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Voting Change Comments

From: domainremoved <pdjones>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2017 11:37:53 -0700 (GMT-07:00)

Mayor Keith, Vice Mayor Ohtaki, Council Members, and staff,

Please note that the third WHEREAS in the Resolution to be voted on tonight is incorrect.

According to the last sentence in Mr. Shenkman’s letter, “Please advise us no later than October 3, 2017 as to whether you would like to discuss a voluntary change to your current at-large system.”

Rather than providing an immediate solution to a problem we do not fully understand, we need to review all voting system options, decide whether to remain a general law city. Or, becoming a charter city therefore giving us more voting system options.  Should we become a 6-member council with a non-voting Mayor except in the case of a tie?

Our population is and will continue to substantially increase due to the General Plan M2 Area and the Belle Haven neighborhood’s increasing number of apartments and minimal increase of apartments in the Downtown Specific Plan.

We have been given the opportunity to create a system of voting for Council members that is inclusive of everyone in our diverse City, and reflected in the makeup of the Council.

This is not just a legal demand, it is a moral, ethical and inclusion issue.  This is not a new issue.

In October 2013, then Mayor Pro Tem Ray Mueller raised the idea of adding district representation retaining some at-large councilors.

In November 2016, then Mayor Cline suggested the possibility of expanding the council to seven members, or establishing districts whose voters would elect a council member living in that district.

This is the time to develop a voting system that ensures the entire City is represented. Rather than 4 of 5 council members from West of El Camino. We need a voting system that guarantees every person’s voice, from every neighborhood, is respected and reflected in every decision made for our City.

I strongly urge you to direct our attorney to discuss voluntary change with Mr. Shankman, without a final solution. I am confident that a timeline can be developed and agreed upon that addresses our need for voting inclusion.

Thank-you, Pamela Jones

Received on Thu Oct 05 2017 - 11:43:06 PDT

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