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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
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November 6, 2018 — Elección General de California
Local

City of Piedmont
Measure BB - Majority Approval Required

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Resultados electorales

Se aprueba

3,927 votos si (65.09%)

2,106 votos no (34.91%)

100% de distritos activos (6/6).

Charter Amendment
— undefined

Shall the measure amending the Charter of the City of Piedmont to modify procedures for filling of vacancies in elected offices for City Council and Board of Education for the Piedmont Unified School District, modify term limits for the City Council, and making other clarifying amendments regarding City recordkeeping, format of City ordinances, public posting, City contract approval, operation of City Council meetings, and other minor technical amendments, be adopted?

¿Qué es esta propuesta?

Pros y Contras — Explicación objetiva con argumentos a favor y en contra

Fuente: League of Women Voters of Piedmont

La pregunta

Shall the measure amending the Charter of the City of Piedmont to modify procedures for filling of vacancies in elected offices for City Council and Board of Education for the Piedmont Unified School District, modify term limits for the City Council, and making other clarifying amendments regarding City recordkeeping, format of City ordinances, public posting, City contract approval, operation of City Council meetings, and other minor technical amendments, be adopted?    

La situación

Following are descriptions of what the City’s Charter currently states in various sections:

  • SECTION 2.03 and 7.02 – (City Council Term of Office and School Board Term of Office) Members of the City Council and School Board who have served two full terms must wait four years before running for Council again.
  • SECTIONS 2.05 (C) and 7.04 – (Filling of Vacancies on Elected Bodies) The City Council and Board of Education must fill a vacancy in their respective membership within thirty days, and if unable to do so, the Mayor (or School Board President) shall appoint someone qualified to fill the vacancy.
  • SECTION 2.07 (A) – (Meetings) The City Council must meet twice in each month.
  • SECTIONS 2.07 (C) and 7.06 – (Meetings) Less than a quorum (3) of members at a meeting of the City Council or Board of Education may compel other members to attend.
  • SECTION 2.12 – (Ordinances) The term “posting” is defined to mean to post ordinances on the official, physical City bulletin board.
  • SECTION 2.15 (A) – (Authentication and Recording, Codification, Printing) Ordinances and resolutions are required to be kept in a fully indexed book.
  • SECTION 3.02 – (Official Bonds) The City is required to maintain performance bonds for certain officers of the City.
  • SECTION 4.11 – (Contract Work) All expenditures for public projects above the limit set from time to time by State law shall be contracted for and let to the lowest responsible bidder after notice.
  • SECTION 5.02 – (Appointments and Promotions) The City Charter’s nondiscrimination policy currently reads: “The City shall not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of sex, race, creed, color or national or ethnic origin.”

La propuesta

If adopted by the voters, here are some of the ways Measure BB would amend sections of the Charter of the City of Piedmont:

  • SECTION 2.03 – would be amended to prohibit any councilmember who has already served two full consecutive terms from holding such office again until two full intervening terms (eight years) have elapsed.
  • SECTIONS 2.05 (C) and 7.04 – would be amended to increase the time the City Council and Board of Education have to fill a vacancy in their respective membership, from thirty to sixty days. If the respective body does not act within the sixty days, the vacancy would be filled by special election.
  • SECTION 2.07 (A) – would be amended to delete the requirement that the Council meet at least twice a month and provide instead that the Council have a goal of meeting at least twice a month.
  • SECTION 2.15 (A) – would be amended to remove the requirement that the City keep ordinances and resolutions in an indexed book, allowing for electronic recordkeeping.
  • SECTION 4.11 – would be amended to remove reference to the state law threshold requirements for public bidding. This would clarify the City’s authority to set competitive bidding requirements for contracts by local ordinance, as is allowed for charter cities. Current City ordinances, which may be amended by the City Council after proper process, provide for the procurement of goods and services as follows:  less than $5,000 – in most cases, no competitive bidding is required; $5,000 -$75,000 – contract must be awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder after informal solicitation in the open market without public advertisement; and above $75,000 – a full formal bidding process is required.
  • SECTION 5.02 – The City Charter’s nondiscrimination policy would be amended to mirror current legal requirements, yet anticipate future changes in applicable law.    

