Item 5-A

City Council Meeting: 12-15-98

TO: Mayor and City Council

FROM: City Staff

SUBJECT: Introduction and First Reading of Ordinance Relating to the Setting of Special Elections to Fill an Unscheduled Vacancy on the City Council

Introduction

At its meeting of December 8, 1998, the City Council directed staff to place on the December 15, 1998, Council meeting agenda an ordinance for first reading providing for Council to set the date for a special election by resolution.

A special election is needed to fill an unscheduled vacancy on the City Council resulting from former Councilmember Greenberg's resignation. Council has considered setting the dates of April 24-25, 1999, as the dates to hold a special election.

Election Procedures

Staff recommends Council introduce and hold first reading of the ordinance, and meet at the regular meeting of Tuesday, December 22, 1998, to hold second reading and adopt the ordinance and the accompanying resolutions necessary to call the election.

Staff recommends that Council select one of the three options presented on December 8, 1998, for the safekeeping of voted ballots at the end of the first election day. The options were: (i) Leave ballots at polling site with a police officer on guard; (ii) have precinct officers deliver voted ballots to the Elections Officer after the polls close on Saturday and election staff to return ballot to precinct officers the following morning prior to the opening of the polling sites; (iii) have precinct officers deliver voted ballots to the Election Officer after the polls close on Saturday, and direct the Election Officer to maintain custody of voted ballots and issue a second ballot box to the precinct officer to be used for ballots voted on the following day.

Staff recommends that Council deliberate and take action on the hours the polling sites will be open on Saturday and Sunday.

Staff also recommends that Council direct staff to prepare an ordinance setting forth the procedures to be followed on the two election days, Saturday, April 24, 1999, and Sunday, April 25, 1999, and return to Council as soon as possible for first and second reading of said ordinance.

In an effort to assure that precinct officers will be present at their polling sites on both days, staff is recommending a stipend of $50 for the first day and $75 for the second day for precinct officers and $40 for the first day and $60 for the second day for precinct clerks.

The procedure for guarding the voted ballots, the hours the polling sites will be open, and the stipend to be paid to precinct workers will be incorporated into the resolution calling the special election (see sample attached). This resolution, along with the other three resolutions requesting services from the County Clerk, requesting consulting services and supplies from election consultant, and directing the City Clerk to canvass the results of the election will be brought to Council at the next meeting for adoption.

Budget/Financial Impact

There are no approved funds in the City Clerk's Office elections budget for Fiscal Year 1998-1999. Staff is requesting funds for services and supplies from Martin & Chapman in the amount of $60,000, including approximately $4,763 for contingencies. Staff is also requesting $20,000 in funding for services from Los Angeles County. Although it is not anticipated that the cost will be that high, it is difficult to estimate a more precise amount since this is the first stand-alone election in a long time. Staff is requesting $15,000 for postage and $9,500 for labor costs to mail out voter pamphlets. This estimate is based on the cost for mailing pamphlets for the 1996 election. The pamphlet for the special election would contain fewer pages than the 1996 pamphlet and cost less. However, there will be the added cost of mailing out absentee ballots directly from our office, and not from the County. Finally, staff is requesting $42,500 for various other costs including, but not limited to: stipends for precinct workers and fees for using precinct sites; wages for temporary and election day workers; overtime funds for City Clerk's staff; legal publishing costs; and, miscellaneous supplies and expenses.

If a special election is called, there will be a need to augment CityTV's budget to accommodate election programming. Staff recommends that $10,000 be appropriated for Fiscal Year 1998-99.

In summary we are requesting a total appropriation of $157,800 to be allocated as follows:

$15,000 to 01-120-212-00000-2232-00000 (metered postage);

$800.00 to 01-120-212-00000-2252-00000 (legal advertising);

$122,000 to 01-120-212-00000-5506-00000 (Professional Services);

$2,000 to 01-120-212-00000-2231-00000 (office supplies);

$2,000 to 01-120-212-00000-1150-00000 (temporary employees);

$6,000 to 01-120-212-00000-1149-00000 (overtime); and,

$10,000 to 51-110-207-00000-4439-00000 (other costs).

