LA VERNE, California, December 5, 2017 — If you like La Verne Mayor Don Kendrick, Mayor Pro-Tem Tim Hepburn and Councilmembers Robin Carder, Charlie Rosales and Muir Davis, you’ll be glad to hear they’ll be sticking around a lot longer.
That’s because the City Council voted unanimously to delay its next scheduled municipal election from March 2019 to March 2020.
“We didn’t have a choice,” Kendrick said.
According to the California Voter Participation Rights Act, any municipality not drawing an acceptable number of voters to the polls in a stand-alone election must move its election date to coincide with a statewide election, when it’s presumed more voters participate.
Despite a larger voter turnout in March 2017, La Verne fell far short of the state’s desired threshold.
As a result, La Verne was given two choices by the state: Either align your next election with the national/statewide presidential election in November 2020 or the statewide primary in March 2020. Under the act, La Verne could choose either to extend terms by no more than one year or shorten current terms by no more than one year.
To comply, La Verne chose the March 2020 date. Had the city met the state’s desired voter threshold, the next city election would have occurred in March 2019.
If there’s a silver lining to postponing the election a full year, it’s that La Verne won’t have to set aside $80,000 for the election in the 2018-2019 fiscal budget, money freed up to provide other services.
“It’s not a savings as much as it is a deferral,” City Attorney Bob Kress said.