COUNTY OF SAN MATEO

Inter-Departmental Correspondence

County Counsel

 

DATE:

December 4, 2008

BOARD MEETING DATE:

December 16, 2008

SPECIAL NOTICE/HEARING:

No

VOTE REQUIRED:

Majority

 

TO:

Honorable Board of Supervisors

FROM:

Michael P. Murphy, County Counsel

SUBJECT:

Filling Vacancy For Supervisor Representing District 2 on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

 

RECOMMENDATION:

Make an appointment to fill the vacancy for Supervisor representing District 2 on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors or, in the alternative, adopt a resolution calling a special election to fill the vacancy for Supervisor representing District 2 on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

 

VISION ALIGNMENT:

Commitment: Responsive, effective and collaborative government.

 

Goal(s): #20. Government decisions are based on careful consideration of future impact, rather than temporary relief or immediate gain.

 

BACKGROUND:

Supervisor Jerry Hill was elected to the State Legislature and resigned his seat, creating a vacancy on the Board as of December 1, 2008. Section 203 of the County Charter sets forth the process for filling Board vacancies and gives the Board the option of either calling an election or making an appointment of an individual to serve the remainder of the current term of office.

 

At its November 18, 2008 meeting, the Board decided to commence a process for considering the appointment of a successor to Supervisor Hill, with the final decision as to whether to appoint and who to appoint scheduled to be made at today’s Board meeting. The time period for individuals to apply for the appointment ran from December 1 through December 11. On December 9, the Board heard public testimony on criteria that the Board should consider in making an appointment. On December 15, the Board heard presentations by the applicants and their designated supporters as well as public comment.

 

DISCUSSION:

Section 203 of the County Charter sets forth the process for filling Board vacancies, and reads, in pertinent part, as follows:

 
 

203. Vacancies.

 

If a vacancy occurs on the Board of Supervisors, the Board shall, within 30 days of the effective date of the vacancy, either make an appointment or order the calling of a special election to fill the vacancy. If the Board does not make an appointment or call a special election within 30 days, the county officer responsible for conducting elections shall immediately order a special election to be called to fill the vacancy.

   
 

The special election shall be held not less than 102 days and not more than 131 days from the order called the election, except that it may be held on an election date regularly established by general law if that date falls within 270 days from the order calling the special election.

   

If the Board chooses to fill the vacancy by a special election, the Board would need to order an election by no later than Tuesday December 30, 2008. If no decision is made by December 30, the Elections Official would automatically have the duty to call a special election.

 

If the Board chooses to hold the election to fill the vacancy on a regularly established election date, the applicable dates within the 270 period are March 3 and June 2, 2009. (Election Code 1000.)

 

If the Board acts today and calls the election for a special election date other than a regularly established election date, the election can be held on a Tuesday between March 28 (day 102) and April 26 (day 131). The Tuesdays between these dates are: March 31, April 7, April 14, and April 21. If the Board does not choose to call a special election at today’s meeting but at another meeting before December 30, the available dates for a special election would be modified accordingly.

 

The Elections Official has estimated the costs for calling a special election to be $1.6 million, assuming that no other items are on the ballot.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

An appointment to fill the vacancy on the Board would have no fiscal impact. A special election could have fiscal impact of up to approximately $1.6 million.