Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

SEPTEMBER 5, 2006 RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL - PETITION TO REPEAL THE STORM DRAIN USER FEE SEPTEMBER 5, 2006 RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL - PETITION TO REPEAL THE STORM DRAIN USER FEE SEPTEMBER 5, 2006 RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL - PETITION TO REPEAL THE STORM DRAIN USER FEE



TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER/CITY CLERK

DATE: SEPTEMBER 5, 2006

SUBJECT: PETITION TO REPEAL THE STORM DRAIN USER FEE

RECOMMENDATION

1) Receive and file the City Clerk’s Certification that the Petition to Repeal the Storm Drain user Fee has Qualified for Ballot on the November 2007 General Election; 2) Either adopt the ordinance, as proposed, or place the ordinance on the ballot at the City’s next regular municipal election, which in this case would be held on November 6, 2007; and 3) Before adopting the ordinance or calling an election, decide whether to refer the ordinance to staff in order that a report be prepared analyzing the fiscal impact of the proposed ordinance repealing the fee within thirty days.

BACKGROUND

On September 20, 2005, City Council adopted Resolution No. 2005-101, certifying the results of the City’s Storm Drain User Fee mailed ballot election that was concluded on August 30, 2005 and approved by a majority of the affected property owners. On January 12, 2005, Don Reeves and Barry Hildebrand filed a Notice of Intent to Circulate a Petition with the City Clerk’s Office to place an initiative before the voters to repeal the City’s Storm Drain User Fee. Initiatives of this type are processed pursuant to Chapter 3, Article 1, Section 9200 et. Seq. of the California Elections Code (“E.C.”).

Pursuant to E.C. Section 9203,the City Attorney prepared the initiative’s title and summary, which was provided to the proponents on January 25, 2006. The proponents had 180 days from this date (until July 25, 2006) to circulate the petition and gather signatures (E.C. 9208). Prior to beginning signature gathering, the proponents were required to publish and post the Notice of Intention and title and summary of the proposed measure and to file the requisite affidavits with the City Clerk (E.C. 9205, 9206 and 9207). On March 31, 2005, the City Clerk determined that the proponents had satisfied the publication and notification requirements.

On July 19, 2006, during normal office hours, Mr. Hildebrand submitted the completed petitions to the City Clerk (E.C. 9208 and 9210). The City Clerk had 30 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, to examine the petition, ascertain the number of valid signatures on the petition and notify the proponents as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition (E.C. 9211). Therefore, the last day for the City Clerk to examine the petitions was August 30, 2006. The City Clerk is required to notify the proponents as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition. If the petition is found to be insufficient, no further action by the City is required. If the petition is found to be sufficient, the City Clerk must certify the results of the examination to the City Council at its next regular meeting (E.C. 9114), which is this evening’s meeting.

DISCUSSION

In order to qualify the initiative for a special election, the proponents must obtain the signatures of at least 15% of the number of registered voters in the City as of the last General Municipal Election. During the last such election held in November 2005, there were 25,955 registered voters in the City. Therefore, the proponents would need to gather 3,893 signatures to qualify the initiative for a special election.

To qualify to place the initiative on the next Regular municipal election, the proponents need to obtain signatures of at least 5% of the number of votes cast in the City during the last gubernatorial election. During the State Special Election held in October 2005, a total of 11,700 votes were cast in the City. Therefore, the proponents would need a minimum of 585 signatures in order to qualify the initiative for the November 6, 2007 regular municipal election.

On the day the petitions were received, the City Clerk conducted a prima facie review of the documents and determined that the proponents submitted a total of 886 signatures. Based on this review, the proponent’s petition did not meeting the minimum requirement for a special election, but could potentially qualify for the next regular municipal election.

On July 24, 2006, the petitions were forwarded to the County of Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk for signature verification. On August 4, 2006, the County Clerk reported the following results of its examination:

Number of signatures verified: 886
Number of signatures found not sufficient: 55
Number of signatures found sufficient: 831

In addition to the County Clerk’s verification of the number of sufficient signatures, the City Clerk reviewed the petitions and determined that:

 Each section of the petition bears a copy of the City Attorney’s title and summary (E.C. 9207)
 Each section of the petition bears a copy of the Notice of Intention (E.C. 9207)
 Each section of the petitions bears the title of the petition and full text of the measure (E.C. 9201 and 9203).
 The declaration of each circulator has been completely filled out with the date, printed name and signature of the petition carrier and a statement that declares that the circulator is a voter or is qualified to register as a voter of the city and state his or her residence address at the time of the execution of the declaration (E.C. 9209).

The City Clerk found that six pages of the petition began circulation before the proponents had satisfied the publication and notification requirements on March 31, 2006 and has rejected the 21 signatures otherwise found to be sufficient by the County Clerk on these pages. Therefore, the total number of sufficient signatures is 810, which still exceeds the minimum of 585 signatures required to qualify the initiative for the next regular municipal election.

CONCLUSION

The City Clerk has determined that the petition to repeal the City’s Storm Drain User Fee has qualified the initiative for placement on the ballot for the next regular municipal election. The City Council now must either adopt the ordinance, as proposed, or place the ordinance on the ballot at the City’s next regular municipal election, which is November 6, 2007.

However, before adopting the ordinance or calling an election under either of the time above time periods, the City Council may refer the ordinance to any City agency, such as staff or the Finance Advisory Committee (FAC), and order that a report be prepared within thirty days analyzing the fiscal impact of the proposed ordinance repealing the fee on the City. Given the short time frame, it would be impractical to refer the task to the FAC. If Council chooses this option, staff recommends that the task be given to staff to prepare the report by the October 3, 2006 City Council meeting. Then, after reviewing the report, the City Council either must adopt the ordinance, or call an election within ten days after the report is presented to the Council.

This will not be the only opportunity for Council and the public to receive information regarding the fiscal impact of the proposed ordinance. As a reminder, on August 15, 2006, Council tasked the Infrastructure Financing Team with analyzing the fiscal impact of the potential repeal of the Storm Drain User Fee to coincide with the FY 07-08 User Fee Rate Review to be conducted by the Finance Advisory Committee prior to the Public Hearing that will be conducted before the City Council in June 2007.

Respectfully Submitted:

Carolynn Petru
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk

Reviewed,

Les Evans
City Manager

Attachment:

City Clerk’s Petition Certification

 

CERTIFICATE OF THE CITY CLERK AS TO
THE SUFFICENCY OF THE PETITION TO
REPEAL THE CITY’S STORM DRAIN USER FEE

I, Carolynn Petru, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, hereby certify that I reviewed the petition to repeal the City’s Storm Drain User Fee filed by Don Reeves and Barry Hildebrand, and determined the total number of signatures gathered and their sufficiency or insufficiency, as specified below, are full, true and correct.

Total Number of Signatures Filed: 886

Total Number of Signature Found to be Sufficient: 810

Total Number of Signatures Found to be Insufficient 76

I have further determined that the petition to repeal the City’s Storm Drain User Fee has qualified the initiative for placement on the ballot for the November 6, 2007 Regular Municipal Election.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I HAVE HEREUNTO SET MY HAND this 30th Day of August 2006.

 

By: Carolynn Petru
City Clerk
City of Rancho Palos Verdes