had asked Superior Court Judge Derek W. Hunt to reopen the protest period
in which a group seeking to challenge the annexation can force a public
vote by gathering signatures from 25% of the area's registered voters.
On Nov. 16, Greer submitted 969 names to the Orange County Local
Agency Formation Commission, the agency which oversees annexations. It
was added to 103 protests already on file and appeared to be enough to
force a community vote.
But when a county registrar's late-November tally put the number of
valid names at 658, Greer's protest hit the skids.
The period to protest the annexation ended on Nov. 16.
Last Wednesday, commission executive director Dana Smith certified the
annexation, giving Greer only a slim hope to overturn it. Hunt's ruling
on Tuesday was another major blow to Greer.
Greer could not be reached Tuesday afternoon at his Newport Beach law
City officials began viewing the annexation as a done deal again last
week after Smith signed the certification papers, Assistant City Manager
Dave Kiff said.
"It's pretty much on autopilot," Kiff said. "We will gear up to serve
the area on Jan. 1."
On Nov. 27, the City Council got the ball rolling on the formal
process of annexation by authorizing city staff to begin providing
Councilman Dennis O'Neil said he had never taken Greer's challenge
"The suit didn't have any merit from the date it was filed," O'Neil
said. "[The annexation] was final when we took that action [on Nov. 27]."
* Paul Clinton covers the environment and John Wayne Airport. He may
be reached at (949) 764-4330 or by e-mail ato7