Will Mission Viejo lose majority of its City Council in just a few days?

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The Mission Viejo City Council has five seats. Three members might be forced to step down after a resident sued them for improperly extending their term limits. Photo by Shutterstock.

Three members of the Mission Viejo City Council may be removed by the end of September — unless the California Court of Appeal gets involved. Last month, a resident sued Councilmembers Wendy Bucknum, Greg Raths, and Ed Sachs for improperly extending their term limits. A judge ruled that the three had 30 days to file or get an appeal — or they would need to leave their posts.

The resident alleged that since they were all elected in 2018 for two-year terms, they have remained in office illegally. City officials have said that they were implementing a new voting system, which included an ordinance that members of the City Council would have four-year terms.

Can the council operate with only two members? 

“Mission Viejo has great food, but otherwise a very boring city, but now they're gonna have an interesting experiment in democracy with two council members,” says Gustavo Arellano, columnist for the LA Times. “And so that's actually what they're discussing this week … ‘how can we give more power to the city manager, at least for the next six weeks, until we're all right and straight with what's supposed to be our City Council?’ … I've never heard of a case like this ever in my many many years or centuries covering Orange County.”