Testa heads to court today over ballot statement dispute

Quick favorable court decision vital since Registrar closes ballot submissions on Friday

Pleasanton mayoral candidate Julie Testa is going to court Thursday in an effort to compel City Clerk Karen Diaz to file her candidate statement for the Nov. 8 sample election ballot that will be sent to voters Oct. 10.

The hearing on Testa’s petition (Testa v Diaz et al HG16828562) will start at 9 a.m. in Dept. 512, second floor, before Commissioner Thomas Rasch in the Hayward Hall of Justice at 24405 Amador St., Hayward.

Testa’s required nomination papers were accepted just before the filing deadline on Aug. 12. However, the electronic filing of her candidate’s statement for the Sample Ballot, which was emailed at 4:30 p.m. that day, was not accepted by the city clerk.

Diaz first turned away Testa from qualifying as a candidate at all because she did not file the required financial disclosure Form 700 "Statement of Economic Interests.” Diaz relented after Testa and her attorney Matt Morrison showed that they had filed Form 700 directly with the county Registrar’s office.

However, the candidate’s statement, a crucial part of information about candidates that is printed with the Sample Ballot, was not accepted via email, even though it was sent before the 5 p.m. deadline. The hard copy of the statement required by the clerk was filed after the deadline and not accepted.

At issue is an ordinance adopted by the City Council on Dec. 18, 2007 which requires candidates for city offices to file statements both electronically and also to "provide one signed original to the City Clerk's office...on the due date by five o'clock (5:00) P.M."

“Diaz turning Testa away for the missing Form (700) cost valuable time when the candidate discovered her candidate statement had been left behind at (my) office when Testa visited there to electronically file the Form 700,” Morrison said. “Diaz refused to accept a copy of Testa's statement sent via email before the Aug. 12 deadline expired.”

Even though Morrison had emailed Diaz a copy of Testa's candidate statement well-ahead of the 5 p.m. Aug. 12 deadline, Diaz informed Testa that candidate statements are required to be printed out and that she was not permitted to print a copy of the email for filing, nor accept the email itself as Testa's candidate statement.

Morrison said the issue is one of substantial compliance.

For Testa, again time is of the essence. Even if she receives a favorable ruling from Commissioner Rasch , she'll have to rush her statement to the county Registrar, who will stop taking all ballot submissions Friday.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


74 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 31, 2016 at 9:13 am

Last second, followed by litigation, is not how I want my city run.

68 people like this
Posted by Cathy
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 31, 2016 at 9:26 am

I question this candidate's simple time management skills and ability to set priorities. Not demonstrating the competency needed to lead my city.

52 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 31, 2016 at 9:52 am

This is almost comical if it weren't so sad. Sounds like the type who goes out to lunch, forgets her wallet at home leaving you to pick up the check. Or the type that runs around looking for her sunglasses only to realize they are sitting on top her head. I think I'll be voting for one of the more serious candidates.

57 people like this
Posted by Jamie
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 31, 2016 at 10:11 am

I feel sorry for her but it's an accurate representation of her skillset. Never mindful of the rules she continuously rambles on past the public speaking limit at school board and city council meetings. I am not sure if it is arrogance or ignorance. Both are bad. I'm not a fan of our mayor but our city is well run and managed.

58 people like this
Posted by Frankie Farrell
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Aug 31, 2016 at 10:12 am

Doesn't follow rules, then doesn't want to be held accountable for not following rules, then wants to spend city dollars in a law suit.... I am NOT impressed.

11 people like this
Posted by Old Towner
a resident of Old Towne
on Aug 31, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Old Towner is a registered user.

City staff representatives need to be much more accommodating than a STONE WALL of ignorance. I personally have dealt with the STONE WALL of ignorance and prevailed with legal and logical representation.

I am not excited about this candidate at all.... time management, judgement, tactics...

That said, DIAZ was wrong, in part, to this collision of time. For that, DIAZ should be reprimanded, and the candidacy allowed to move forward.

I won't be voting for Testa, but, that doesn't mean she was dealt with appropriately by city staff. It's time to move out the poor judgement of city staff members.

24 people like this
Posted by seenalot
a resident of Parkside
on Sep 1, 2016 at 2:32 pm

seenalot is a registered user.

In agreement with all of the above statements regarding Ms. Testa's weak skills, lack of preparation, understanding the rules and demanding accomodation and bending of those rules. The rules have been in place for 9 years. The many candidates who have run for office over those years have been able to navigate those rules. Also am not surprised by her "temper tantrum" resulting in a lawsuit. I recall Ms. Testa figuratively running me over like a steamroller back in the days she was active with the "Dream Team" while she was outside Safeway collecting signatures against building homes on the Pumpkin Patch property. Although I wasn't for the development I said I wondered if the neighbors there thought it would always be a pumpkin patch for their benefit, and what about the owner's rights..she had a conniption, denegrated me for my opinion and was still yelling when I walked away. Our Mayor? I certainly hope not.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Castlewood members considering offer from Bay Club
By Tim Hunt | 0 comments | 636 views

Couples: Reading List
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 596 views