Efectos fiscales

The City foresees little or no fiscal impact from these Charter amendments.    

Sus partidarios dicen

  • Requiring an eight-year wait before incumbents can run again gives new people an opportunity to run for office and makes elections more open and competitive.
  • Providing the City Council 60 days to select a replacement removes the unilateral authority of the Mayor, allows a special election if a replacement is not made in 60 days, and is a more democratic and transparent process.
  • Removing outdated language ensures the Charter is consistent with current practices and changes, such as the posting of City notices and record keeping, reflecting new technology and modern practices. 

 

 

s/ Robert S. McBain – Mayor

 

s/ Tim Rood – Council Member

 

s/ Dean Barbieri – Former Mayor

 

s/ Valerie Matzger – Former Mayor

s/ John Chiang – Former Council Member

Sus oponentes dicen

  • These amendments are not “minor” technical changes. 
  • This measure eliminates important rules for obtaining the best bids for taxpayer dollars.
  • Measure BB limits who incumbent City Council members run against, further protecting incumbency and others by prohibiting proven, voter-supported volunteers from serving again until they have been out of office for two terms.    

s/ Garrett Keating – Former Council Member

s/ Melanie Robertson – Former Planning Commissioner

s/ George Childs – Piedmont Resident

s/ Jim McCrea – Piedmont Resident

s/ Greg Jurin – Piedmont Resident    

Información básica sobre la iniciativa de ley — Información oficial sobre esta iniciativa

Un voto por el SÍ significa

A “yes” vote on Measure BB would be a vote to adopt the various amendments to the Charter of the City of Piedmont as described above.

Un voto por el NO significa

A “no” vote on Measure BB would be a vote against adopting the various amendments to the Charter of the City of Piedmont as described above and the Charter will remain the same.

Análisis del analista legislativo / Proposal

Michelle Marchetta Kenyon, City Attorney for the City of Piedmont

CITY ATTORNEY IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE BB

 If adopted by the voters, Measure BB would amend various sections of the Charter of the City of Piedmont. In particular, Section 2.03 would be amended to prohibit any councilmember who has already served two full consecutive terms from holding such office again until two full intervening terms have elapsed. Sections 2.05(C) and 7.04 would be amended to increase the time the City Council and Board of Education have to fill a vacancy in their respective membership, from thirty to sixty days. If the respective body does not act within the sixty days, the vacancy would be filled by special election. Section 2.07(A) deletes the mandatory requirement that the Council meet regularly at least twice a month and requires instead that the Council have a goal of meeting at least twice a month. Sections 2.07(C) and 7.06 remove archaic provisions allowing a non-quorum of the City Council or Board of Education to compel the attendance of absent members. Section 2.12 updates archaic language regarding the enacting clause of ordinances to be more in line with modern practice and updates ordinance posting to be done electronically rather than on the City bulletin board. Section 2.15(A) is amended to remove the requirement that the City keep ordinances and resolutions in an indexed book as the City’s electronic records management system presently serves this function. The Measure deletes existing Section 3.02 which allows the City Council to require faithful performance bonds for officers of the City and renumbers all remaining provisions of Article III. Section 4.11 is amended to remove language regarding state law threshold amounts for bidding to clarify existing authority to set all public bidding requirements by ordinance. Finally Section 5.10 is amended to mirror current legal requirements regarding the prohibition against employment discrimination to cover all classes protected under current and future law.

A “yes” vote on Measure BB would be a vote to adopt the various amendments to the Charter of the City of Piedmont as described above.

A “no” vote on Measure BB would be a vote against adopting the various amendments to the Charter of the City of Piedmont as described above and the Charter will remain the same.

