fundamental misunderstandings deserve a response.
In our state's form of government, political power is inherent in
the people, Cal. Const. Art. 2, Sec 1. Through the state
constitution, they have vested their legislative power in the
Legislature but have reserved to themselves the legislative powers of
the initiative and referendum. The people's right of initiative and
referendum, found in Cal. Const., Art. IV, Sec. 1, is not a right
granted to the people by their Constitution but rather is a power
reserved by them (DeVita case, 9 Cal. 4th at 775-6). The people's
power of referendum is far from inconsistent with our form of
government. Indeed, so important is it that a city charter may expand
that power but may not constrict it (Hunt case, 31 Cal 2d at 623);
and, in order to protect this right reserved by the people,
referendum powers should be liberally interpreted (Ley case 212 Cal.
at 593 & 595).
What is a referendum is best stated in the Whitmore case, 2 Cal.
App. 2d at 593: "...the referendum is limited in its operation to the
adoption or rejection of legislation already enacted...[by the
Council]." To qualify the referendum petition is to put the council's
action on the ballot so the people, by their vote, can affirm or
reverse it. Nobody can infallibly speak for the people. In 1948, most
people, including many who intended to vote for Harry S Truman for
president, were convinced he would not win; in fact, prior to a
complete ballot count, the Chicago Daily Tribune published the
headline, "Dewey Defeats Truman." As we all know, the people's vote
put Truman in the White House.
It is presumptuous for any one person or group to say what the
citizens of Glendale in fact want. Put the matter on the ballot and
they can tell us what they want by voting the council's approvals up
or voting them down. Given that the city will spend at least $77
million of public funds for land, which it has voted to give away to
Mr. Caruso free; and, given that this is the largest public project
involving the city in recent memory, I can think of no more deserving