In a press release issued Tuesday, city officials addressed the issue:
The City of Palmdale is reminding its residents that ALL the elections slated for Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 are on as scheduled, thanks to a California Court of Appeals ruling and denial from an LA Superior Court judge which soundly rejected the attempts of plaintiff’s attorneys Kevin Shenkman and Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris to halt them.
“We are still getting phone calls and inquiries from residents, candidates and the media asking whether the election is on or not,” said Palmdale’s Communications Manager John Mlynar. “Despite the many unsuccessful attempts to stop our election and create mass confusion with our residents, we are taking every opportunity we have to let people know that this election is on and that the Constitutional rights of our residents have been preserved.”
The plaintiffs were unsuccessful in court on Oct. 16 in their latest attempt to stop Palmdale’s election, when the judge denied their request for a clarification of the Court of Appeal’s ruling on Oct. 15.
The election includes races for Mayor, City Council, Palmdale School District, Westside School District, Antelope Valley Union High School District, Antelope Valley Community College District and Palmdale Water District.
The City of Palmdale’s election has been underway and absentee ballots have been mailed out and returned. A series of candidate debates has been going on for over a month and candidates have spent large sums of money on their campaigns.
“Parris continues trying to create chaos and mayhem over an election issue that has been settled — Palmdale’s election is on,” said Palmdale City Attorney Matthew Ditzhazy. “He and Shenkman are maintaining their efforts to deny the Constitutional rights of 68,000 voters and are working hard to prevent the guaranteed election of at least one, possibly two, minority candidates to the Palmdale City Council.”
As indicated in the Court of Appeals ruling, Palmdale’s voting and tabulation will go forward, and the Certification issue remains to be decided on direct appeal. The Court of Appeals is prepared to decide the certification issue on a priority basis.
“This continued effort to cause confusion and discord in a city where neither of them live is the latest attempt to keep their legal meter running and milk the taxpayers out of their hard earned money,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “Their actions show that they care less about black, white or brown—their only concern is green.”
No further court appearances are scheduled. Plaintiffs and the City will be filing closing briefs on the remedy issues simultaneously on Oct. 25; then each side will file simultaneous replies on Oct. 31. The judge will issue a final judgment sometime after the 31st.
“While the judge is considering a district plan for Palmdale, why doesn’t the City of Lancaster take this opportunity to adopt Parris’ proposed remedy for Palmdale—5 districts with the mayor’s position annually rotating amongst the council?” asked Ditzhazy. “Lancaster has plenty of time to do that before the April 2014 election. His accomplice, Shenkman, is suing a wide swath of Lancaster (the Lancaster School District) alleging ‘racially polarized voting’ and Parris’ own trial expert said that racially polarized voting had occurred in the United States at every election at every level since the late 1800’s. So unless Lancaster is some sort of ‘immaculate’ city there is racially polarized voting, as defined by these two attorneys, going on at every election.”
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