City residents, removing some from their homes, all nasty actions that can only be explained by the City’s greed for new development.  Most Council members have closer relationships with City of Calabasas management than with their constituents, which is what allows this nonsense to continue.  Cozy relationships suit City of Calabasas management just fine, who drain the City’s substantial reserves through deficit budgets.  Far more money is wasted by City staff than any election could incur.  Sooner or later these people will retire at our expense before the you-know-what hits the fan.  Understandably, former City Attorney Michael Colantuono decided it was time to leave while the going was good, having purview over the City’s over-wrought lawsuits against its citizens.

All of the blah-blah aside, these initiatives can only bring about good.  One-tenth of the population typically turns out for an election, and to no surprise, incumbents tend to win.  Only by insuring that voter-elected officials serve on the City Council, and through term limits for elected officials, will we be able to set the stage for honest City government.

Not everyone agrees.  Notably, the Acorn’s editor, often criticized for having cozy relationship with City management, went on record against the Right To Vote and Term Limits initiatives. A reader pointed out that the Acorn, in a front page article, went as far to say that Shapiro is running for re-election…overlooking the fact that he was never elected in the first place!

City management’s greatest license to do whatever it wants is that the majority of Calabasas residents simply don’t care.  And ideally, they shouldn’t have to.  But in the real world, greed runs rampant, and California cities have been no exception.  The only means we have to check corruption is citizen involvement.  And that requires fresh faces voted by Calabasas citizens, not cronies hand-picked by those already in office.  Thank you, Ms. Thomas, for placing the Right To Vote and Term Limit measures on the ballot.