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December 15, 2019

Judge to rule on hotel ballot measure

Dec. 10 is deadline for public comments

The final language of a local ballot measure on a Morgan Hill plan to allow construction of more hotels won’t be determined until after a superior court judge rules whether the city’s proposed wording is too argumentative in support of a “Yes” vote. 

A hearing was scheduled in a San Jose courtroom for Dec. 4 on the Morgan Hotel Coalition’s lawsuit claiming the city’s language for the March 3, 2020 measure argues in favor of the Madrone Parkway proposal. The coalition’s petition states that arguments should be contained in the “arguments” section of the ballot, rather than in the measure question, which is to be impartial. 

The lawsuit was filed by attorney Asit Panwala on behalf of the local hotel coalition. 

The ballot measure is the result of a successful petition drive led by existing hotel owners protesting the city council’s action in February that would allow construction of two hotels in north Morgan Hill.

The language published by the city clerk and county Board of Elections reads as follows:

“Shall the ordinance No. 2295, amending a Planned Development Master Plan for ‘Madrone Village Shopping Center’ located on the northwest corner of Madrone Parkway and Cochrane Road, to add hotels as an approved use, which is consistent with the city’s General Plan and Economic Blueprint to encourage tourism, and that generates new city revenues for city services including public safety, street repairs and other infrastructure be adopted?”

A simple majority of voters, in favor or against, is sufficient to accept or reject the zoning change, said county elections officials.

Arguments for or against the measure to be published in the county voting guide must be filed by 5pm Tuesday, Dec. 10 with the Morgan Hill city clerk. Rebuttal arguments to these arguments in favor of or against the measure must be filed by 5pm Tuesday, Dec. 17. 

CA Senate race

As of Dec. 3, three candidates had filed in Santa Clara County for the 17th District California Senate up for grabs in 2020 because Sen. Bill Monning hits his term limit: Marie Cadenas, John Laird and Vicki Nohrden.

The top two vote-getters March 3 will advance to the November general election.

Cadenas, a Santa Cruz Democrat, is executive director of Santa Cruz Community Ventures.

Laird is a former Santa Cruz mayor and councilman. He also is a former Democratic state Assembly member who lost a previous bid for California Senate. He was appointed to head the state Department of Natural Resources and Development by former Gov. Jerry Brown.

No candidates had filed in Santa Clara County to oppose 30th Assembly District incumbent Robert Rivas, who is seeking reelection to his second term.

The nomination period for the March 3 election closes at 5pm Friday, Dec. 6.

Eight candidates filed for six positions on the Democratic County Committee: 

Rebeca Armendariz, of Gilroy, a Service Employees International Union organizer; Morgan Hill City Council member Yvonne Martinez Beltran; Rivas staff aide Amy McElroy of Morgan Hill; realtor Daniel Kenney; Ann Horner;  Claudia Rossi, a nurse and county Board of Education trustee; Joanne Fierro, a member of Gilroy’s general plan committee, and Sousan Safakish, of San Martin, a 2012 Democratic National convention delegate.

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