Full text of Measure E
TEXT OF AMENDMENT TO SANTA CRUZ CITY CHARTER
The City Charter of the City of Santa Cruz is hereby amended as follows (underlining showing additions and
strikethrough showing deletions):
PART 1: PROPOSED CHARTER AMENDMENT
Article VI “ELECTIVE OFFICERS” is hereby amended at Sections 601-602 and 604-605, to read as follows:
“Section 601 COUNCIL, NUMBER, TERM.
The elective officers of this City shall be seven councilmembers who shall constitute the Council. They shall be elected from the City at large as provided in ARTICLE VII for a term of four years and until their successors have been elected and qualified. The Council shall be the legislative body of this City, each of the members of which, including the Mayor, shall have the right to vote upon all questions before it. No member of the Council shall be eligible for re-election for two years (i.e. one general election cycle) after the expiration of the second consecutive full term for which such person was elected.
(a) The elective officers of this City shall consist of six Councilmembers and a Mayor, each of the members of which, including the Mayor, shall have the right to vote upon all questions before it. The terms “Council”, "City Council", "legislative body", or other similar terms as used in this Charter or any other provision of law shall be deemed to refer to the collective body composed of the Mayor and Councilmembers unless such interpretation would be clearly contrary to the intent and context of such other provision.
(b) Candidates for City Council shall be nominated from and by the electors of each of the six districts referred to in Article VII of this Charter. The term of office shall be four years. The term of each City Council member shall commence on the date of the City Council meeting, following his or her election, at which the council receives the certification of election results from the City Clerk.
(c) Candidates for Mayor shall be nominated from and by the electors of the City and elected by the voters of the City at-large. The term of office shall be four years. The term of Mayor shall commence on the date of the City Council meeting, following his or her election. at which the Council receives the certification of election results from the City Clerk.
(d) No member of the Council shall be eligible for re-election, or for election to a different Council district, for two years (i.e. one general election cycle) after the expiration of the second consecutive full term of the office for which such person was elected. However, this prohibition shall not bar (1) a Councilmember elected by-district from running for Mayor immediately after two terms as a Councilmember, or (2) the Mayor from running as a by-district Councilmember immediately after two terms as Mayor. With that said, in no event may any person serve on the Council (as either a Councilmember or the Mayor) for more than sixteen (16) consecutive years.
Section 602 QUALIFICATIONS.
(a) A person shall be eligible to be nominated for, or to hold office as a Mayor, only if such person is a registered qualified voter of this City, and shall have been for at least thirty (30) days preceding nomination or appointment, a resident of the City of Santa Cruz, or of territory annexed thereto.
(b) A person shall be eligible to be nominated for, or to hold office as a member of the Council, only if such person is a registered qualified voter of this City, and shall have been for at least thirty (30) days preceding nomination or appointment, a resident of the
City of Santa Cruz, or of territory annexed thereto. district from which that person has been nominated or appointed.
Section 604 PRESIDING OFFICER – MAYOR.
(a) The Mayor
shall preside at the meetings of the Council, shall be elected at-large, shall preside at the meetings of the Council, be a voting member of the Council, shall have a voice and vote in all Council proceedings, and shall be recognized as the titular head of the City government for all ceremonial purposes and by the Governor for purposes of military law but shall have no regular administrative duties.
The Council shall elect one of its members who shall have the title of Mayor. The Council shall also elect a Vice-Mayor, who shall act as Mayor during the absence or disability of the Mayor, and if a vacancy occurs, shall become Mayor for the completion of the unexpired term. Both the Mayor and the Vice-Mayor shall be elected from the Councilmembers at the second meeting in November in each non-election year, and at the first regularly or specially scheduled evening Council meeting following the County election official’s certification of the general municipal election results in each election year. The Mayor and Vice-Mayor so elected shall serve until their successors have been elected.,
(b) The Mayor shall have the discretion to set City Council agendas and to change the order of business on the agendas provided, however, that an item may be added to a future City Council agenda at the direction of three members of the City Council.
(c) The Mayor shall have the primary but not exclusive responsibility for interpreting the policies, programs, and needs of the City government to the people, and, as occasion requires, the Mayor may inform the people of any change in policy or program.
(d) The Mayor shall perform such other duties consistent with the office as may be prescribed by this Charter or as may be imposed by the City Council.
