Pico Rivera election date may change
Paper: Whittier Daily News, The (CA)
Date: August 15, 2007
PICO RIVERA - The City Council took the first step Tuesday in changing its General Municipal Election from March to November, essentially adding four months to City Council terms.
A first reading of an ordinance changing the election from the first Tuesday in March after the first Monday in odd-numbered years to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in odd-numbered years passed 3-1.
Councilman Greg Salcido was the lone dissenting vote, and Councilman David Armenta was absent from the meeting.
The move would align the city's election with local school board elections.
City Manager Chuck Fuentes said the change would save money for Pico Rivera.
"By combining it with the two districts, we'll reduce our costs of having our election because we'll consolidate with the county."
The city estimates the switch will save between $15,000 and $38,000 per election.
Salcido said that the savings is not worth the change and was uncomfortable with adding four months to council terms.
"In the big picture of this organization," he said, "I don't see this as a huge amount of money. It seems funny that we're voting on an extension of our own terms."
Fuentes said that another goal of the date swap is to increase voter turnout.
"We've seen the trend of voting continuing to go down and the indication (from) the county registrar-recorder's office is that elections with more than one (race), the voting trend tends to go upward," Fuentes said.
Councilman Bob Archuleta said the move would get Pico Rivera voters more involved in city government.
"The election would not be an isolated event in March, but rather, be part of the excitement and enthusiasm of a November election," he explained.
Fuentes countered that it's not the business of the city or the council to get people out to the polls.
"We're not the interest drummer-uppers here," he said.
This is not the first time this issue has been discussed.
The second reading of the ordinance is expected to appear before the council at its Aug. 28 meeting.
If approved, it will go into effect 30 days after the vote.
Twenty years ago the City Council unanimously tabled indefinitely the idea of consolidating its elections with the school districts.
A city staff report at the time estimated the savings at $4,550.
Then-Councilman James Patronite predicted the matter would inevitably come up again.
Author: Sandra T. Molina Staff Writer
(c) 2007 The Whittier Daily News. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.