This Measure will be effective if a majority (greater than fifty percent (50%)) of the voters voting on the Measure vote in its favor.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure BB. If you desire a copy of the ordinance or measure, please call the elections official's office at (510) 420-3040 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

 

/s/ Michelle Marchetta Kenyon,

City Attorney for the City of Piedmont

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Argumento A FAVOR

Measure BB proposes changes to the Piedmont City Charter. The last major Charter revision was in 1980. Many changes remove outdated language, ensure the Charter is consistent with current practices and make the City’s political processes more open and transparent. These changes, such as the posting of city notices and record keeping, reflect new technology and modern practices. Much has changed since 1980.

The Charter currently stipulates that the council meets twice monthly. Council typically meets that often and sometimes more frequently. This change sets a goal of meeting twice a month, but ensures that there is no Charter violation should an occasion arise where only one meeting is held. Further, language that allows Council members to compel attendance of other members is removed; that is neither legal or practical.

Proposed changes significantly improve the openness and transparency of the City’s political processes. The amendment increases the waiting period for councilmembers that have served two full terms from four to eight years. Piedmont does not need semi-professional politicians. The City’s talented residents should be encouraged to seek office. Given costs, time and resources required to run for Council, former councilmembers have an advantage. The short 4- year time frame is insufficient to mitigate this advantage. Eight years gives new people an opportunity; elections should be open, competitive and feature fresh candidates.

Filing vacancies is addressed. Currently, the Charter gives Council 30 days to replace a member. If there is no agreed replacement, the Mayor chooses the new member. These changes provide Council 60 days to select a replacement and remove the unilateral authority of the Mayor. Should the Council fail to select a replacement, a special election will be held. This change is clearly more democratic and transparent.

Vote for Measure BB

The undersigned proponents or authors of the direct argument in favor of Measure BB at the General Municipal Election for the City of Piedmont to be held on November 6, 2018, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of his/her/their/knowledge and belief. 

Robert S. McBain, Mayor

Tim Rood, Councilmember

Dean Barbieri, Former Mayor

— Alameda County Registrar of Voters, https://www.acvote.org/

Argumento EN CONTRA

THIS MEASURE SHOULD BE REJECTED BY VOTERS. The ballot wording noted as, "and other minor technical amendments" suggests that the proposed Charter changes are minor and inconsequential. These are not “minor” technical changes, but electoral changes to limit voter choice and a reduction of contract bidding rules that weaken fiscal oversight.

This amendment reduces required competitive bidding on many city contracts. Contract management and oversights were “lessons learned” from Piedmont's undergrounding debacle costing taxpayers over $2 million dollars. Measure BB reduces important rules for fiscal oversight and obtaining the best bids for taxpayer dollars. Now is not the time for relaxing bidding rules when large capital projects are planned at Coaches Field, the Piedmont Pool, and Linda Beach Field.

This amendment replaces required Council meetings to those approved simply by Council resolution. Calling electoral changes for City Council “term limits” is disingenuous. Measure BB does not “modify term limits for City Council” – for it makes no changes to the 2-term limit for elected officials. Instead, it increases the amount of time before termed-out council members can run again from 4 to 8 years. It limits who incumbent City Council members run against, further protecting incumbency and others by prohibiting proven, voter-supported volunteers from serving again. The Piedmont School Board rejected this restrictive amendment limiting candidates. Keep competitive bidding, save tax dollars, and eliminate proposed electoral limits within the Charter by voting NO ON MEASURE BB!

The undersigned proponents or authors of the direct argument in favor of or opposed to Measure BB at the General Municipal Election for the City of Piedmont to be held on November 6, 2018, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of his/her/their/knowledge and belief.

