Chapter 8
ELECTION PROCEDURES TO FILL A COUNCIL VACANCY

Sections:

1-8.01    Purpose.

1-8.02    Calling election.

1-8.03    Notice of election.

1-8.04    Method of nomination—Nomination filing.

1-8.05    Provision if only one (1) candidate files.

1-8.06    Candidate statement of qualification filing deadline.

1-8.07    Randomized alphabet drawing.

1-8.08    Reporting requirements—Campaign statements.

1-8.09    California Elections Code.

1-8.01 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to create a process to conduct a special municipal election if a Council vacancy occurs under Section 406 of the City Charter. Section 406, approved by the voters at the June 3, 2014, special municipal election, requires a vacancy be filled only by an election to be held no later than ninety (90) days from the date of the occurrence of a vacancy.

(§ 1, Ord. 1312-14 (CM), eff. November 27, 2014)

1-8.02 Calling election.

If such a vacancy occurs, the City Clerk is authorized and directed to:

(a)    Call an election to occur no later than ninety (90) days from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy. No election shall be held on any day other than Tuesday.

(b)    Issue a proclamation calling a special municipal election and state the date and time of the election and the office to be filled; and

(c)    Transmit a copy of the proclamation to the Santa Cruz County Clerk.

(§ 1, Ord. 1312-14 (CM), eff. November 27, 2014)

1-8.03 Notice of election.

(a)    Not earlier than the ninetieth nor later than the eighty-fifth day before any municipal election to fill such vacant office, the City Clerk shall publish a notice of the election in the City pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code. The notice shall be titled “Notice of Election,” and shall contain a statement of:

(1)    The date and time of the election.

(2)    The office(s) to be filled, specifying full term or short term.

(3)    That if only one (1) person is nominated for such vacant office, the nominated person shall qualify and take office at the next available Council meeting. The nominated person shall serve for the remaining period of the unexpired term of the vacant Council district.

(§ 1, Ord. 1312-14 (CM), eff. November 27, 2014)

1-8.04 Method of nomination—Nomination filing.

Notwithstanding Elections Code Section 10220, not earlier than the ninetieth day nor later than the eightieth day before a special municipal election, during normal office hours, as posted, the voters may nominate candidates for election by signing a nomination paper.

(§ 1, Ord. 1312-14 (CM), eff. November 27, 2014)

1-8.05 Provision if only one (1) candidate files.

If, by the eightieth day before the election, during normal business hours as posted, only one (1) person is nominated to be elected from a district, the nominated person shall qualify and take office at the next available Council meeting. The nominated person shall serve exactly as if elected at a municipal election for that office and shall serve for the remaining period of the unexpired term of the vacant Council District.

(§ 1, Ord. 1312-14 (CM), eff. November 27, 2014)

1-8.06 Candidate statement of qualification filing deadline.

The candidate statement of qualification shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk’s office when the candidate’s nomination papers are returned for filing, no later than the eightieth day before the election.

(§ 1, Ord. 1312-14 (CM), eff. November 27, 2014)

1-8.07 Randomized alphabet drawing.

Notwithstanding Section 13112 of the Elections Code, the City Clerk shall conduct a drawing of the letters of the alphabet, the result of which shall be known as a randomized alphabet. The procedure shall be as follows:

(a)    Each letter of the alphabet shall be written on a separate slip of paper which shall be opaque and of uniform weight, color, size, shape, and texture, each of which shall be folded and placed in a container, which shall be shaken vigorously to mix the papers thoroughly. The container then shall be opened and the papers removed at random one at a time. As each paper is removed, it shall be unfolded and the letter on the slip of paper read aloud and written down. The resulting random order of letters constitutes the randomized alphabet, which is to be used in the same manner as the conventional alphabet in determining the order of all candidates in all elections. For example, if two (2) candidates with the surnames Campbell and Carlson are running for the same office, their order on the ballot will depend on the order in which the letters M and R were drawn in the randomized alphabet drawing.

(b)    There shall be one drawing, whenever a special municipal election has been ordered to fill a Council vacancy. The results of each drawing shall be transmitted immediately to the elections official responsible for conducting the election, who shall use it in determining the order on the ballot of the names of the candidates for office.

(c)    The drawing under this section shall take place at 11:00 a.m. on the first weekday after the close of filing of nomination papers for the vacancy.

(§ 1, Ord. 1312-14 (CM), eff. November 27, 2014)

1-8.08 Reporting requirements—Campaign statements.

Each candidate for election shall comply with Chapter 1-6 except as follows:

(a)    No later than thirty-five (35) days before the election, a statement shall be filed for the period seventy-nine (79) days through thirty-nine (39) days before the election;

(b)    No later than twelve (12) days before the election, a statement shall be filed for the period thirty-eight (38) days through seventeen (17) days before the election;

(c)    On the Friday before the election, a statement shall be filed for the period sixteen (16) days before the election through the Thursday before the election, and, in addition to disclosing contributions received during that period, shall disclose estimated expenditures, debts, loans or contributions through the date of the election.

(§ 1, Ord. 1312-14 (CM), eff. November 27, 2014)

1-8.09 California Elections Code.

Unless otherwise provided by this chapter, all special municipal elections to fill a Council vacancy shall be held in accordance with the provisions of the Elections Code of the State of California, as the same now exists or may hereafter be amended, for the holding of elections in cities, insofar as the same are not in conflict with the Charter of the City of Watsonville.

(§ 1, Ord. 1312-14 (CM), eff. November 27, 2014)