January 20, 2010

City Council Approves Ranked Choice Voting - Election is Nov. 2, 2010

The San Leandro City Council approved ranked choice voting (also known as instant runoff voting) 5 - 2 at its meeting on January 19, 2010. This means that the election for San Leandro City Council will be held in November 2010 and not in June, as in the past two elections.

Fourteen people spoke in favor of ranked choice voting before the City Council voted, including representatives from Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, Black Women Organized for Political Action, and New America Foundation. Nobody spoke against it.

Vice Mayor Starosciak and Councilmember Bill Stephens voted against ranked choice voting, with Stephens stating that the additional cost was too much given "a budget that's hemorrhaging." Councilmember Diana Souza said she supported the "theory of IRV [instant runoff voting]," spent the next two minutes giving arguments against ranked choice voting, and then voted to support it.

The City Council voted unanimously to accept the recommendations of the Recreation and Parks Commission to use the $3.7 million in Measure WW funds on ten projects that were chosen during two community meetings:

  • Toyon Park Play Equipment
  • Marina Park - Group Picnic Areas
  • Par Course Improvements
  • Marina Park Irrigation Improvements
  • Marina Dog Park (cheaper option)
  • San Leandro Ball Park Locker/Restroom Refurbishment
  • Stenzel Park Drainage Project
  • Bleachers at the Pacific Sports Complex
  • Resurface Skate Park with concrete
  • Resurface park pathways

During the City Council discussion, Souza made arguments against going forward with the recommendations of the Recreation and Parks Commission for more than three minutes, but voted to approve them.

With a November election, City Manager Steve Hollister stated that any proposed revenue increase would be on the same ballot as the City Council election. As pointed out by Stephen Cassidy during his comments, the City Council must now come up with a plan to balance the City's budget without a revenue increase in June.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at January 20, 2010 12:16 AM | TrackBack

It seemed, from sitting in the audience of the meeting, that the "Yes" votes by Councilmembers Souza and Starociak were in contradiction to their statements.

Were these Yes votes just to avoid being seen as voting no on these items later?

Posted by: Tim Holmes at January 20, 2010 10:00 AM
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