Here’s a presentation I made to the City Council on Thursday. Read the entire text below.
I attended the city council meeting on September 26th where the seeds of Measure V were sold to the public. In brief, Measure V asks voters to extend the terms of all current city council members by nearly two years. It changes our city charter and cancels three scheduled elections.
The bill that started all this, SB-415 directs cities with low voter turnout to align their elections with the county and state. This all sounds great. Who doesn’t want more voter participation? I do!
But what Measure V has been twisted to do — is take advantage of the public’s willingness to follow state law while at the same time — making the Council less accountable to the voters of Burbank.
Measure V is a power grab. The proposed extension of your terms is unnecessary. The deadline to comply with SB-415 is November of 2022. You are asking voters to eliminate three elections before this deadline. Elections that would hold you accountable to voters. That’s the opposite of voter participation. Cancelling elections, expanding your power. Measure V is perfectly Orwellian. And I’ll remind the public that Council-member Murphy was not elected. He was appointed. No matter what a good guy he is, I am not comfortable extending his term without any accountability to Burbank voters.
There were so many options you could have explored to comply with this new law. SB-415 allows us to have special elections anytime we want. You could have done the right thing — served out your current terms and faced voters in the elections scheduled before the deadline.
Burbank residents make sacrifices of their own every day. But you don’t want to sacrifice one ounce of power. You could have easily done the noble thing and proposed a one time contraction of the duration of council terms. If you had done that I would be in support of this measure.
But Measure V is a power grab – plain and simple. We have plenty of time to comply with the Voter Participation Act. There are more elections before the deadline. Cancelling elections and extending your terms is completely unnecessary.
I’m urging voters to VOTE NO ON MEASURE V.