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Submitted by on 1, June 15, 2009 – 6:01 pm14 Comments

This just in: A spokesperson for SunCal Companies is claiming the company has collected enough signatures to place its proposal on the ballot, but the company is waiting until next year.

“The 2010 election timeframe was selected to allow the City and its selected developer, SunCal Companies, to come to terms with the Navy regarding the transfer of the property from federal to local control,” a press release from Singer Associates, which is working for SunCal, says.

“While our desire is to get this important issue before the voters as soon as possible, targeting a 2010 election is prudent and allows all parties time to complete the necessary discussions before this revitalization plan is voted on,” Pat Keliher, acting project manager for SunCal Companies, said in the release.

More to come.


  • DL Morrison says:

    Below is the link to the cover memo and second amendment to the ENA, dated 10/7/08, when DE Shaw was added as the financial partner. This amendment sets a termination date of 7/20/10 for the ENA, which can be extended "only if Alameda has not acted on SunCal's requested land use approvals by that date", which assumes that the initiative won and that the development process went forward (I believe — I'm not sure of this). Page 3 of the cover memo has a reference to key provisions.

    If the initiative is not on the ballot for 2009, then it's not clear how the ENA term can be extended beyond 7/20/10 to accommodate a vote in 2010. Any thoughts/info on this would be appreciated.


    • Hey DL,

      Let me see if I can lay this out right.

      I've been reporting that SunCal had a deadline of today to get the signatures in, but I've since learned that this was a self-imposed deadline on SunCal's part and not an actual deadline laid out in the election code that they were required to meet, but that they needed to meet this deadline or something close to it in order to get everything done (signatures verified by county, measure placed on ballot by City Council) for a November election.

      They actually have 180 days from when they get the summary and title from the city to turn in their signatures per the state's elections code. They got the title and summary on March 31, so that puts us to early October.

      From there, the county registrar of voters would have 30 working days to count and verify the signatures, which is about six weeks (maybe mid-November). Then the council would need to place it on the ballot. Ballot arguments would be due two weeks later. So based on the original timeline for the measure, they could have all of these steps worked out by sometime in December 2009 for an early 2010 election.

      That original timeline is available here:

      Hope that helps!

  • Rin says:

    I can answer that: the press release says SunCal wants an "early 2010" election, so I'm assuming it would happen before the ENA expires.

  • David Forbes says:

    Given that the City (and SunCal) have been adamant that this be fiscally neutral for the City (it won't for AUSD, but that's another topic), who pays for this election? The County is no longer subsidizing this process.

  • DL Morrison says:

    Thanks Michele, that helps a great deal (and thanks, Rin). It's a special election, so I suppose the date is open (?). Also note that the City Council has to call the election around 88 days in advance of the vote, after the signatures are verified by the county, so there's still a significant lead time. Then they have to negotiate the DDA before the 7/20/10 deadline for the amended ENA. So presumably, all of this is already underway — or will get done very quickly, after a delayed election??

    I have just glanced at the ENA, but it looks like SunCal can get a further extension on the deadline if they have the DDA negotiated and have requested a CEQA review.

    I see something in the cover memo, also pg. 3, about a final Navy conveyance term sheet due by July 31, 2009, so I wonder if that could be a factor (tho obviously, there could be loads of "factors" here).

  • DL Morrison says:

    Sorry, I'm reading the press release again and of course, it refers to the Navy ("coming to terms with the Navy"), so needless to say, that's it.

  • Jayne Smythe says:

    And who would pay for the special election?

  • So here's the answer to your questions about who would pay for a special election: The city. SunCal could offer to pay, but my understanding is that there is not currently an agreement that they would do so.

    Oh, and it sounds like the county's estimate for a special election in November was $300,000 to $400,000, per City Clerk Lara Weisiger.

  • AD says:

    What's interesting about this is that the Navy hints in their letter they would consider reduced price if SunCal can put money upfront. Apparently, SunCal (or D.E. Shaw) does not have money to put up front. That should raise a red flag right there. The city council would be (are) fools not require some evidence of financial ability in behalf of SunCal. No wonder both the DE Shaw-SunCal agreement and SunCal's project feasibility projections are "confidential."

  • AD says:

    And does the City HAVE to put an initiative on the ballot in a special election, if SunCal doesn't pay for it? How about Kathy Moehring pay for it, since she signed this "citizens" initiative? Maybe angry taxpayers could give her a call and ask her if she would be okay with that.

  • Arby says:

    There seems to be a dispute here. Protect the Point claims that, "Because these signatures were gathered for a regularly scheduled election, SunCal would need to start over to call an “early 2010 election” as they stated in their press release. The next possible election after November without gathering signatures to call a special election is June 2010."

  • Arby says:

    Come to think of it, I recall a similar dispute somewhere else in the Bay Area a number of years ago. It had to do with a group that failed to include in the petition that it called for a special election. I don't know how it was resolved. Any election lawyers out there? Because of the high cost of elections, it seems like you would need to disclose in the petition drive that a special election was being called for.

  • Arby says:

    Hazy memory clearing… I'm not a lawyer, but this looks like it may be important.

    "Appellant filed a petition for writ of mandate against respondent Cupertino City Council

    (Council). In the first cause of action, appellant sought declaratory and injunctive relief

    to compel the City of Cupertino (City) to hold a special election on proposed initiatives

    that would amend the City's general plan. The trial court sustained respondent's demurrer

    without leave to amend to this cause of action, and the Court of Appeal affirmed. It held

    that under the express language of Elections Code section 9214, since there was no

    reference in the initiative to a special election, the petition failed to meet the requirements

    of Elections Code section 9214"

  • E T says:

    Thanks, Arby, for having a great memory and for posting this most germane information!

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