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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Contra Costa County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Measure Q
Charter Amendment Measure
City of San Ramon

Majority Approval Required

Fail: 12262 / 49.66% Yes votes ...... 12431 / 50.34% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 2 8:18pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (37/37)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the following be added to Article III of the City of San Ramon Charter: Notwithstanding any of the above, if the general municipal election date is changed to the date of the statewide general election, the unexpired term of an incumbent Mayor shall be extended by one year or reduced by one year. If the term is extended, that individual may serve a total of nine years as Mayor.

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
San Ramon municipal elections are now conducted on the first Tuesday following the First Monday in November of odd numbered years. In the event that the City Council changes the date of the San Ramon municipal election to the same date as the statewide general election (first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of even numbered years), this proposed charter amendment would adjust the term of Mayor to make it consistent with the changed date of the municipal election.

This proposed charter amendment does not change the date of the municipal election. Likewise, it does not affect the term of the Mayor unless and until such time as the date of the municipal election is changed to even numbered years.

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Arguments For Measure Q Arguments Against Measure Q
In the future, the voters of San Ramon may want to change the date of the general municipal election from the odd years to the even years in which the state general elections are conducted. However, without changing the City of San Ramon's Charter provisions pertaining to the Mayor's term of office, this cannot be done without having municipal elections every year. Accordingly, it is strongly recommended that this charter amendment be adopted so that in the future, the citizens of San Ramon and the City Council will have the flexibility of changing the date of the election.

It is important to note that adoption of this proposed Charter amendment does not change the date of the municipal election nor does it extend or shorten the Mayor's term of office. It merely eliminates the obstacle to such change if it is determined sometime in the future that this is the desire of the citizens of San Ramon.

David Hudson, Councilmember

Rebuttal to Arguments For
"In the future, the voters of San Ramon may want to change the date of the general municipal election from the odd years to the even year . . .." In the future? How about in the past? How about Measure V in 2004 when voters passed an advisory vote to change the election year and the City Council ignored it. Now they want to change to even years; so we have a new Measure Q. There have always been financial reasons to change to even years but there are also political reasons behind this.

When I asked to put this measure on the ballot in 2009 after the outcome of Wilson's assembly race is known and the next city election is scheduled, I was told an election in 2009 would be too expensive. So their intention is clear. If this passes, the Council will vote to skip the 2009 election and go to even years in 2010. Councilman Hudson said he wouldn't consider shorting his term. Since his term is up in 2009, the only way not to shorten it is to skip the 2009 election.

You can see and hear what Hudson said in videos of the meetings on If you want Councilmembers Hudson and Livingstone, and a possible unknown appointee if Mayor Wilson is elected to the 15th Assembly District, to stay in office until 2010, then vote yes on Measure Q. If you consider this as deceptive as I do, vote No.

Rosalind Rogoff
Editor/Webmaster of San Ramon Observer

Curt Kinney, Former Mayor
City of San Ramon

Jeanne C. Kinney, Resident

The stated purpose of this measure is to synchronize the Mayor's terms with the Council's if they decide to change city elections to even years. The City Council claims switching to even years will save money on the higher costs of elections in odd years. The Council can vote to change their election to even years by resolution, but the City Charter requires the Mayor's election be held in odd years. So this Charter Amendment is ostensibly to prevent having to hold an election every year.

In my opinion a yes vote on this Measure is equivalent to voting to skip the 2009 San Ramon City Election. In the January 22, 2008 Council Meeting, Councilmember Dave Hudson spoke about the necessity to stay on the Council to see that the City Center is completed and that he would not ". . . even toy with the idea of shortening terms." Hudson, Vice-Mayor Jim Livingstone, and Mayor Abram Wilson are up for reelection in 2009. Wilson is running for the 15th Assembly District this November.

Since we won't know the outcome of the 15th Assembly District election until after we vote on this Measure, we won't know if Mayor Wilson will stay on as Mayor or be our next Assemblyman. If he wins the Assembly seat, we should be able to vote for his replacement as Mayor in 2009 and on the person appointed to fill the Council vacancy. So these are all good reasons to defeat this Measure and keep the 2009 Mayoral election. The Council could still vote to change its election to 2010 and skip the 2009 City Council Election, but it would be harder for them to justify this as saving money for the city.

Rosalind Rogoff
Editor/Webmaster of San Ramon Observer

Curtis L. Kinney, Former Mayor
City of San Ramon

Jeanne C. Kinney, Resident

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
San Ramon's City Charter specifies the terms of the mayor. Amendments to the City Charter can only be done by San Ramon voters. The citizens of San Ramon can change the Mayor elections from odd year to even year municipal elections only by their vote at a regular scheduled election. They can change back to odd year in the same manner.

Measure Q deals with the terms of the mayor. The questions is "If San Ramon were to change from odd year elections to even year elections, should the unexpired term of the incumbent mayor be extended by one year or reduced by one year?" Measure Q does not establish even year elections for San Ramon.

San Ramon is the only city in Contra Costa County that holds odd year elections for the Mayor and the City Council. The cost of all elections is determined by the County Clerk's office. Next year, San Ramon could be the only odd year elections in the entire county. There is no reason to expect the cost to go down next year or in any foreseeable future odd year election. Therefore, it was prudent for your Council to place this issue before you at this election.

David Hudson, Councilmember

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Created: January 24, 2009 10:31 PST
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