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Santa Clara County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Measure E
Municipal Election Date
City of Gilroy

Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 9,007 / 65.80% Yes votes ...... 4,682 / 34.20% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 25 11:10am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (24/24)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

In order to consolidate with the countywide elections and to help reduce the City's election costs, shall the Charter Section 1400 be amended to provide that the City's general municipal election shall be held in each even-numbered year commencing with the year 2010 and extending the existing Council terms by one year?

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
Gilroy City Charter Section 1400 currently requires that a general municipal election for the election of the City Councilmembers and for other purposes shall be held in each odd-numbered year.

This measure amends the City Charter to change the general municipal election date for the election of the City Councilmembers and for other purposes to be held on the regular election date established by the Elections Code of the State of California for the statewide election in each even-numbered year commencing with the year 2010. The stated purpose of the change is to consolidate the City of Gilroy's general municipal elections with the countywide and statewide elections in November of even-numbered years and thereby reducing the costs to the City of holding its general election in odd-numbered years.

As a result of this change from odd-numbered years to even-numbered years, the current City Councilmembers will serve an additional year in office. Therefore, any City Councilmembers whose terms of office would have expired prior to 2010 shall continue in their offices until their successors are elected and qualified, but in no event shall the term be extended beyond December 31, 2010. Correspondingly, any City Councilmembers whose terms of office would have expired prior to 2012 shall continue in their offices until their successors are elected and qualified, but in no event shall the term be extended beyond December 31, 2012.

This Charter Amendment shall become effective according to law if a majority of the electors voting on the measure at the election on November 4, 2008 vote to approve it.

/s/ Linda A. Callon
City Attorney
City of Gilroy

  Official Information

City of Gilroy

Gilroy City Charter
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Official Version of Ballot Measure

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Arguments For Measure E Arguments Against Measure E
Vote YES for fiscal responsibility and the sensible use of our tax dollars. Measure E will move our election cycle from odd to even years, allowing Gilroy to save an estimated $1 million dollars over the next 20 years.

The majority of cities in our county hold their elections in even years. Because Gilroy is one of a few cities to hold their elections in odd years, it incurs a greater percentage of the costs of each election. Furthermore, these costs increase annually due to population growth.

The 2007 election cost Gilroy $195,579.00 dollars to elect four councilpersons and pass one ballot measure. Had it been held in 2006, it would have cost only $50,000.00 dollars. A YES vote on Measure E, to move our 2009 election to 2010, is estimated to save us $120,000.00 dollars!

The citizens of Gilroy expect their elected city council to be vigilant about spending and to ensure that our tax dollars are not wasted. A YES vote on Measure E will enable us to preserve basic city services of Police, Fire, Parks and Recreation, Senior and Children's programs.

Shifting the election year will require a one-time, one-year extension of every current councilmember's term of office. After this single occurrence, normal four-year terms will resume. The higher voter turnout in even-year elections will mean that candidates will have to reach out to a greater number of voters and address citywide issues in a more comprehensive manner.

Voting YES will save our tax dollars, help fund city services, ensure that candidates campaign harder and increase voter participation. In tough budget times let's not throw away our hard-earned tax revenue. VOTE YES on Measure E!

/s/ Peter Arellano
Council Member
/s/ Dion Bracco
Mayor Pro Tempore
/s/ Cat Tucker
Council Member
/s/ Al Pinheiro

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Measure E's proponents claim that in order to save "$1 million," "a one-time, one-year extension of every current councilmember's term" is required. This is misleading on two counts. First, councilmember terms could just as easily have been shortened by one year. Or, Measure E's proponents could have proposed that future councilmembers - those elected in 2009 and 2011 - serve five-year terms. Please don't be tricked by the clever way they frame the issue as "we had to do it this way." They did not.

Second, the supposed savings claimed by Measure E's proponents are pure speculation. Consider that approximately 60% of voters in Gilroy are now registered "permanent absentee." This phenomenon developed in only a few years, since "permanent absentee" status was created. And some states have already gone to 100% mail-in ballots. Like it or not, mail-in ballots are the future.

The proponents of Measure E ignore the unmistakable mail-in ballot trend, because this trend makes it obvious that this measure is not about saving costs "20 years from now." The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters is already experimenting with ways to reduce the rising costs of traditional election methods, including only allowing mail-in ballots in some precincts. Let's allow the Registrar's Office to do its job.

Let's not start toying with our City Charter for political ends. Our Charter's system of odd-year elections has worked just fine since it was adopted in 1960. We respectfully urge you to VOTE "NO" on Measure E.

/s/ Robert T. Dillon
Councilmember City of Gilroy
/s/ Craig Gartman
Council Member City of Gilroy
/s/ Perry Woodward
Council Member, City of Gilroy

Gilroy's City Council elections happen in odd years. That's the way it has been for 48 years, since our City Charter was adopted in 1960. It has worked fine that way. But now the Mayor and three council members want to rewrite the Charter which will extend their terms by another year.

We respectfully dissented from our colleague's opinion because we felt it was important the people elected their Council for a four-year term, but in the end, we were outvoted 4 to 3.

So now the matter is in your hands. In making this decision, please keep in mind that we proposed two alternatives to this measure. Both would have solved the cost problem. Why not shorten each council members term by one year? Or, why not delay the effect of this measure so future council members (those elected in 2009 and 2011, for example) would serve five-year terms? In the past, when council wanted to change the way they operated, it took effect after the next election, not immediately.

Odd year elections benefit Gilroy. Local issues "like sidewalk repair, best-of-the-best salary schemes, and budget deficits" received the front page attention they deserve, rather than being overshadowed by higher profile presidential, gubernatorial, senatorial and congressional races. Just look at where the local school board election is on this ballot. This is where your City Council election will be in the future. Can we risk this happening to our free elections? Will our issues be buried at the bottom of the pile? We must have an election which focuses on our local Gilroy issues, because then, we all benefit.

Let's not put the community's best interest aside for a possible small financial benefit. Good responsible government must remain the goal of our local elections. Vote NO.

/s/ Robert T. Dillon
Council Member, City of Gilroy
/s/ Perry Woodward
Council Member, City of Gilroy
/s/ Craig Gartman
Council Member, City of Gilroy

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Gilroy needs to manage our tax dollars intelligently NOW, not four or six years from now. It is a FACT that if we change to even year election cycles, in four years Gilroy will save over $200,000 dollars needed to continue funding City public safety, Parks and Recreation programs.

The City Council members opposing Measure E mention alternatives to a one-year term extension but when given the opportunity, they voted AGAINST a proposal to shorten all terms in office by 1 year.

In the face of the ongoing economic slowdown, the opponents of this measure are refusing to support a reasonable approach to saving tax dollars. It is deeply irresponsible for the opponents of this measure to mischaracterize this measure and downplay the magnitude of the tax dollars saved.

Supporters of Measure E believe in the ability of Gilroy voters to navigate a ballot. We trust Gilroy's citizens to vote intelligently on all issues.

Finally, In 1960 Gilroy's population was about 7,000 today its population is 50,000. Nostalgia for the past should not blind us to wise allocation of our city's resources in the present.

Vote YES to save our Tax dollars, vote YES on Measure E

/s/ Peter Arellano
Council Member
/s/ Dion Bracco
Council Member
/s/ Cat Tucker
Council Member

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