Recommendation

Staff recommends that Council introduce and hold first reading of the ordinance and schedule a second meeting for the adoption of said ordinance.

Staff recommends that Council approve a motion selecting an option for safekeeping of the voted ballots at the end of the first election day.

Staff recommends that Council establish the hours polling sites will open and close on April 24-25, 1999.

Staff recommends that Council direct staff to prepare an ordinance setting forth election days' procedures and return to Council as soon as possible with said ordinance.

Staff recommends that Council approve the appropriation of funds in the amount of $157,800, as outlined in the Budget/Financial Impact portion of the report.

Prepared by: Maria M. Stewart, City Clerk

Attachments: Ordinance Relating to the Setting of Special Elections

Resolution Calling Special Election



_____________________________________________

Supplemental to 4A

City Council Meeting: December 8, 1998

TO: Mayor and City Council

FROM: City Staff

SUBJECT: Supplemental Report Relative to Adoption of Resolutions Calling for a Special Municipal Election to Fill an Unscheduled Vacancy on the City Council

Introduction

At its meeting of November 24, 1998, the City Council directed staff to return with information on alternative dates for the special election, including a Saturday election, a Sunday election, a two-day Saturday/Sunday election, additional costs, input from the public and religious leaders regarding the alternative election dates, and ways of promoting such an election.

Alternative Dates

Section 1403 of the City Charter provides for all elections to be held in accordance with the provisions of the Elections Code of the State of California, unless otherwise provided by ordinance. Consequently, the City Council may call an election on a Saturday or on a Sunday, by ordinance. The same conclusion applies to calling a two-day election on a Saturday and Sunday.

Were Council to set the election date at the December 8, 1998, meeting, Council could call the election for any day of the week starting April 1, 1999, and thereafter. Were Council to call the election for a Tuesday, the election may be called for any Tuesday in April. For a Tuesday election staff recommends either April 6, or April 27, 1999. Those are dates that the election supplier/consultant has the least amount of obligations with other cities.

Were Council to call an election for a Saturday, a Sunday, or a Saturday and Sunday, the election could be called for any weekend in April.

It is noted that during the research of this project sources contacted advised that historically, weekend elections have not yielded a significant increase in voter turnout. The sources contacted were John Mott-Smith, Chief of Election Services at the Secretary of State's Office, Jenniffer Collins-Foley, Executive Liaison Officer at the County Clerk/Registrar Recorder, Deborah Seiler of Sequoia Pacific (Election Suppliers), Paul Marshall of Martin & Chapman Company (Election Suppliers), and Richard Smolka, Professor Ameritus at American University, Washington D.C. Mr. Smolka writes a regular column for the Election Digest, a national publication for Election Officers.

Additional Cost

A Saturday or a Sunday election would result in a minimal increase to cover overtime costs for the County and election staff. A two-day Saturday and Sunday election would result in an increase of approximately $15,000-20,000 to pay for precinct workers and polling sites and for overtime for the County and election staff. There would be an added cost for use of police officers to guard voted ballots between the end of the first election day and the beginning of the second day. It is expected that most of the police officers would be working overtime and the total amount would depend on the option selected for guarding the ballots.

There are three possible options on securing voted ballots between the first and second day. The voted ballots could remain at the polling site. This option would require a police officer at each precinct guarding the ballots from the closing of the polls on the first day and the opening of the polls the second day. We estimate there will be about

forty-five to fifty consolidated precincts. The highest hourly rate for a police officer is

$50.76 per hour. The amount for forty-five 12-hour shifts at this rate is about $27,400. This would be the simplest and most efficient method, but also the most expensive.

The second option is for precinct officers to deliver the voted ballots to the City Clerk's Office at the end of the first day and pick them up prior to the opening of the polls the next day. This option would put additional responsibilities on the precinct workers, so as an alternative, City staff could deliver the ballot boxes to each precinct the following morning. This option would require police officers escorting the ballots from the precinct worker's vehicle outside of City Hall to the vault in the City Clerk's office, and standing guard outside the City Clerk's vault overnight, where the voted ballots would be stored. The cost to have three police officers escorting ballots into City Hall the first evening and out of City Hall the next morning is about $900.00, and for one police officer standing guard for a 12-hour shift will be about $609.00.