(e) The City shall maintain a “Council-Manager” form of government, and the Mayor possesses only such authority over the City Manager and the administrative branch as he or she possesses as one member of the Council.
(f) The Council shall elect a Vice-Mayor, who shall serve in such capacity at the pleasure of the City Council. The Vice- Mayor shall perform the duties of the Mayor during the Mayor's absence or disability. The Vice-Mayor shall be elected by the Council at the second meeting in November in each non-election year, and at the first regularly or specially scheduled evening Council meeting following the County election official’s certification of the general municipal election results in each election year. The Mayor and Vice-Mayor so elected shall serve until their successors have been elected. Nothing herein shall prevent a Councilmember from serving consecutive terms as Vice-Mayor.
SECTION 605 COUNCIL VACANCIES.
A councilmember vacancy
in the City Council from whatever cause arising, shall be filled by appointment by the City Council, or by special election called by the Council.
If a vacancy is filled by appointment, the appointee shall be a qualified person from the district in which the vacancy has occurred and shall hold office until the second regularly scheduled evening meeting following the next municipal election and until a successor is elected and takes the oath of office. At the next general municipal election following any vacancy, a Councilmember shall be elected to serve for the remainder of any unexpired term.
If a vacancy is filled by special election, the person receiving the highest number of votes in the subject district shall, upon taking the oath of office, serve for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former incumbent and until a successor has been elected and takes the oath of office.
In the event a vacancy has not been filled by appointment or an election called within sixty (60) days after such office shall have been declared vacant, the Council shall forthwith call an election to fill such vacancy.
A vacancy in the office of Mayor from whatever cause arising, shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by a special election called by the City Council to be held not less than 88 days nor more than 103 days after the effective date of the vacancy, except the special election may be conducted within 180 days of the effective date of the vacancy in order to consolidate with the City's general municipal election. An election shall not be ordered, and the office of Mayor shall remain vacant, if the term expires within the timeframe for holding a special election.
A City Council or Mayoral office shall become vacant and shall be so declared by the Council if a person elected or appointed
to the Council fails to take the oath of office within sixty (60) days after the election or appointment, is absent from all regular meetings of the Council for sixty (60) days unless expressly permitted by the City Council in its official minutes, ceases to be an elector of the City, or is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.”
SECTION 2. Article VII “ELECTIONS” is hereby amended by adding Sections 708-711, to read as follows:
“SECTION 708 Districts.
The City shall be divided into six districts, the names and respective boundaries of which shall be as established by ordinance.
Following the national census and each tenth year thereafter the City Council may appoint a committee to study and report to the City Council on the advisability of redistricting the City. Upon receipt of any such committee report, and at any other time deemed necessary or desirable in order that the district boundaries be fair and logical, the City Council may by ordinance change and/or redefine the boundaries of any or all of the six districts herein established. The boundaries so defined shall be established in such manner that the districts shall, as nearly as practicable, constitute natural areas of contiguous and compact territory and provide fair representation on the City Council. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 602, no redistricting shall disqualify any Councilmember from serving the remainder of his or her term, if elected, or until the next general municipal election, if appointed. Any territory hereafter annexed to or consolidated with the City shall, at the time of such annexation or consolidation, be added by ordinance of the City Council to an adjacent district or districts.
SECTION 709 Territory Not Specifically Described.
Any territory constituting a part of the City and not specifically included in any district shall be deemed included in the district with which it has the longest common boundary line. If there is no common boundary line with any district, then such territory shall be deemed included in the nearest district to it.
SECTION 710 Voters Signing Nomination Petitions.
The voters signing any petition for the nomination of any person to the office of Councilmember shall be residents and registered voters of the district from which such person is to be nominated. The voters signing any petition for the nomination of any person to the office of Mayor shall be residents and registered voters of the City.
SECTION 711 Two Round Election System
(a) The Mayor and the by-district Councilmembers shall be elected using a Two Round Election System, also known as runoff voting. At the first round of elections, any candidate receiving a majority of the vote cast (i.e., 50% + 1) for all candidates for that office shall be declared elected.
