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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Local

City of Santa Barbara
Measure C2018 - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

23,775 votes yes (75.64%)

7,657 votes no (24.36%)

100% of precincts reporting (55/55).

Charter Amendment - District Elections
— undefined

Shall the City Charter be amended to reflect the City's court-ordered switch to district elections, with six Council districts and the Mayor elected citywide, and including new special election requirements for Council and Mayoral vacancies?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

City Attorney, City of Santa Barbara

If approved by a majority of the City's voters, Measure C would amend the City Charter to include the City's court-ordered switch to district elections. It would also require the City Council to hold special elections to fill vacancies on the City Council or in the office of Mayor, rather than making appointments to fill vacant seats.

In 2014, the City was sued under the California Voting Rights Act (the "Act"). The lawsuit claimed that citywide at-large voting caused illegal Latino vote dilution. According to the Act, vote dilution impairs the ability of Latinos to elect candidates of their choice or to influence the outcome of an election, as a result of the dilution or abridgment of their rights as voters.

The case was settled with an agreement (and court order) to create two Latino majority districts (Districts 1 and 3 consisting generally of the Eastside and Westside). Four additional election districts were also created, covering generally the Mesa (District 2), the Riviera (District 4), San Roque (District 5), and Oak Park/Downtown (District 6). Beginning with the City's 2015 elections, all City Council Members have been residents of and elected from one of these six geographical election districts. The Mayor is elected at large by the entire City. The court order is binding regardless of whether or not the voters approve putting it in the Charter.

Switching to district elections also impacts the City Charter's requirements for filling vacancies in the office of Mayor when a sitting council member is elected Mayor. Existing law requires the City Council to appoint the unelected candidate who received the highest number of votes to the vacant Council seat. This cannot be accomplished in a district election system because the appointee must be a resident of the district vacated by the Council Member who is elected Mayor. The Measure changes the law to require the City Council to call a special election to fill mayoral and city council vacancies. After calling a special election, the Council may appoint an interim city council member who holds office until the special election. If an interim appointee runs for election to the City Council, they cannot describe themselves on the ballot as an incumbent or member or former member of the City Council.

The City Council placed this measure on the ballot.

A "yes" vote is a vote to acknowledge the City's court-ordered switch to district elections and to require special elections to fill City Council and mayoral vacancies.

A "no" vote is a vote not to amend the City Charter to include the City's switch to district elections in the City Charter. A "no" vote will also retain the existing Charter language which allows the City Council to appoint new City Council Members or the Mayor in the event of a vacancy, instead of conducting a special election.

/s/ Ariel Pierre Calonne, City Attorney
City of Santa Barbara

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure C2018. If you desire a copy of the measure, please call the elections official’s office at 1-800-722-8683 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.
You may also access the full text of the measure on the Upcoming Elections page of the County Election Office’s website at http://www.sbcvote.com.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote YES on Measure C to bring our City Charter into compliance with the California Voting Rights Act, and to ensure that voters have the final say when there is a vacancy on the Council.

The Santa Barbara Superior Court has already ordered the city to establish election by district. Measure C simply amends the City Charter to reflect the process that was established in 2015. Updating the Charter now will provide a clear process for electing Councilmembers, and avoid possible confusion or challenges in the future. The Mayor will continue to be elected by all city voters.

Under our new district election system, each council member represents approximately 13,000 people, bringing government closer to residents. Voters have become more engaged as turnout and diversity on the City Council have increased. Santa Barbara residents now have a direct representative, elected from their neighborhood.

Measure C also allows ALL vacancies on the Council or in the office of Mayor be filled by voters at the next regularly scheduled state or federal election, and will allow the seat to be filled by appointment on an interim basis. This keeps the decision on who represents you where it belongs – with you, the voters, and saves the city the cost of an expensive special election to fill each vacancy.

Measure C was placed on the ballot by the Santa Barbara City Council in an effort to have our City Charter reflect the switch to district-based elections and incorporate a fair and democratic method for filling vacancies.

Please join us in Voting YES on Measure C to provide accountability, transparency, and accuracy in government.

The undersigned proponent(s) or author(s) of the primary argument in favor of a ballot proposition C2018 at the Special Consolidated Municipal Election for the City of Santa Barbara to be held on November 6, 2018 hereby state that the argument is true and correct to the best of his/her/their knowledge and belief.

/s/ Cathy Murillo 7/2/18
Mayor, City of Santa Barbara  

/s/ Gregg Hart 7/2/18
Santa Barbara City Councilmember  

/s/ Kristen Sneddon 7/2/18
Santa Barbara City Councilmember  

/s/ Ronald Zonen 7/2/18
Retired Prosecutor  

/s/ George Eskin 7/2/18
Judge of the Superior Court (Ret.)  

 

— County Clerk, Recorder, and Assessor and Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

NO ARGUMENT WAS FILED AGAINST MEASURE C2018.

— County Clerk, Recorder, and Assessor and Registrar of Voters

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

You may also access the full text of the measure on the Upcoming Elections page of the County Election Office’s website at http://www.sbcvote.com.

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