The third option would be to keep the voted ballots at the Clerk's office and issue the precinct workers a second ballot box. The additional cost for police officers escorting the ballots into City Hall is about $460.00. This option, however, allows for the possibility of errors in accounting for all the ballots voted in a precinct and the balancing of the ballots and the number of voters' signatures in the rosters at the end of the second day.

Staff recommends the option of having precinct workers deliver the ballot boxes to the City Clerk's office at the end of the first day and City staff delivering the ballot boxes to the precincts the second day.

Legislation Needed

Were Council to call a two-day election, a subsequent ordinance would be needed to establish procedures for such an election. Council may call a two-day election at the December 8, 1998, meeting and direct staff to return as soon as possible with the implementing ordinance.

Polling Site Hours on Election Days

Staff recommends that if a two-day election is called the hours that the polling sites are normally open be changed to begin at 8:00 a.m.,and close at 4:00 p.m., on the first day and open at 10:00 a.m., and close at 4:00 p.m., the second day.

Public Input

A public notice will be published in Our Times on Sunday, December 6th, asking members of the public to write, fax, call, e-mail or appear in person to give their comments on the possibility of holding an election on the alternate dates. The notice will also be published in the Santa Monica Sun on Friday, December 5th. Staff created an interactive notice on the City's web page that will allow comments to be submitted directly from the notice site.

Religious groups were contacted by staff, asked their opinion and also asked to consult with as many members and interested parties in their congregations as possible and provide their comments in any of the above methods. Some of the comments received were as follows:



Beth Shir Sholom No Saturday election.
Chabad House Would be discriminatory to have it on Saturday. Sunday would be better.
Kehillat Ma'Arav No Saturday election.
Chabad Against the Saturday/Sunday election concept.
St. Clement's Catholic Church Either day okay.
First African Methodist Episcopal Saturday election better.
Bible Baptist Do not want weekend election.
Calvary Baptist Weekend election okay.
First Christian Church of Santa Monica No special concerns.
Christian Missionary Alliance Church Prefer Saturday election.
Mt. Olive Lutheran Church No concerns.
Pilgrim Lutheran Church Would prefer a Saturday rather than Sunday.


No return calls were received to messages left at the following:



Communion Church Good Shepherd Church
St. Peter & St. Paul Sanctuary Church
Assembly of God Mt. Hermon Baptist
Trinity Baptist St. Anne's Catholic Church
Sunset Park Christian Church St. Paul's Lutheran Church
First Church of the Nazarene The Church in Ocean Park
St. Augustine by the Sea St. Monica's Catholic Church

Promoting the Election

Staff has the following suggestions for promoting a weekend or a two-day election: Sending an informative mailer to all registered voters; installing a minimum of three street banners at strategic locations; setting up posters at major and neighborhood retail shops, grocery stores and markets; advertise inside the Blue Buses; produce a CityTV feature; public announcements on KCRW; and, a promotional article in SeaScape, if possible;

Conclusion:

The information requested has been provided. Council may call a Saturday special election, a Sunday special election, a two-day Saturday/Sunday special election, or the conventional Tuesday election on any day as of April 1, 1999.

Prepared by: Maria M. Stewart, City Clerk



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f:\atty\muni\laws\mjm\specelec.ord

City Council Meeting 12-15-98 Santa Monica, California







ORDINANCE NUMBER ____



(City Council Series)







AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE

CITY OF SANTA MONICA ADDING SECTION 11.04.180

TO THE SANTA MONICA MUNICIPAL CODE

RELATING TO THE SETTING OF SPECIAL ELECTIONS







WHEREAS, Santa Monica City Charter Section 1403 authorizes the City Council to adopt an ordinance if it desires to set an election on a date other than that set forth in the California Elections Code; and

WHEREAS, when a City Council vacancy occurs which cannot be filled either at the next general election due to the timing of the vacancy nor by appointment, a special election must be set to fill that vacancy,



NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA DOES HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:



SECTION 1. Section 11.04.180 is hereby added to the Santa Monica Municipal Code to read as follows:



Section 11.04.180. Setting of Special Elections by Resolution.

