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OC Register Resume - Clips 1.19

OC Register Resume - Clips 1.19

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Published by Josh Francis

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Published by: Josh Francis on Jan 22, 2012
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08/03/2013

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Written Pieces as of 01-19-12San Juan to create housing authority
By JOSH FRANCIS 
 
2012-01-19 06:10:39
The San Juan Capistrano City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve tworesolutions to set up a city housing authority and to take over the functions and assets ofthe Redevelopment Agency when it is dissolved Feb. 1 in accord with state law.Cities throughout California have had to create or choose successors to theirredevelopment agencies after state legislation to dissolve the agencies was
upheld by the
 
California Supreme Court
on Dec. 29.
 
San Juan's new housing authority will take over at least one affordable-housing projectknown as
Little Hollywood
. 
 
The housing authority will have seven members, including the five City Council membersand two other members who are customers of the new housing authority. City AttorneyOmar Sandoval said 24 tenants live in the Little Hollywood development.The authority's first director will be Councilman Derek Reeve, who was appointed by MayorLarry Kramer after the council's vote to create the agency.
Reeve, the only council member who supported the state's effort to eliminate
 
redevelopment agencies
, said he is concerned about the need for a housing authority in
 
the future. Sandoval said if the authority takes no action for two years, it can be dissolved.
 
 No resident-led invocations in San Juan
By JOSH FRANCIS 
 
2012-01-18 17:14:29
Invocations at San Juan Capistrano City Council meetings will be led only by councilmembers after the panel voted 4-1 on Tuesday night for a policy that negates CouncilmanDerek Reeve's decision to choose area residents to lead the invocation every fifth meeting,when his turn to do it comes up.The invocation occurs before the council discusses agenda items and is usually a prayerthat one of the five council members leads. It is not mandatory to participate in the prayer.The first resident-led invocation last month mentioned "the son of our Lord," raisingconcerns over whether that was appropriate for a council meeting. Reeve wanted adiscussion on whether a policy was needed on "merely mentioning a deity" during aninvocation.The council voted in favor of a policy allowing only council members to lead nonsectarianinvocations. The policy reinforces the council's unofficial practice before Reeve decided toallow residents to do it."I feel very strongly that we should keep the invocations to the council members,"Councilwoman Laura Freese said. Allowing anyone else to do it is "opening up a can ofworms," she added.
Reeve said he wanted to choose residents of varying faiths to lead invocations
as a
 
way to repair San Juan Capistrano's image of being "unfriendly to religion" in the wake ofcontroversies including Reeve's
naming his dog Muhammad
, after the Muslim prophet,
 
and the city fining a
couple who used their home for Bible studies
.
 
In December, the first community speaker to lead the invocation was Gary Stache, a leaderatVineyard Community Churchin Laguna Niguel.
 
Councilman Sam Allevato said that although Reeve wanted to make invocations open toany religion, "mentioning any deity could make anyone feel uncomfortable."Reeve told the council he does not want speakers to use the invocations to proselytize fortheir religion, but he maintained his position that community members should be allowed tolead them.Mayor Larry Kramer said he opposes anyone other than council members leading theinvocations."We're not a church, we're a public institution," he said. "The idea of the invocation is tobring everyone together."The council discussed with the city attorney the possible ramifications of invocations leaningin favor of one religion. Court cases on the issue include one in Lancaster, where the citywas sued after an invocation making reference to Jesus Christ was seen by the plaintiffs asbiased toward Christianity.The city won a ruling in that case; however, it is being appealed to the 9th Circuit Court ofAppeals.San Juan resident Steve Behmerwohld suggested the local council eliminate the invocation,saying it is a waste of time."An easy way out of this whole thing is just to do away with the invocation," Behmerwohldsaid. "I think you guys do a good job and I don't think you need divine intervention."

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