Council Starts Effort to Place Elections on Statewide Cycle

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Formal action is expected to begin this week regarding term limits for the current South Pasadena City Council.

Council members are considering the timing of transitioning general municipal elections to a statewide election cycle. The City of South Pasadena currently conducts its elections on odd number years and is currently not in sync with statewide elections.

During the September 7 City Council meeting, the 5-member panel voted to move forward with the extension of term limits for current council members “so that we can consolidate our elections on even number years in November to coincide with statewide elections,” explained South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez.

The city manager said the South Pasadena general elections are now held in November of odd-numbered years to elect members of the City Council, one city treasurer, and one city clerk. Gonzalez said the City Council will decide this week to extend the terms of office by not more than 12 months to comply with the new requirement.

With the council taking action on the item, the issue will then be brought back a second time for the council’s review in early October “so we can formally commence the process to have the County consolidate elections,” Gonzalez said.

What it means for those running for reelection in 2017 is  they would receive an extra year in office to 2018. Those with terms expiring in 2019 would also receive an additional year to 2020. Mayor Diana Mahmud, Mayor Pro Tem Michael Cacciotti the city clerk and city treasurer would all receive an additional year to 2018 should they decide to run again in 2017. Terms for Council members Dr. Richard Schneider, Robert Joe and Dr. Marina Khubesrian would expire in 2019, but they could stay on until 2020 under the revised format.

“The state Legislature wants to increase voter participation so they are requiring all local elections with lower voter turnout to be consolidated with a statewide elections,” explained Gonzalez.

City staff is recommending the council in its formal action to read the ordinance by title only (for first reading), waive further readings, and introduce an ordinance.

A city report contributed to this story.

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