RSM Voters Support Term Limits, Ending Health Care Benefits for Council

The City Council of Rancho Santa Margarita includes (left to right): Brad McGirr, Steve Baric, Tony Beall, Carol Gamble and Jesse Petrilla. Photo/Martin Henderson
The City Council of Rancho Santa Margarita includes (left to right): Brad McGirr, Steve Baric, Tony Beall, Carol Gamble and Jesse Petrilla. Photo/Martin Henderson
CONTACT: Jon Fleischman jon@catermlimits.org 

(February 5, 2014)  By overwhelming margins, voters in the city of Rancho  Santa Margarita support a strong term limits measure for their elected city council members, and they similarly strongly support limiting council member compensation to the stipend allowable under state law, and ending council members taking health care benefits or compensation in lieu of healthcare, and being compensated for service on regional boards.


"I have seen a lot of surveys on the issue of city term limits but these are some of the highest numbers I have ever seen," said Jon Fleischman, President of California Term Limits, a 501c4 organization founded to promote term limits throughout the Golden State.  "Voters support a strong term limits policy for the city — limited serving to two four-year terms, period.  None of this "hopping off and back on" as is the custom in some cities."


Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy, who served as Chairman of Americans for Prosperity, California, has been a leading advocate in California for reforming benefits and perks for local elected officials.  After reviewing the results of the survey on the question of whether RSM council members should be getting health care benefits and other compensation, had this to say, "It is not uncommon that part time officials adopt ordinances that allow themselves (and their successors) to get full time benefits — but it is not something that is popular with the public.  These survey results bear out what we have seen on this issue statewide, that the voters if asked would end those benefits right away."


A survey was conducted by the nationally recognized polling firm of NSON (http://nsoninfo.com) out of Salt Lake City, Utah in which 250 Rancho Santa Margarita voters were contacted and asked the following questions, gave the following responses:


A number of cities in California have adopted term limits for their local city council.  In Rancho Santa Margarita, there are no term limits.  In general, would you support or oppose a measure that creates term limits for the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council?

79.2%             Support

13.6%             Oppose

7.2%   Unsure/Need More information


A specific proposal for the November 2014 ballot would limit future service on the City Council to no more than two four year terms or a total of eight years.  After serving eight years on the council a person would no longer be eligible for future election.  If the election were held today would you support or oppose this new two term limit?

78%    Support

13.2% Oppose

8.8%   Undecided

Another item on the November ballot will eliminate certain types of City Council compensation.  In Rancho Santa Margarita, city council service is a part time job, but councilmembers receive health care benefits as if they were a full time city employee.  This measure would limit council compensation to the stipend allowed by current state law, but nothing more.  This also would prohibit the collection of extra benefits for serving on additional regional boards which the city council appoints themselves to.  If the election were held today would you support or opposed this ballot measure limiting council compensation?

77.6% Support

14%    Oppose

8.4%   Undecided


"In 2012 we looked at the idea of putting two measures on the ballot on these two issues — on enacting city council term limits and on limiting compensation of city council members — but did not want to proceed without first taking a public opinion survey to gauge where voters stand on these issues," said Fleischman, who until recently was a resident of Rancho Santa Margarita.   "These results clearly tell us two things:  The first is that the public expects their local elected officials to serve for a time, but then to return back to private life.  The second is that there is a strong dislike of benefits traditionally reserved for full-time employees, such as health care benefits, being made available to part-time elected officials.   We will now strongly consider working with local supporters to place these common sense reforms before city voters."


It is significant to note that previously RSM city council members Steve

Baric and Jesse Petrilla put before the council motions on these issues, but

those motions were rejected on 3-2 votes.


The NSON survey was conducted by live interviews with 250 residents of the city of Rancho Santa Margarita, conducted between 1/27/14 – 1/30/14.  The margin of error for this survey is +/- 5.18%.  Attached to this press release are the three questions in the survey that pertained to term limits and the benefits for council members, as well as the cross-tabs.


