As California voters head for the polls Tuesday, June 5 for the Statewide Direct Primary Election to select candidates for a new Governor and other statewide offices, there are four local measures before Pasadena voters, each of which could immeasurably alter the city’s sociological and economic landscape.
Additionally, Pasadena voters will weigh in on a race for the District 1 Pasadena City College Board of Trustees seat. Until late last week, that contest remained lopsided with incumbent candidate Ross Selvidge having “ceased” his campaign against challenger Sandra Chen Lau. But Friday, Selvidge reactivated his campaign in a surprise last-minute move.
Ballot Measures AA and BB, if passed, would move the City’s primary and general election dates for Mayor, City Council and School Board to coincide with State’s election cycle.
The City Charter amendment measure comes nearly a year and a half after the City was informed by the State Attorney General Xavier Becerra that Pasadena must comply with the California Voter Participation Rights Act passed in 2015 for the purpose of increasing voter participation in municipal elections.
Should both measures pass, Mayor Terry Tornek and all current City Council and current Pasadena Unified School Board members would remain in office for an additional, one-time 19-month extended period until the next municipal election could be held in synch with State elections.
“There will be no City Council or Mayor elections in 2018, because we could not change the election timing and hold a primary election for Mayor and City Council at the same time as the statewide June 5, 2018 election,” City Clerk Mark Jomsky explained. “The City will continue to utilize a Primary and a General election to ensure that a successful candidate receives a 50%+1 majority to be elected.”
Ballot Measure BB, which would adjust the Pasadena Board of Education’s election calendar in compliance with state law, would install plurality voting, in which the candidate with the most votes in the election wins outright, whether they receive a majority or not.
According to a City report, Measures AA and BB “would simply ensure the City is consistent with new State law and create efficiencies in voting by consolidating these local elections with the State election calendar. “
The measures would remove Pasadena from the vote counting process and turn over the elections to the Los Angeles County Registrar.
Ballot Measure CC regulates Commercial Cannabis, and would allow and regulate cannabis sales in the City, allowing only six retail outlets, while imposing distance requirements for recreational marijuana sales from schools, residences, and homes.
While the State has legalized Cannabis, cities are free to create their own regulations.
Pasadena long held out against cannabis stores, but stands to earn considerable tax revenue from local sales.
Ballot Measure DD is the actual legislation which will allow for the collection of business taxes and fees from retail cannabis operations at six percent, and other marijuana-related businesses at four percent to support the enforcement of cannabis regulations, as well as overall funds for City operations.
Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find out where to cast your ballot, you may visit https://www.lavote.net/locator.