April 19, 2010

Third Time a Charm for Ranked Choice Voting?

The San Leandro City Council, which approved a memorandum of understanding to share ranked choice voting (RCV) costs with Alameda County and the cities of Oakland and Berkeley in January, will attempt for a third time to approve an RCV ordinance at its April 19, 2010, meeting.

The item is on the agenda as Action Item 10-B: Matter of Reconsideration of an Ordinance Providing for the Conduct of the General Municipal Election Using Ranked Choice Voting (RCV).

The history so far:

January 19, 2010: City Council votes 5-2 to approve cost sharing memorandum. Councilmembers Joyce Starosciak and Bill Stephens vote no, citing the additional short-term costs of RCV.

March 15, 2010: With only four members of the City Council present, Starosciak pulls the RCV ordinance from the consent calendar so the City Council can vote on it at the next meeting.

April 5, 2010: With RCV supporter Councilmember Michael Gregory absent, Councilmember Diana Souza changes her position and votes against approving an RCV ordinance, resulting in a 3-3 tie. The day after the meeting, Mayor Tony Santos files a notice of suspension under section 305(h) of the City Charter, allowing him to set aside the vote and take it up and the next regular meeting, which is April 19, 2010.

If the City Council fails to approve the ordinance, the memorandum of understanding has a termination clause that allows San Leandro to withdraw with 120 days notice. However, San Leandro would be responsible for paying setup costs already incurred by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, estimated at $90,000 as of April 7, 2010.

In addition, San Leandro would still have to pay an estimated $50,000 for the November election and between $200,000 and $250,000 for a possible stand-alone run-off election in February 2011. Since San Leandro has to pay for the November election anyway, the additional cost to not implement RCV is estimated at between $290,000 and $340,000.

The San Leandro City Council will meet at 7pm on Monday, April 19, 2010, in the City Council Chamber at 835 E. 14th Street.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at April 19, 2010 12:02 AM | TrackBack
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