..Almost every elected public body in Marin has been grappling with ramifications of SB 415. That legislation moves election dates for almost every California municipality, school district and special-purpose agency to even-numbered years. This electoral shift must be accomplished by 2022.
The idea is that voter participation increases and costs decrease when local elections are combined with state and national balloting.
There are multiple ways of orchestrating the change. The least democratic method is extending current terms of elected officials an extra year.
That’s what most Marin school, water, fire protection, community service and sanitary districts have done. The most democratic and fair method toward approaching the switch is what should be called “the Novato plan.”
While he emphasizes the result was collaborative, the idea was first shared with me by Novato Councilman Eric Lucan shortly after SB 415 was signed into law.
In Novato, no current terms are extended due to the mandated change. Instead, the next two elections will be held on schedule this November and in 2019 when all council candidates will, one-time-only, run for five-year terms. Voters are fully involved and no incumbent is given an extra year due to a once-in-a-life time fluke.
The “Novato Plan” should be the statewide template for cities and agencies that haven’t yet made their decision on how to comply with the new even-year rule.
My comments following the article: