Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

To: MAYOR STERN AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

From: CAROL LYNCH, CITY ATTORNEY

Date: JUNE 17, 2003

Subject: TERM LIMITS ORDINANCE

RECOMMENDATION: ADOPT

  1. RESOLUTION NO. ___, ORDERING THAT A PROPOSITION RELATED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF CONSECUTIVE TERMS THAT A PERSON MAY SERVE AS A MEMBER OF THE CITY COUNCIL BE SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS AT THE REGULAR MUNICIPAL ELECTION ON NOVEMBER 4, 2003;
  2. RESOLUTION NO. ___, A RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES TO CONDUCT THE ELECTION REGARDING THE CITY MEASURE THAT IS BEING PRESENTED TO THE VOTERS
  3. RESOLUTION NO. ___, SETTING PRIORITIES FOR FILING WRITTEN ARGUMENTS REGARDING A CITY MEASURE AND DIRECTING THE CITY ATTORNEY TO PREPARE AN IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS; AND
  4. RESOLUTION NO. ___, A RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR THE FILING OF REBUTTAL ARGUMENTS REGARDING THE CITY MEASURE TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS AT THE NOVEMBER 4, 2003 ELECTION

BACKGROUND:

At the last City Council meeting, a majority of the members of the City Council voted to direct the City Attorney to prepare an ordinance and ballot measure to be presented to the voters at the upcoming election, which will be held on November 4, 2003, that will limit the number of consecutive terms that a person can serve on the City Council to two terms. The ordinance is attached to this report as well as the resolutions that are necessary to present this issue to the registered voters within the City and the resolutions regarding the ballot arguments concerning the measure. The content of the ordinance and of each of the various resolutions is discussed below.

DISCUSSION:

1. The Text of the Proposed Ordinance.

The first paragraph (a) of the attached ordinance provides that no person may serve more than two consecutive terms of office on the City Council. Thus, as directed by the City Council, no lifetime ban is imposed by the proposed ordinance.

Pursuant to State law, the ordinance applies prospectively, only to any term of office that commences after adoption of the ordinance. (See, paragraph d.) Thus, if the ordinance were approved by a majority of the registered voters voting at the November 4, 2003 election, the ordinance would apply to terms of office commencing after that date. Accordingly, the ordinance would first apply to the three individuals who will be elected at the November 4, 2003 election. (Their term of office does not officially commence until after the results of the election are certified by the City Clerk and presented to the City Council.)

One aspect of the ordinance that was not discussed by the City Council at the last meeting concerns the definition of the word "term" for purposes of the ordinance. This issue pertains to individuals who are elected or appointed to serve the unexpired portion of another Council Memberís term. As currently drafted, paragraph b of the ordinance states that "term" shall mean any period of service on the City Council that exceeds two (2) years. The City Council may shorten or lengthen that period of time or may provide that the ordinance only applies to a full four-year term of office. We can revise the ordinance at the meeting to reflect the direction given by the City Council on this issue.

Another topic that the Council may wish to consider is the minimum required time period, if any, of the hiatus in service. As currently drafted, paragraph c of the ordinance provides that any person who serves two consecutive terms on the City Council is not eligible to serve again until at least twenty-three months have expired since the end of that personís last term of office. This period of time may be changed or may be eliminated all together. If paragraph c were eliminated, or if the time period were shortened, that would enable the City Council to appoint a recent former Council Member to fill a vacancy on the City Council, or that person could run for a vacant seat if a special election were called by the City Council, to fill a vacancy that occurs after the end of that personís term. Staff seeks direction on this issue.

2. The Text of the Proposed Measure.

The draft text of the proposed measure, which does not contain all of the detail that is contained in the proposed ordinance, is as follows:

Shall an ordinance be adopted to establish a two-term limit on the number of consecutive terms that a person may serve as a Member of the City Council?

YES

_____

NO

_____

3. The Text of the Proposed Resolutions.

If the City Council wishes to place this measure and the ordinance on the ballot for the November 4, 2003 election, the first two resolutions must be adopted, and the second two resolutions should be considered:

  1. Resolution No. ___, ordering that the term limits measure be presented to the voters at the November 4, 2003 election;
  2. Resolution No. ___, requesting the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles to consolidate the Cityís general municipal election to be held on November 4, 2003 with the School District election to be held on that date, pursuant to Section 10403 of the State Elections Code, and to conduct the election;
  3. Resolution No. ___, establishes the priorities for filing written arguments regarding the term limits measure. This resolution authorizes the Members of the City Council to file arguments in favor of, or in opposition to, the measure so that the arguments submitted by the Council Members will take priority over other arguments that may be submitted. If this resolution is not adopted, or if Members of the City Council do not choose to submit an argument in favor of, or in opposition to, the measure, then the City Clerk shall prioritize any arguments that are received in accordance with the provisions of Section 9287 of the California Elections Code. This resolution also directs the City Attorney to prepare an impartial analysis of the measure in accordance with the provisions of the State Elections Code. Before adopting this resolution, the City Council should consider whether it wishes to allow rebuttal arguments, which is discussed in the next paragraph, since that determination affects one of the paragraphs (Section 3) of this resolution.
  4. Resolution No. ___, provides for the filing of rebuttal arguments regarding the term limits ordinance. This resolution is not mandatory. The City Council may choose not to allow rebuttal arguments to be submitted, which would slightly reduce the cost to the City of printing the ballot. If the City Council does not want to allow rebuttal arguments, then the Council should not adopt this resolution and, instead, should include proposed Section 3 in the resolution discussed in paragraph 3 above, which states that no rebuttal arguments shall be submitted.

CONCLUSION

The City Council should review the content of the ordinance and the ballot measure and determine if they accurately reflect the Councilís intent regarding the term limits ordinance and provide guidance to staff about the definition of the word "term" to which the ordinance will apply for vacant Council seats and for the time period of the required hiatus, if any. The City Council also should determine if it wishes to establish that arguments submitted by Council Members, either in favor of, or in opposition to, the measure would take priority over other arguments that are submitted. Finally, the Council should determine if it wishes to allow rebuttal arguments to be submitted. After giving direction to staff to make any modifications to the ordinance and resolutions, the Council should adopt at least the first two resolutions if it wishes to present this measure to the registered voters within the City at the November 4, 2003 election.

Respectfully submitted: Reviewed by:

________________________ ________________________

Carol W. Lynch, City Attorney Les Evans, City Manager

 

RESOLUTION NO. 2003 -

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF

RANCHO PALOS VERDES ORDERING THAT A PROPOSITION RELATED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF CONSECUTIVE TERMS THAT A PERSON MAY SERVE AS A MEMBER OF THE CITY COUNCIL BE SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS AT THE REGULAR MUNICIPAL ELECTION ON NOVEMBER 4, 2003

WHEREAS, under the provisions of the laws relating to general law cities in the State of California, a General Municipal election shall be held on November 4, 2003, for the election of Municipal Officers; and

WHEREAS, the City Council also desires to submit to the voters at the election a question relating to the establishment of a limit on the number of consecutive terms that a person can serve as a City Council Member;

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA, DOES RESOLVE, DECLARE, DETERMINE AND ORDER AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. The City Council has previously called and given notice of the Regular Municipal Election to be held in the City on November 4, 2003:

Section 2. The City Council, pursuant to its right and authority, does hereby order the following proposition be submitted to the voters at such Regular Municipal Election:

Shall an ordinance be adopted to establish a two-term limit on the number of consecutive terms that a person may serve as a Member of the City Council?

YES

_____

NO

_____

Section 3. The text of the proposed ordinance to be submitted to the voters is attached hereto as Exhibit "A" and incorporated herein by this reference.

Section 4. The ballots to be used at the election shall be in the form and content required by law.

Section 5. The County Election Department is authorized, instructed and directed to procure and furnish any and all official ballots, notices, printed matter and all supplies, equipment and paraphernalia that may be necessary in order to properly and lawfully conduct the election and is authorized to canvass the returns of the election.

Section 6. The polls for the election shall be open at seven oíclock a.m. on the day of the election and shall remain open continuously from that time until eight oíclock p.m. of the same day when the polls shall be closed, except as provided in California Elections Code Section 14401.

Section 7. In all particulars not recited in this Resolution, the election shall be held and conducted as provided by law for holding municipal elections.

Section 8. Notice of the time and place of holding the election is hereby given and the City Clerk is authorized, instructed and directed to give further or additional notice of the election, in time, form and manner as required by law.

Section 9. The City Clerk is hereby directed to file a certified copy of this Resolution with the Board of Supervisors and the Election Department of the County of Los Angeles, not later than July 15, 2003.

Section 10. The City Clerk shall certify to the passage and adoption of this Resolution and shall enter it into the book of original resolutions.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED ON June 17, 2003

__________________________

MAYOR

ATTEST:

_________________________

CITY CLERK

State of California )

County of Los Angeles ) SS

City of Rancho Palos Verdes )

I, Jo Purcell, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2003- was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at a Regular Meeting thereof held on June 17, 2003. .

__________________________ CITY CLERK

ORDINANCE NO.

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ADDING SECTION 2.04.060 TO THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE AND IMPOSING A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF CONSECUTIVE TERMS THAT A PERSON MAY SERVE AS A MEMBER OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL

THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DO HEREBY ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. Chapter 2.04 of Title 2 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding Section 2.04.060, to read as follows:

2.04.060. Term Limits.

    1. No person shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms of office as a member of the City Council.
    2. For the purpose of this Section, a "term" shall mean any period of service on the City Council that exceeds two years, and "consecutive" shall mean immediately following, without an intervening hiatus in service.
    3. Any person who has served two (2) consecutive terms as a Member of the City Council shall not be eligible to serve again until the expiration of at least twenty-three months after the end of that person's last term of office.
    4. The term limits imposed by this Section shall apply prospectively only to those terms of office that commence after November 4, 2003, the date this section was adopted by the voters."

Section 2. Severability. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining portions of this Ordinance shall nonetheless remain in full force and effect. The people of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby declare that they would have adopted each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this Ordinance, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses, phrases, or portions of this Ordinance be declared invalid or unenforceable.

Section 3. Execution. The Mayor is hereby authorized to attest to the adoption of this Ordinance by signing where indicated below upon certification by the

City Clerk that a majority of those electors voting on this Ordinance have voted in the affirmative.

PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED by the voters at the regular municipal election held on ________________.



MAYOR

ATTEST:


CITY CLERK

RESOLUTION NO. 2003-_____

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA, REQUESTING THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES TO CONSOLIDATE A GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION OF SAID CITY TO BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 4, 2003, WITH THE SCHOOL DISTRICT ELECTION TO BE HELD ON SAID DATE PURSUANT TO SECTION 10403 OF THE ELECTIONS CODE.

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes called a General Municipal Election in said City to be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2003, for the purpose of electing three members of the City Council of said City; and

WHEREAS, the City Council also desires to submit to the voters at the election a question relating to the establishment of a limit on the number of consecutive terms that a person can serve as a City Council Member; and

WHEREAS, it is desirable that said General Municipal election be consolidated with the School District election to be held on the same date and that within said City the precincts, polling places and election officers of the two elections be the same, and that the Registrar of the County of Los Angeles canvass the returns of the General Municipal election and that said School District Election and General Municipal Election be held in all respects as if there were only one election;

NOW, THEREFORE THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES HEREBY RESOLVE, DETERMINE, AND ORDER AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. That pursuant to the requirements of Section 10403 of the Elections Code, the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles is hereby requested to consent and agree to the consolidation of a General Municipal Election with the School District election on Tuesday, November 4, 2003, for the purpose of electing three members of the City Council of said City and for the purpose of submitting the following proposition to the voters:

Shall an ordinance be adopted to establish a two-term limit on the number of consecutive terms that a person may serve as a Member of the City Council?

YES

_____

NO

_____

Section 2. Said Registrar is hereby authorized to canvass the returns of said General Municipal Election which it is hereby requested to consolidate with said School District election and said election shall be held in all respects as if there were only one election, and only one form of ballot shall be used.

Section 3. Said Board of Supervisors is hereby requested to issue instructions to the Registrar to take any and all steps necessary for the holding of said consolidated election.

Section 4. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes recognizes that additional costs will be incurred by the County by reason of this consolidation and agrees to reimburse the County for any such costs.

Section 5. That the City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes is hereby directed to file a certified copy of this resolution with the Board of Supervisors and the Registrar of the County of Los Angeles, not later than July 15, 2003.