The City Council is authorized to set the date of a special election by resolution. The City Council may set the date of a special election on an established election date as provided for by the California Elections Code or on any other date as the City Council may select as permitted by law.



SECTION 2. Any provision of the Santa Monica Municipal Code or appendices thereto inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance, to the extent of such inconsistencies and no further, is hereby repealed or modified to that extent necessary to effect the provisions of this Ordinance.



SECTION 3. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Ordinance. The City Council hereby declares that it would have passed this Ordinance and each and every section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase not declared invalid or unconstitutional without regard to whether any portion of the ordinance would be subsequently declared invalid or unconstitutional.





SECTION 4. The Mayor shall sign and the City Clerk shall attest to the passage of this Ordinance. The City Clerk shall cause the same to be published once in the official newspaper within 15 days after its adoption. This Ordinance shall become effective upon its adoption.



APPROVED AS TO FORM:





_________________________

MARSHA JONES MOUTRIE

City Attorney



__________________________



f:\atty\muni\laws\mjm\callelec.res

City Council Meeting 12-15-98 Santa Monica, California







RESOLUTION NUMBER ___ (CCS)



(City Council Series)





A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL

OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA CALLING AND GIVING NOTICE

OF A SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON

SATURDAY, APRIL 24, 1999 AND SUNDAY, APRIL 25, 1999

FOR THE ELECTION OF A CITY COUNCILMEMBER TO

FILL A VACANCY AS REQUIRED BY THE SANTA MONICA CITY CHARTER







WHEREAS, a vacancy on the City Council was created by the resignation of City Councilmember Asha Greenberg who submitted her resignation effective September 25, 1998, and whose resignation was accepted by the City Council on October 13, 1998; and

WHEREAS, the term of office in which the vacancy occurs ends November 5, 2000,

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA DOES HEREBY RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Pursuant to the requirements of the Santa Monica City Charter, there is called and ordered to be held in the City of Santa Monica on Saturday, April 24, 1999, and Sunday, April 25, 1999, a Special Municipal Election for the purpose of the election of a City Councilmember for the term of office in which a vacancy was created by the resignation of City Councilmember Asha Greenberg which ends November 5, 2000.



SECTION 2. The ballots to be used at the election shall be in form and content as required by law.



SECTION 3. The City Clerk is authorized, instructed and directed to procure and furnish any and all official ballots, notices, printed matter and all supplies, equipment and paraphernalia that may be necessary in order to properly and lawfully conduct the election.



SECTION 4. The polls shall be open at ________ o'clock a.m. on April 24, 1999, the first day of the election and shall remain open continuously from that time until ____________ o'clock p.m. of the same day, when the polls shall be closed.



SECTION 5. The polls shall be open at ________ o'clock a.m. on April 25, 1999, the second day of the election and shall remain open continuously from that time until ____________ o'clock p.m. of the same day, when the polls shall be closed.



SECTION 6. Pursuant to Elections Code Section 12310, a stipend for services for the persons named as precinct board members is fixed at the sum of $50.00 for the first day of the election and $75.00 for the second day of the election for each Inspector and $40.00 for the first day of the election and $60.00 for the second day of the election for each Clerk for the election. An incentive payment is fixed at the sum of $20.00 for Inspectors and Clerks who attend a training class. The rental for each polling place, where a charge is made, shall be the sum of $25.00 per day for the election, except if the polling place is a school, in which case the school will receive a $12.00 per day custodial fee.



SECTION 7. In all particulars not cited in this Resolution, the election shall be held and conducted as provided by law for holding municipal elections.



SECTION 8. Notice of the time and place of holding the election shall be given and the City Clerk is authorized, instructed and directed to give further or additional notice of the election, in time, form and manner as required by law.



SECTION 9. The City Clerk shall certify to the adoption of this Resolution, and thenceforth and thereafter the same shall be in full force and effect.



APPROVED AS TO FORM:



_________________________

MARSHA JONES MOUTRIE

City Attorney