City Council, Pasadena Unified School Board Announce Special Joint Meeting on Future Elections

Published : Monday, February 12, 2018 | 6:11 AM

City Council, Pasadena Unified School Board Announce Special Joint Meeting

Pasadena’s City Council and the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education will hold a Special Joint Meeting this Thursday, February 15 to address and vote upon the timing of future elections in the City, by consolidating these with statewide general elections.

The change in timing will be implemented only after an amendment in the Pasadena City Charter, which can only take after the amendment is approved by voters in a special City-wide election.

The likely outcome will keep all members of both bodies in their seats far past their current terms, filling the time gaps created which would be created by synchronising Pasadena’s municipal cycle with the State’s election cycle.

A notice for the Special Joint Meeting circulated by the office of the City Clerk showed the agenda will include adopting at least six resolutions – three pertaining to future City elections, and three pertaining to future elections for PUSD Board members.

The resolutions will pave the way for the City Council to call for a special election on June 5, 2018, where a Charter amendment to change the timing of future City elections, as well as of future PUSD Board of Education elections, to occur on statewide election dates held in even-numbered years, consistent with state law.

A second resolution would request the Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles County to authorize and order the consolidation of the special election in Pasadena with the statewide primary election on June 5, as well as request the Los Angeles Country Clerk/Registrar of Voters to administer the election on behalf of the City.

The City Council is also expected to adopt a resolution setting priorities for filing written arguments regarding a proposed amendment to the City’s Charter that would change the timing of Pasadena elections and direct the City Attorney to prepare and impartial analysis.

Two other resolutions providing for the filing of rebuttal arguments with respect to the the City of Pasadena’s proposed Charter amendment, and to the Pasadena Unified School District proposed Charter amendment measures, are also up for adoption during the special joint meeting.

To make funding available for the special elections in June, an amendment to the fiscal year 2018 operating budget may also be passed on Thursday. The agenda showed the City Clerk is recommending the appropriation of $147,000 from the City’s General Fund balance to cover election-related expenses.

On September 1, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California Voter Participation Rights Act directing all California cities to shift any “off-cycle” local elections to statewide election dates, if local election participation rates result in low voter turnout elections. In July last year, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said charter cities like Pasadena must also participate in the move to statewide elections.

In an informal straw poll in October, the Pasadena City Council in October decided a resolution will formalize the City’s intention to comply with the Act.

The PUSD Board of Education also deliberated on the proposed format for Board elections in consonance with state law.

At the joint meeting Thursday, City Council members and members of the PUSD Board are expected to finalize Charter amendment language covering both elections, and synchronizing them with statewide elections.

The special public meeting opens at 6:30 p.m. at the Pasadena City Council Chamber at City Hall.

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