City Council Begrudgingly Addresses Issue
The city of Laguna Niguel held a special meeting to address potential litigation to force the city to transition to district voting. The city received a letter from Michelle R. Jackson, an attorney in Dana Point demanding the city transition to District voting. Jackson has sent letters to other cities on south OC as well.
Depending on where they live, the city council members may be forced to run against each other when district voting takes effect.
City Councilman Ray Gennawey discussed who Michelle Jackson is, her husband, and accused her of being disingenuous. Stephanie Oddo called it ‘petty politics’. Oddo then proceeded to discuss allegations levied against Jackson’s husband, despite the fact that he was never charged or prosecuted for those allegations. The allegations against Jackson’s husband Bill Brough occurred after he attempted to get the Toll Roads / Transportation Corridor Agencies audited. That effort allegedly resulted in Jennifer Beall, wife of Tony Beall, Rancho Santa Margarita councilman, telling Bill Brough “I am going to destroy you for introducing the Toll Road legislation”.
New unelected councilman Gene Johns called it a “hijacking of local government”. The council members noted that there was no chance of winning the lawsuit. Unelected council member Stephanie Winstead called Michelle Jackson a ‘grifter’ taking advantage of the city. The council were all upset that the law does not require Jackson to identify her plaintiff in Laguna Niguel that is affected by the lack of district voting.
Mayor Kelly Jennings stated ‘It’s sad that we’re here’. The council then voted for the motion for district voting.