Legal Opinions of the Attorney General -
Yearly Index

Opinions published in 2019

Opinion Question Conclusion Published
18-1103 Proposed relator Scott Leahy has requested leave to sue proposed defendant Wallace T. Martin to remove him from the public office of member of the Ridgecrest City Council on the ground that proposed defendant Martin did not legally reside in the city at the time his nomination papers were issued, at the time of his election, and during his term of office. Leave to sue is granted to determine whether proposed defendant Wallace T. Martin meets the legal residency requirements for holding the public office of council member of the City of Ridgecrest.

Official Citation: 102 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 56
06/13/2019
18-304 1. May a member of a county board of supervisors also serve as one of its appointed representatives to the county’s local transportation commission, which allocates transportation funds to the county?

2. May a member of a joint powers agency, established by the county as a transit operator, also serve as the appointed representative of the transit operators to the local transportation commission, which allocates transportation funds to the joint powers agency?

3. May a member of the county board of supervisors also serve as one of its appointed representatives to a joint powers agency established by the county as a transit operator?

4. May a member of the county board of supervisors who is serving as one of its appointed representatives to the local transportation commission (see question one) also serve as one of the board’s appointed representatives to a joint powers agency established by the county as a transit operator (see question three)?
1. A member of a county board of supervisors may also serve as one of its appointed representatives to the county’s local transportation commission because the Legislature has expressly authorized such simultaneous service.

2. A member of a joint powers agency, established by the county as a transit operator, may also serve as the transit operators’ appointed representative to the local transportation commission because the Legislature has expressly authorized such simultaneous service.

3. A member of the county board of supervisors may also serve as one of its appointed representatives to the joint powers agency established by the county as a transit operator because the Legislature has expressly authorized such simultaneous service.

4. Because the Legislature has not limited these express authorizations, the same member of the board of supervisors who is serving as one of its appointed representatives to the local transportation commission may also serve as one of the board of supervisors’ appointed representatives to a joint powers agency established by the county as a transit operator.
07/25/2019
18-301 Proposed relator, Miguel Sanchez, requests leave to sue proposed defendant Leticia Prado in quo warranto to remove her from the public office of member of the Governing Board of the Vineland School District (School District trustee) on the ground that she has assumed a second, incompatible public office as a director of the Lamont Public Utility District (Utility District trustee), in violation of the ban on simultaneously holding incompatible offices set forth in Government Code section 1099. Leave to sue is granted because we find that a substantial issue of fact or law exists as to whether the offices of School District trustee and Utility District trustee are incompatible and cannot be held at the same time under Government Code section 1099, and therefore whether proposed defendant Leticia Prado has forfeited and must vacate her office of School District trustee.

Official Citation: 102 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 31
04/19/2019
18-203 Proposed Relator James Fenkner has requested leave to sue proposed defendant Cathy Murillo, the Mayor of Santa Barbara, in quo warranto, to remove her as the representative for the City of Santa Barbara on the governing board of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), and to reinstall Councilmember Jason Dominguez into that position, on the ground that the city council’s removal of Dominguez and appointment of Murillo were actions taken in violation of the council’s rules of order. Proposed relator has failed to raise a substantial legal or factual question as to whether (1) the Santa Barbara City Council violated its own rules of order in removing Councilmember Dominguez and appointing Mayor Murillo as the city’s representative on the SBCAG governing board, or (2) any such procedural violation would invalidate the actions taken. Nor would the public interest be served by allowing a quo warranto action to proceed under these circumstances. Accordingly, the application is denied.

Official Citation: 102 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 13
04/11/2019
18-202 Proposed relators Eulalio Gomez, Thomas Trester, Monica Diaz, and Jeri Nowak have requested leave to sue proposed defendants Riley Talford, John Robinson, and John Adams in quo warranto to remove them as trustees of the Board of Retirement of the Fresno County Employee Retirement Association on the ground that their elections resulted from violations of election procedures. Leave to sue in quo warranto is granted to determine whether the elections of proposed defendants Riley Talford and John Robinson as trustees of the Board of Retirement of the Fresno County Employee Retirement Association resulted from violations of election procedures. Leave to sue in quo warranto is denied as to proposed defendant John Adams because his challenged term of office has expired.

Official Citation: 102 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 20
04/19/2019
17-1101 May the Mayor of the City of Riverbank simultaneously serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District? The Mayor of the City of Riverbank may simultaneously serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District if the mayor has been selected by the City of Riverbank to be its designated appointee to the board, but may not simultaneously serve in both positions if the mayor is selected to the board in some other capacity, such as that of a public member.

Official Citation: 102 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 39
04/26/2019
17-602 The Density Bonus Law (Gov. Code, §§ 65915-65918) rewards real estate developers who provide affordable housing by permitting them to build additional units, called “density-bonus units.” May a city or county condition its grant of a developer’s application for a density bonus upon the developer’s payment of a “public benefit fee” that is imposed only on the density-bonus units? No. A city or county may not condition its grant of a developer’s application for a density bonus under the state Density Bonus Law upon the developer’s payment of a public benefit fee imposed only on the density-bonus units.

Official Citation: 102 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 9
04/09/2019
16-301 May a California water district make employer-paid retirement plan or pension contributions on behalf of its governing board members (“directors”), where such plans or pensions are otherwise authorized by the district’s enabling statutes, without violating Water Code sections 20201 or 20202 regarding the compensation that water districts may pay to their directors? A California water district may make employer-paid retirement plan or pension contributions on behalf of its directors, where such plans or pensions are otherwise authorized by the district’s enabling statutes, without violating Water Code sections 20201 or 20202 regarding the compensation that water districts may pay to their directors.

Official Citation: 102 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 1
04/04/2019