# # #

Email me for cross tabs.  Can't put them up on this site.
Sharon Y. February 06, 2014 at 08:29 PM
Here they go again!  Fleischman (who is NOT an RSM resident) admits in 2012 his gang of outside special interests "looked at the idea of putting two measures on the ballot on these two issues..." Now, just as we are heading into the this year's election season, those who were responsible for the fraudulent "RSM Voters Bill of Rights" (Jon Fleishman, Steve Baric, Jesse Petrilla, Peter Whittingham and Kenney Hrabik) in 2012 are going to try once again to manufacture an election issue for 2014.  Remember how they tried to convince RSM residents to sign their bogus term limits petition in 2012 by telling residents lies about RSM being ranked behind El Centro and Bakersfield? http://ranchosantamargarita.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/top-stories-of-2012-no-8-voters-bill-of-righters
Something Special Cateirng Inc. February 06, 2014 at 09:03 PM
Sharon, this is what he said " Fleischman, who until recently was a resident of Rancho Santa Margarita." If you are not for term limits, make sure you vote, but many of us ARE for term limits and doing away with health insurance for people who probably already have health insurance. These funds will then go back into our city where they can be used to provide services we might have not been able to provide. The people have spoken, survey taken , now put it out to the entire city and wait to see what happens. Let's have, at least once!, a discussion about our city without mudslinging, name calling and finger pointing. That's called an ADULT discussion
D.H. February 06, 2014 at 09:24 PM
Why is Jon Fleischman so interested in RSM? Jon Fleischman (with assistance from Jesse Petrilla and Steve Baric) is trying to manufacture this issue today to help pave the way for a ballot initiative the owners of the former Nissan dealership (very wealthy individuals who are politically connected and do not live in RSM) are planning to bring to RSM. Sharon is right about this - RSM is under attack by outside special interests! Read this story to refresh your memory about their tactics: http://ranchosantamargarita.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/top-stories-of-2012-no-8-voters-bill-of-rights
Something Special Cateirng Inc. February 06, 2014 at 09:30 PM
So your saying since he doesn't live here it's a bogus survey??? That only if the survey was done by someone who lives here you would believe it? If you are so sure thus vote will never pass why not just sit back and gloat when it doesn't pass
Dove Canyon Oldtimer February 06, 2014 at 09:33 PM
Maybe this Fleischman guy is a supporter of that felon Jesse Petrilla? So much for his credibility.
Something Special Cateirng Inc. February 06, 2014 at 09:37 PM
The point here isn't what they said or did its whether or not the citizens of rsm want to be able to vote on term limits. Typical political rhetoric your spouting as usual
Something Special Cateirng Inc. February 06, 2014 at 09:39 PM
Don't think theory r is interested in term limits, more likely rezoning and asking residents what they want on that property
Something Special Cateirng Inc. February 06, 2014 at 10:06 PM
How can you be in the service if you have a felony or vote for that matter....
Rsm Truth February 06, 2014 at 10:58 PM
I am a long time voting resident of RSM and not an ally of Petrilla & Company, I don't even know this Fleischman but, it is time to change the local politicians! Beall and Gamble on the council plus ex councilman Gary Thompson have lost sight or never new what is good for RSM. They have been on a "Power Trip" for far too long. This would be funny about being on a "Power Trip" in our tiny city if it was not so tragic with their thought patterns. They are CONTROL FREAKS and this is costly to our City of RSM! Yes for Term Limits! I am tired of their supporters saying "why change them if there are no problems"! read on rsmpolitics where RSM has lost over $600,000 in failed economic development attempts! I checked this out and it is true! $600,000 of RSM Taxpayer money! 6/10 of a million dollars lost of RSM Taxpayer dollars. FUNNY THING? I didn't see mention of this when Gamble, Beall and McGirr sent out their 4 color mailings about the city's financials! I also didn't hear mention of these losses during Beall's State of the City Speeches! WAKE UP RSM TAXPAYERS you are being manipulated!
Rsm Truth February 06, 2014 at 11:00 PM
And, Dove Canyon Oldtimer people know that you are JENNIFER BEALL. What a joke!
RSM Family February 06, 2014 at 11:25 PM
Our family is long time RSM residents...In our poll, RSM residents support term limits only to get rid of Jesse Petrilla and Steve Baric!
Poot Smelly February 06, 2014 at 11:33 PM
If Term Limits will rid this once fine city of Beall and friends, it is an excellent idea!
Andrew P. February 06, 2014 at 11:58 PM
Well Rsm Truth, I have received a copy of your criminal file sir, and will publish the entire file right here should you entice me to do so. Seems like your 10 weeks of anger management classes did not serve you well.
Something Special Cateirng Inc. February 07, 2014 at 12:48 AM
Wow Andrew what did rsm truth do to you ????
RSM Dad February 07, 2014 at 01:33 AM