Garrett Keating, Former Councilman

Jim McCrea, Resident

Melanie Robertson, Former Planning Commissioner

Greg Jurin, Resident

George Childs, Resident

— Alameda County Registrar of Voters, https://www.acvote.org/

Refutación al argumento A FAVOR

 Read the measure - key fiscal changes are ignored in the argument. Most important is the weakening of competitive bidding. BB calls for to-be-determined bidding rules but grants Council the right to waive those rules. Soon the city will begin several large private/public projects and a facility maintenance program that calls for millions in repairs. Bidding is essential to cost control – bids for two city hall restrooms ranged from $150,00 to $500,000 – and should be mandatory to save taxpayer dollars. Current rules allow $75,000 projects without formal bidding. Reject BB and make Council come forward with the bidding ordinance before granting waiver authority.

Proponents claim a problem we don’t have - no termed out-council member has ever run again after 4 years. First-term council members always do, and BB limits who they run against for reelection – that is the advantage being gained here. Proponents found only one California city with this 8-year limit. Most Council elections go uncontested – why limit voter choice by making it harder for volunteers to run again? Volunteerism is essential to Piedmont’s success and lets voters get to know the candidates personally, an asset to our community. Regular monthly meetings are needed for oversight by Council and for rapid community response, as was seen with cell towers.

The other changes in BB are non-essential. Anti-discrimination protections are already in place under state law and can be strengthened by ordinance. Protect Piedmont’s fiscal oversight and proven volunteer leadership and VOTE NO on BB.

"The undersigned proponents or authors of the direct/rebuttal argument in favor of or opposed to Measure BB at the General Municipal Election for the City of Piedmont to be held on November 6, 2018, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of his/her/their/knowledge and belief."

Garrett Keating, Former Councilman

Melanie Robertson, Former Planning Commissioner

George Childs, Resident

Jim McCrea, Resident

Greg Jurin, Resident

— Alameda County Registrar of Voters, https://www.acvote.org/

Refutación al argumento EN CONTRA

Measure BB opponents address only two of the constructive changes proposed. They are totally wrong and misguided on both issues. Competitive bidding: their claim is totally inaccurate, without merit and appears purposely inflammatory - they seem not to have read the measure or to be deliberately misrepresenting facts. Competitive bidding was discussed at the town hall meeting held to review Charter changes. Pursuant to community input and legal review, language was specifically clarified to ensure there is no confusion: COMPETITIVE BIDDING IS STILL REQUIRED. The measure simply raises the dollar threshold for formal, public bidding, which is extremely inefficient for very small projects and can discourage responsible bidders.

Opponents are equally mistaken regarding revised election rules. The proposed measure helps more citizens and volunteers seek office. The measure prevents the council from becoming self-perpetuating. In politics, name recognition is critical. Currently, an 8-year councilmember need wait only 4 years; they can easily gain the endorsement of former colleagues and sitting councilmembers, enlist previous supporters, and tap former contributors. They effectively run as an incumbent with inherent and tremendous advantages. This measure does not prevent councilmembers from running again. It just makes former councilmembers wait another 4 years and gives less well-known volunteers a chance. That must outweigh the personal ambitions of councilmembers wanting to quickly return to office.

Measure BB proposes positive changes to the Charter. Opposition arguments are inaccurate, misleading and unpersuasive. Support efforts to make Piedmont more democratic, responsive and modern. SUPPORT BB

The undersigned proponents or authors of the rebuttal to the argument opposed to Measure BB at the General Municipal Election for the City of Piedmont to be held on November 6, 2018, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of his/her/their/knowledge and belief.

Robert S. McBain, Mayor

Tim Rood, Councilmember

Valerie Matzger, Former Mayor

Dean Barbieri, Former Mayor

 

John Chiang Former Mayor

 
— Alameda County Registrar of Voters, https://www.acvote.org/

Más información

Videos (1)

City of Piedmont video of October 11, 2018 League of Women Voters Election Forum. --Candidates: Members City Council, Piedmont --Piedmont Measure BB and Measure CC --Candidates: Piedmont Unified School District Governing Board Members

Eventos (1)

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