Santa Ana City Clerk Maria Huizar said this week that Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez cannot file paperwork to run for a fourth term, thus providing an answer, if not a final answer, to months of questions regarding Alvarez's future on the City Council.
Prior to the passage of Measure D in 2008, City Council members could serve only two consecutive four-year terms. Measure D, which was run out of Alvarez's home, added a third four-year term to that limit.
In recent months, there have been rumors that Alvarez — the only council member approaching the 12-year limit — has been searching for a loophole that would allow her to run for at least one more term.
Voice of OC first revealed last November that the city had hired an outside firm to study the issue. Huizar's comments are the first on-the-record confirmation of the firm's findings, which city officials have refused to publicly address, citing attorney-client privilege
However, Huizar cautioned, the opinion could be overturned by a Superior Court order.
“As of right now,” Alvarez can't run, “but that could change between now and the nomination period,” Huizar said. The nomination period begins July 16 and ends Aug. 10, she said.
Meanwhile, Alvarez remains coy about her intentions. When asked whether she would attempt another run, Alvarez would only say it's the “$64-million question.”