River­bank Elec­tions Set For Novem­ber 6

Riverbank News - - FRONT PAGE - BY RIC McGINNIS News Cor­re­spon­dent

With the start of the school year just around the cor­ner, can elec­tion time be far be­hind?

Even though Elec­tion Day isn’t un­til Nov. 6, the River­bank City Coun­cil was busy in its June meet­ings, set­ting out dead­lines and guide­lines for the fall elec­tion. The coun­cil also es­tab­lished a bal­lot mea­sure to be de­cided by vot­ers this fall.

The coun­cil set the nom­i­na­tion pe­riod for city coun­cil seats to be con­tested dur­ing the elec­tion. That pe­riod is from Mon­day, July 16 through Fri­day, Aug. 10.

Po­ten­tial nom­i­nees should note that Aug. 10 is a day that city of­fices would nor­mally be closed,

but only the Elec­tions Of­fice there will be open that day, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“By-District” Elec­tion Sys­tem

In re­sponse to con­cerns of le­gal chal­lenges and the state Vot­ing Rights Act of 2001, city-wide vot­ing and can­di­dacy is tran­si­tion­ing to a “by-district” sys­tem, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials. Votes will now be made for can­di­dates within a spe­cific ge­o­graph­i­cal bound­ary or district.

In the 2016 Gen­eral Elec­tion, district bound­aries were set and coun­cil mem­ber Dar­lene Bar­ber-Martinez, rep­re­sent­ing District 4, in cen­tral River­bank, and new­comer Cindy Fosi, rep­re­sent­ing District 2, in south­west­ern River­bank, were elected. Dis­tricts 1, in the east, and 3, in the north­west, were not set, since the seats of the other two coun­cil mem­bers, Cal Camp­bell and Leanne Jones-Cruz, were not up for re­elec­tion. This year they are.

The trou­ble for elec­tors is, both Camp­bell and Jones-Cruz live in the same district, D-3, and will need to run against each other if they seek to be re­turned to of­fice. Fol­low­ing the fall elec­tion this year, District 1 and District 3 will be for­mally es­tab­lished.

The pe­riod for nom­i­na­tion pa­pers to be taken out be­gan on Mon­day, July 16, and will con­tinue through Fri­day, Aug. 10. If an in­cum­bent does not file by 5 p.m. on Aug. 10, the pe­riod is ex­tended un­til 5 p.m., Wed­nes­day, Aug. 15.

City Elec­tion Clerk Annabelle Aguilar noted that, “for tran­si­tion pur­poses, since both coun­cil mem­bers cur­rently live in District 3, they will both be con­sid­ered in­cum­bents of that District.”

That means District 1 will not have an in­cum­bent and there­fore will not have its nom­i­na­tion pe­riod ex­tended five ad­di­tional days and will end at 5 p.m. on Aug. 10.

Ac­cord­ing to the elec­tion code, the seat of Mayor Richard D. O’Brien is elected at-large, mean­ing any River­bank voter can cast a bal­lot for him in Novem­ber. He was re­elected on the 2016 bal­lot. His cur­rent term ends in 2020.

Mea­sure B on Bal­lot

The city coun­cil also has added a bal­lot item, Mea­sure B, to this fall’s Gen­eral Elec­tion.

Mea­sure B fo­cuses on the City Of River­bank Busi­ness Li­cense Tax.

The ques­tions the mea­sure poses is: “Shall the mea­sure adopt­ing an or­di­nance au­tho­riz­ing the City Coun­cil of the City of River­bank to im­pose a busi­ness li­cense tax at a rate of up to ten per­cent (10 per­cent) of gross re­ceipts on cannabis busi­nesses and dis­pen­saries, to help fund gen­eral mu­nic­i­pal ser­vices, be adopted?”

Ac­cord­ing to the fil­ing, a sim­ple 50 per­cent plus one vote will pass, or de­feat, the mea­sure.

This may also be the last Gen­eral Elec­tion that Cal­i­for­nia vot­ers will travel to polling places to cast their bal­lots.

A new plan, in­clud­ing postage-paid re­turn en­velopes for vote by mail, is be­ing con­sid­ered by elected of­fi­cials.

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