The Watchdog Newsletter
26 October 1999

Activists Victorious In Suit Against The County

WE WON! San Diego activists won a decisive victory for open government in the Rural Heritage & Watershed Initiative Committee lawsuit against the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors for withholding documents regarding RHWI.
The lawsuit, filed under the Public Records Act, asked the Superior Court to order the Board of Supervisors to reveal a number of documents providing evidence of the County's electioneering effort to thwart RHWI, or Prop B, an important citizen's initiative to stop urban sprawl. RHWI lawyers had sought these documents to show bias on the part of high-ranking public officials regarding Prop B. This represents the beginning of the unveiling of the special interests that have long controlled the County government.
"The public has a right to know if the Board of Supervisors, controlled by special interests, used their office to fight against one of the most important growth management initiatives in the history of San Diego County", states Duncan McFetridge, Chairman of the RHWI Committee.
The last group of documents was ordered to be turned over to the RHWI Committee by Judge Pate of the Superior Court during a brief trial on October 25, 1999. These four documents include communications to Board members from their aides as well as handwritten notes by Supervisor Horn regarding RWHI. The judge will rule on Thursday, October 28, 1999 whether or not the handwritten notes by Supervisor Horn also should be disclosed.
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