Fact Check on Recall Petition Allegations

The California Constitution does not provide a legal remedy for false claims in recall petitions. Hence the voters need to educate themselves about the facts.

Allegation

“[Councilmembers Krohn and Glover] repeatedly voted against closing the Ross Camp, while failing to pursue legal, realistic, and humane solutions to homelessness in the City of Santa Cruz. By opposing the closure of the Ross Camp, he contradicted the recommendations of Fire Chief Hajduk and County Health Officer Leff, and endangered the health and safety of Santa Cruz residents, both housed and unhoused.”

Fact Check

Councilmembers Krohn and Glover:

  • voted with the Council majority not  to close Ross Camp until other locations were in place for residents to go.  When other locations were identified, the Ross Camp was closed.
  • sought increased health and safety measures at the Ross Camp pending its closure.

Allegation

“[Councilmembers Krohn and Glover] attempted to establish permanent RV parking sites and permanent homeless encampments in residential neighborhoods and city parks in Santa Cruz, without regard for public safety or potential damage to local businesses, and without consulting neighborhood residents, the Fire Department, or the Police Department.”

Fact Check

At Council request, City staff presented several possible alternative locations to shelter Ross camp residents.  Many members of the public expressed concerns about all the locations.  As a result, the Council, including Krohn and Glover, dropped consideration of all locations other than re-opening the Salvation Army camp on upper River St.

Allegation

“Councilmember Krohn betrayed public trust and violated the Brown Act by requesting closed city council sessions to discuss relocation of the Ross Camp.”

Fact Check

The minutes and video of the City Council meeting on April 23, 2019, record Councilmember Krohn voting against a motion to go into closed session to discuss the Ross Camp closure.

Allegation

“Council member Glover participated on behalf of the plaintiffs in a federal suit against the City to keep the Ross Camp open.  In a sworn declaration, Glover falsely claimed that there was no health and safety risk at the Ross Camp, contradicting the Fire Chief and County Health Officer.”

Fact Check

  • Freedom of speech and public trust in government requires that elected officials be permitted to testify when called in a lawsuit, even when it is against their City.
  • Glover did not deny health and safety risks at Ross Camp. He testified that those risks could be corrected in order to avoid dispersing hundreds of people back onto the streets and into parks and open spaces.

Allegation

“Councilmember Glover has introduced a culture of chaos, bullying and disruption to public meetings and general City business.”

“Councilmember Krohn… has failed to abide by the Rules of Procedure for Conduct of City Council Business by refusing to treat his fellow Councilmembers with respect.”

Fact Check

The City hired an investigator to study allegations of misconduct against Krohn and Glover. The investigator’s report found:

  • The sole substantiated allegation against Krohn was that he uttered a sarcastic laugh during a staff person’s presentation to the Council.
  • The sole substantiated allegation against Glover is that he got angry with a fellow Council member over the scheduling of a conference room.
  • There is no evidence to substantiate that these incidents were motivated by gender.
  • The investigator recommended that, “Councilmembers should avoid making public accusations of misconduct or bad faith against one another and against City staff without first privately and internally addressing these concerns and attempting conflict resolution and rectification when possible.”

Conclusion:

Our community needs to come together to solve our challenging problems.  The diversity of representation on the Council may be the best way to solve our problems in a way that the needs of all people are addressed.

Diverse points of view can sometimes lead to conflicts around policy.  Factual distortions and groundless accusations damage the community’s ability to successfully resolve difficult problems.