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City Advises: Speak Now or Hold Your Peace

Posted by on Mar 6th, 2014 and filed under Glendale, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

By Ted AYALA

Those not pleased with the city’s proposal to push Measure G on the June ballot have until Tuesday to make their objections known to voters.

The Glendale City Clerk’s office announced Tuesday that it will be taking any and all written requests to write arguments against the measure from local residents, businesses and organizations until 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10. Arguments against the measure must not exceed 300 words. The city council will then consider them and appoint the appropriate association, person, or people at the regularly scheduled council meeting of March 18.

The argument chosen by council will appear against the argument in favor of the measure in the June election.

Measure G, which was approved for inclusion in the forthcoming election by council on Feb. 25, would amend the city charter requirements on the selection of persons appointed to fill vacancies of elective offices.

According to a report by city staff, Measure G will supersede a prior charter amendment that was approved by voters in 2005. The reasons for that earlier amendment were due to consideration of cost-effectiveness. But as the report states, the amendment has “proven to be not as cost-effective as intended.”

Matters have come to a head in the past year with Rafi Manoukian’s move from the council dais to the Treasurer’s office. Manoukian’s departure left an open seat on the council with a rump term remaining. Council eventually appointed Councilmember Frank Quintero, who had opted to retire from public office last year, to serve out the remainder of Manoukian’s seat, and to call a special election to vote his successor once the term runs out.

But as the report also noted, this left the city with the unintended consequence of having to hold two elections within a year to fill a single seat. The cost for holding the special election in tandem with the countywide election will run the city approximately $230,000.

Measure G would allow for two alternatives to be considered by council.

The first would, as now, allow for a successor to be appointed and serve until the next general election. But if the term does not expire at the next general election and there remains sufficient time to nominate and elect a successor, then a successor would be elected in the next general election and then serve the remaining months of their term.

The second option would allow an appointed successor to serve the remainder of their unexpired term, regardless whether it expires in the next general election.

After council designates the person or persons to submit an argument against the measure on the ballot, it will then have until March 28 to submit its  argument to the city clerk in order to be included in the review of sample ballots on April 7, which, after their approval, will be sent out to voters on May 13.

The costs that will be incurred by the inclusion of Measure G on the June ballot is estimated to be $20,000.

Other proposed measures that were being considered by council earlier this year were ultimately rejected from further consideration after a survey conducted by Cerrell Associates found that they would face stiff opposition. Those proposed measures were aimed at increasing revenue to fund city services. Such measures require a two-thirds approval by the voting public in order to pass – support which Cerrell staff felt was not going to be given.

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