The Chula Vista City Council moved forward with putting a proposal on the Aug. 5 agenda to discuss the possibiliaty of allowing city candidates running for office to win outright in a June election.
Mayor Cheryl Cox put forth the proposal saying that “it could save taxpayers more than $1 million.”
The council will discuss whether they should ask voters to eliminate an election run-off, something Councilwoman
Aguilar said has her hesitant especially since voters approved a run-off election.
“It would be hard for me to vote against something the voters just passed,” Aguilar said.
Cox said upon doing research, she realized the city could spend $1 million to $1.2 million for future special elections and run-offs.
Cox wants to do away with the charter that was voted on in November 2012 under Proposition B, and revert back to allowing candidates to win outright with 50 percent plus one of the votes.
One of the changes to the way elections are handled with Prop. B, which goes into effect this year, is having a mandatory run-off.
In a mandatory run-off “the election process for the mayor, the city attorney and city council members requires a
November run-off election for each office, regardless of whether one candidate receives greater than 50 percent of the vote in the general election.”
A run-off takes place between the candidates who receive the first and second highest number of votes in the June election.
The charter also states that if only two candidates are vying for a seat then no election for that seat will take place in June, and the two candidates will be on the ballot in November.
Prior to January 2012, if a candidate received a majority of 50 percent plus one of the votes he or she was declared the outright winner.
Aguilar, the incumbent for city council seat two, was the highest vote-getter in the June election among all candidates in the Chula Vista City Council and mayoral races.
Aguilar nearly eclipsed the 50 percent mark by securing 48 percent of the vote for seat two.
Her run-off opponent in November is attorney Dan Smith who garnered just 17 percent of the vote in June.
Smith said he would like to see such a ballot measure.
“I would support the mayor with this proposal,” Smith said. “That’s the way it is in San Diego.”
Smith said the measure would bring continuity throughout the county.
Salas said she was worried about the scope of the mayor’s proposal.
“The scope was pretty broadly changing the ballot initiative in 2012,” she said. “And I don’t think that there has to be that much change.”
Council members also want to clarify the use of some of the terminology that’s being used.
There was some confusion at Tuesday’s meeting with the use of the general election and a special election.
The terminology for the Chula Vista Charter for the June election is called a general election, not a primary election.
Most other communities have their general election in November.
The November run-off election in Chula Vista is called a special election.
Salas is going to meet with Cox to help in developing the language.