Sep 8 2011

“May the Best Man or Woman Win” – Piedmont’s Election Season Opens

Deadlines Loom for Candidates and Parcel Tax Measure

An election for two seats on the City Council and three seats on the School Board will be held in the citywide election on February 7, 2012.  The candidate filing period runs from October 17  until the  November 14, 2011 deadline.

The City Council must decide at its next meeting (September 19th*) whether or not to include renewal of the City parcel tax in the February election or to postpone a vote until June or November 2012 elections as recommended by the Municipal Tax Review Committee.  

Vacant Seats up for Grabs

In February, Mayor Dean Barbieri will complete  two four-year terms (maximum allowed), providing an open seat on the City Council.  Councilmember Margaret Fujioka has served one term and is eligible to run for a second. 

Board of Education Trustee June Monach will have completed her second term on the School Board, while Trustees Martha Jones and Rick Raushenbush are eligible to run for an additional term.  Jones, however, has indicated she may not run again, creating the possibility of two open seats.  (See School Board News.)

Election Deadlines:

  • October 17-November 14, 2011*  Nomination Period     
  • November 18, 2011 – Deadline for Direct Arguments on Ballot Measures
  • November 28, 2011*  – Deadline for Rebuttal Arguments on Ballot Measures
  • January 23, 2012 – Last Day to Register to Vote
  • January 9-February 7, 2012 – Early Voting at the Registrar of Voters’ Office
  • February 7, 2012 – Election Day      

* The statutory deadline for filing nomination papers is November 11, 2011, and the deadline for filing rebuttal arguments is November 25, 2011. However as these dates fall on holidays, they are extended to the next business day, as the table above indicates.

City Parcel Tax: A Second Bite at the Apple?  

If the City parcel tax measure fails initially, a second attempt at passage may take place prior to its expiration on June 30, 2013.

Among the numerous fiscal reforms proposed  by the Municipal Tax Review Committee, is the strong recommendation that the Council postpone a vote to renew the parcel tax until they have had time to consider  — and hopefully act — on the Committee’s recommendations. Four, or possibly five, Committee members, have stated they will not support the tax renewal unless the Council implements Committee proposals.   See MTRC recommendations and report.

Election Costs

A City parcel tax vote could be scheduled for February, June, or November of 2012 – or even later.  If placed on the February 2012 ballot (with City and School elections), there would be no additional charge.  If placed on the June ballot, the cost could range from $24,500 to $40,500 ($3-$5 per registered voter). If placed on the November ballot, the cost would be $8,000 to $17,000, depending on how many jurisdictions place items on the ballot and share the cost of this general election date.

In contrast, the February date of City Council and School Board elections is required by the City Charter.  The cost is borne by the City unless the School Board election is competitive, in which case the cost is split between the City and the School District.

*Two readings of the parcel tax measure must occur: the first on September 19th and the second on October 3rd in order to meet the deadline for the February 7 election.



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