Orange County Board of Supervisors vote 5-0 YES on Prop 98. NO on Prop 99

After listening to a detailed presentation and questions on the Orange County Grand Jury report of our sheriffs department by acting Sheriff-Coroner Jack Anderson, the Board of Supervisors discussed the June 3rd property rights initiatives. Supervisor Norby provided most of the background information for the other members. This was followed by public comments presented by Paul Macintosh of CSAC, Westminster citizen Darrell Nolte and myself on the Prop 98 and Prop 99 Ballot Measures.

In my speech I gave the following illustration to show why Prop 98 is so critical. It is important to point out that the League of Cities representatives mention protection for house of worship in failed legislation ACA-8. What they don’t report is that we had to press for that August 29, 2007 Amendment yet they fail to offer protection of churches in Prop 99. None of their spokespersons care to answer my question as to why this was not included.

What if the Lake Forest redevelopment agency uses their eminent domain police powers to take Saddleback Church for private use. After all the church occupies some premium land and does not pay any taxes. They could create a major complex of housing and commercial business that would generate both sales and property taxes. The SVUSD would end up getting a 35% pass-thru and everyone wins. Everyone but the 25,000 members of Saddleback Church. Pastor Rick Warren would not be very pleased.

Can’t happen. Don’t be so sure. A few miles from Orange County we had to fight to save a church. The Long Beach Redevelopment Agency had voted unanimously to use their police powers to take the Filipino Baptist Fellowship Church and give that property to a private developer for part of a condo complex. Fortunately we had John Eastman come to their rescue. Houses of worship should not have to live in fear of their church property being taken for private use when they have no desire to sell.

I also said the Costa Mesa also has a redevelopment agency. They could create a new project area and use their police powers to take Calvary Chapel. Pastor Chuck Smith would not be very happy should that occur.
The Board than voted unanimously, 5-0, to support Prop 98 and to oppose Prop 99.

I would hope that everyone reading this story would follow suit and vote YES on 98 and NO on 99. Should both pass, the one with the higher vote count prevails. Prop 99 has language that would block any of the Prop 98 protections even if both get more than 50 percent.
For additional information on the property rights debate simply go to

Your questions and comments on these competing ballot measures are welcome.
Larry Gilbert, Orange County Chairman, Prop 98 campaign

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