(b) If, after the first round of elections, there is any office to which no person was elected, then the two candidates for such office receiving the highest number of votes for such office shall be the candidates, and the only candidates, for such office whose names shall be printed upon ballots to be issued at the second or General Municipal Election; provided that, in any event, all persons receiving a number of votes equal to the highest or second highest number of votes received by any candidate shall also be candidates at such second election. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes cast for all candidates for that office at the second or General Municipal Election shall be declared elected.
(c) For purposes of the election of a Mayor and Councilmembers in the year 2022, for timing reasons, only one round of elections will be held (i.e., the General Municipal Election on November 8, 2022), and the winner of said election shall be the candidate who receives the most votes from eligible voters in that election.
(d) Whenever practical, the first round of elections shall occur on the date of and be consolidated with the Statewide Primary Election.
(e) The Council may, by ordinance, establish administrative rules and procedures for the City’s Two Round Election System that are not inconsistent with this Section.”
PART 2: BALLOT DESCRIPTION
As provided in Government Code section 34458.5, the following ballot description is included in this proposed Charter Amendment measure:
The proposed Charter Amendment measure would amend Santa Cruz City Charter Sections 601, 602, 604, and 605. It would also add sections 708, 709, 710, and 711 to the City Charter. These amendments and additions would provide for a directly-elected at-large Mayor, six council districts, updated rules on term limits, and run-off elections.
Charter Section 601 would be revised to provide for six council districts and an at-large mayor. It would also update Charter’s rules on term limits, allowing individuals to run for election to the Council after two consecutive terms, in certain instances, with a firm rule that no person may serve on the Council (as either a Councilmember or a Mayor) for more than sixteen (16) consecutive years.
The proposed revisions to Section 602 would support the at-large mayor and 6 council district structure.
The proposed revisions to Section 604 would set out the duties of the Mayor and Vice Mayor. Section 604(b) also would contain a section that allows three members of the Council to place items on future Council agendas.
Proposed revisions to Section 605 would describe how Councilmember and Mayoral vacancies are handled.
The proposal also contemplates adding Sections 708, 709, 710, and 711 to the Charter. Section 708 specifies that six districts shall be created, by ordinance. Section 709 addresses Territory Not Specifically Described. Section 710 specifies that voters signing nominating petitions of Councilmembers must live in the appropriate district, while voters signing the nominating petition of the mayor, must be residents of the City. Section 711 establishes a Two Round Election system (also known as Run-Off Elections) for the Mayor and for Councilmembers.
PART 3: SEVERABILITY
It is the intent of the people that the provisions of this Charter Amendment measure are severable and that if any provision of this Charter Amendment measure, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid such invalidity shall not affect any other provision or application of this Charter Amendment measure which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.
PART 4: CONFLICTING MEASURES
In the event this Charter Amendment measure and another measure or measures relating to establishing the office of elected Mayor, City Council districts, term limits, or Run-Off Voting the other matters described herein shall appear on the same ballot, the other Charter measure or measures shall be deemed to be in conflict with this Charter Amendment measure. In the event that this Charter Amendment measure receives a greater number of affirmative votes, the provisions of this measure shall prevail in their entirety, and the provisions of the other measure or measures shall be null and void.
If this Charter Amendment measure is approved by the voters but superseded in whole or in part by any other conflicting measure approved by the voters at the same election, and such other conflicting measure is later found held invalid, this measure shall be self-executing and given full force and effect.
PART 5: IMPLEMENTATION
In the event this Charter Amendment measure is approved:
A. The members of the City Council in office at the time these Charter provisions take effect shall continue in office until their successors are elected and qualified.
B. The City Council shall, following the processes required by applicable law, adopt an ordinance to establish the respective boundaries for six (6) City Council districts. If the Charter Amendment measure is approved, it is the Council’s intent that an ordinance establishing 6 council districts be completed in time for the November 2022 election. However, if the charter amendment election results are not certain in time to qualify for the November 2022 election but are ultimately approved by the voters, then the charter amendment establishing an at-large elected mayor and six council districts and the ordinance establishing district boundaries of the six districts shall be implemented as soon as practicable, and in time to conduct a first round of elections at the same time as the 2024 statewide primary election.
C. The enactment of this measure shall not be interpreted or applied to reset the limit on consecutive terms applicable to any person holding office as a member of the City Council at the time this measure is approved by voters.
PART 6: EFFECTIVE DATE
This Charter Amendment measure shall become effective in the manner allowed by law.