Gee I leave the country for a few weeks and cone back to all this drama. So while I was gone, we find out Jesse Petrilla is a felon, convicted of two felonies using a weapon. He shoots at a car with people in it, and all these Jesse fans just think that is just fine with them. Sounds like all of you need to see s psychiatrist with such warped thinking. Then we get republican political operative Jon Fleischman a Steve Baric abd Jesse Petrilla waterboy trying to deflect attention from a criminal. I guess he just has to ignore that there is an election every two years and there are 4 new people on the city council since the 2010 election. He has no credibility at all.
Mike T February 07, 2014 at 03:39 PM
24 year RSM resident here and I support term limits and no health care benefits for council members. RSM politics have gotten way too clickish and old boy network. Time for fresh ideas from some new blood.
Dove Canyon Oldtimer February 07, 2014 at 06:31 PM
"Fresh ideas and new blood". Isn't that what we got with Baric and Petrilla in 2010.? Baric, a career republican party operative, election ambulance chasing lawyer, and a political hit man (see the San Juan Capistrano Patch), and Petrilla, a convicted felon who likes to shoot at people in cars with a firearm. I think we can do without this "new blood". I have an idea, if this Jon Fleischman wants term limits, he can just circulate a petition, get the signatures, and put it on the ballot. Should be pretty simple for him to do if his survey is as accurate as he says it is.
Poot Smelly February 07, 2014 at 07:12 PM
Jennifer Beall (Dove Canyon Oldtimer) & Gary Thompson (RSM Dad)- You are both comically politicians. Time (Past Time) to get rid of you on The RSM Political Scene! Here comes Term Limits! Bye Bye chuckle chuckle
Robert Templeton February 10, 2014 at 11:06 AM
Okay - don't scream at me but why are you all unhappy? RSM is really a great place to live! We love it here. The City is clean and safe. It seems well run. Why are you guys so angry? What do you want from these people that you are not getting? I have no idea who Fleischman is but our city's governance IS NONE OF HIS BUSINESS. It seems by manufacturing this issue he is anointing himself with some form of "self-importance" or significance. Does anyone know if HE ever has been elected to public office or if HE has ever had to do the job that he seems to feel he has some special knowledge. By the way, I believe "we get what we pay for".
Something Special Cateirng Inc. February 10, 2014 at 07:03 PM
This guy has a website catermlimits.com. It's a nation wide grass roots organization working on term limits for all politicians
Robert Milner February 18, 2014 at 02:23 AM
Please tell me how long the current council members have served. I moved to RSM last year.
Janet Blake February 18, 2014 at 10:44 AM
Mr. McGirr is the most recently elected councilman. He was elected in 2012, defeating two others. Ms. Gamble was appointed in 2010 or 2011 and elected in 2012. I moved here when Mr. Baric and Mr. Petrilla were elected in 2010, both defeating an incumbent. Mr. Beall was elected in 2004.
Martin Henderson February 18, 2014 at 04:21 PM
RSM enacted "term limits" at the voting booth in 2010 with the election of newcomers Jesse Petrilla and Steve Baric. In 2012, newcomer Brad McGirr won a two-year term (2013-14, the remainder of Gary Thompson's seat, which was vacated in 2011) and he is currently running in 2014 for a four-year term. Carol Gamble, selected to council when the city incorporated but who resigned a couple years into service to care for her parents, was appointed in 2011 to fill the remainder of Thompson's first two years (2011-12) and won election in 2012 to a four-year term. Tony Beall was elected to council three times (2004, 2008, 20012), most recently with more votes than any candidate in the history of RSM. The current council has only one person with at least three years of consecutive service (Beall) and this is without formal/legalized term limits.
Robert Milner February 19, 2014 at 12:27 AM
Thank you Janet and Martin. So Mr. Beall has served close to 10 years. Mrs. Gamble has served close to 6 years? How long did Mr. Thompson serve? There is now a Jerry Holloway running who I understand is an former council member. How long did he serve? Martin, how long have you been a resident of RSM? Thank you for the answers.
Martin Henderson February 19, 2014 at 01:02 AM
I don't know the exact number for Gamble, I'd say it's probably closer to 5 years total at this point. Holloway has won two elections, but not sure if his first term was 2 years or 4 (I think it was 2). Thompson, like Gamble, was elected when the City incorporated and continued until until his resignation in early 2011. I am not a resident of RSM but covered RSM for three years as the local editor of Patch. During those three years, which I really enjoyed, Mayor Beall missed one grand opening (he showed up late to the Togo's grand opening because of a prior commitment) and has been at every City event I covered, although I did not go to every City event he attended. He was a machine. McGirr has shown a similar interest in "civic attendance" (for lack of a better description).


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