Section 6. The City Clerk shall certify to the passage and adoption of this Resolution and shall enter it into the book of original resolutions.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED June 17, 2003.

MAYOR

ATTEST:

________________________

CITY CLERK

State of California )

County of Los Angeles ) SS

City of Rancho Palos Verdes )

I, Jo Purcell, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2003- was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at a Regular Meeting thereof held on June 17, 2003. .

__________________________ CITY CLERK

RESOLUTION NO. 2003-

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES SETTING PRIORITIES FOR FILING WRITTEN ARGUMENTS REGARDING A CITY MEASURE AND DIRECTING THE CITY ATTORNEY TO PREPARE AN IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS

WHEREAS, a Regular Municipal Election is to be held in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes on November 4, 2003, at which there will be submitted to the voters the following question:

Shall an ordinance be adopted to establish a two-term limit on the number of consecutive terms that a person may serve as a Member of the City Council?

YES

_____

NO

_____

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, DOES RESOLVE, DECLARE, DETERMINE AND ORDER AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. The City Council, being the legislative body of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, authorizes

Douglas Stern (Council Member in Favor/Against)

Barbara Ferraro (Council Member in Favor/Against)

Larry Clark (Council Member in Favor/Against)

Peter Gardiner (Council Member in Favor/Against)

John McTaggart (Council Member in Favor/Against)

to file a written argument in favor or against the City measure as specified above in accordance with Article 4, Chapter 3, Division 9 of the Elections Code of the State of California and to change the argument until and including the date fixed by the City Clerk after which no arguments for or against the City measure may be submitted to the City Clerk for printing and distribution to the voters. Except as provided herein, the City Clerk shall prioritize written arguments submitted regarding the measure as directed by the California Elections Code.

Section 2. The City Council directs the City Clerk to transmit a copy of the measure to the City Attorney. The City Attorney shall prepare an impartial analysis of the measure showing the effect of the measure on the existing law and the operation of the measure. The impartial analysis shall be filed by the date set by the City Clerk for the filing of primary arguments.

Section 3. Rebuttal arguments shall not be accepted.

Section 4. The City Clerk shall certify to the passage and adoption of this resolution and enter it into the book of original resolutions.

PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED on June 17, 2003.

____________________________

MAYOR

ATTEST:

_______________________________

CITY CLERK

State of California )

County of Los Angeles ) ss

City of Rancho Palos Verdes )

I, Jo Purcell, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2003- ___ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at a regular meeting thereof held on June 17, 2003.

___________________________

CITY CLERK

 

RESOLUTION NO. 2003-

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES PROVIDING FOR THE FILING OF REBUTTAL ARGUMENTS REGARDING THE CITY MEASURE TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS AT THE NOVEMBER 4, 2003 GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION

WHEREAS, Sections 9220 and 9285 of the Elections Code of the State of California authorize the City Council, by majority vote, to adopt provisions for the filing of rebuttal arguments for city measures submitted at municipal elections:

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, DOES RESOLVE, DECLARE, DETERMINE AND ORDER AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. That pursuant to Sections 9220 and 9285 of the Elections Code of the State of California, when the City Clerk has selected the arguments for and against the measure which will be printed and distributed to the voters, the City Clerk shall send copies of the argument in favor of the measure to the authors of the argument against, and copies of the argument against to the authors of the argument in favor. The authors may prepare and submit rebuttal arguments not exceeding 250 words. The rebuttal arguments shall be filed with the City Clerk not more than 10 days after the final date for filing direct arguments. Rebuttal arguments shall be printed in the same manner as the direct arguments. Each rebuttal argument shall immediately follow the direct argument, which it seeks to rebut.

Section 2. That all previous resolutions providing for the filing of rebuttal arguments for city measures are repealed.

Section 3. That the provisions of Section 1 shall apply only to the election to be held on November 4, 2003, and shall then be repealed.

Section 4. That the City Clerk shall certify to the passage and adoption of this resolution and enter into the book of original resolutions.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED ON June 17, 2003.

____________________________

MAYOR

ATTEST:

________________________

CITY CLERK

State of California )

County of Los Angeles ) ss

City of Rancho Palos Verdes )

I, Jo Purcell, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2003- was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at a regular meeting thereof held on June 17, 2003.

____________________________

CITY CLERK