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HomeMy Public PortalAbout2022-03-08 Item 08 Second Reading of Ordinance re Transition to District-Based ElectionsCITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT Cl 0%^t. sSfK "T8%;/FOB CITY OF MILLBRAE 621 Magnolia Avenue MUlbrae, CA 94030 SUBJECT: Waive Second Reading and Enact an Ordinance Establishing District-Based Elections for Councilmembers ATTACHMENTS: 1. Ordinance to Adopt Map G, Order the Sequence of District Elections in 2022 and 2024, and Establish a Residency Requirement to Seek a City Council Seat Report No.^^n Agenda Item: For Agenda of: March 8, 2022 Department:Administration Originator:Eduardo Gonzalez Acting City Cleric Approve Budget Action: Yes S No Finance Review: N/A REPORT TYPE: S ACTION D INFORMATIONAL ITEM TYPE: D CONSENT D PUBLIC HEARING S EXISTING BUSINESS D NEW BUSINESS RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended that the City Council waive the second reading and adopt an Ordinance of the City ofMillbrae to amend the Millbrae Municipal Code by retitling, amending and restating in its entirety Chapter 2.35 "City Council By-District Elections," providing for the election of members of the City Council by five districts, establishing the boundaries, identification numbers and the election order of each district, establishing a residency requirement to seek a City Council seat from each district, and related actions. BACKGROUND: On October 12, 2021, pursuant to Elections Code section 10010(e)(3)(A), the City Council adopted Resolution No. 21-70 declaring its intent to transition from an at-large system for election of City Councilmembers to one based on districts. The resolution also outlined specific steps to facilitate the transition. For more detail on the history leading to this decision, please see the Question/Answer sheet on the City's website created specifically to educate and inform the public on this subject. A link to the webpage is linked here: https://www.configuremillbrae.org/district-elections-faq DISCUSSION: Currently, voters across the City ofMillbrae vote "at-large" for all five (5) City Councilmembers. A "by- district" election is one in which the City is divided into separate districts, each represented by one City Councilmember who resides in that district and is chosen only by that district's voters. The first by-district City Council election will occur in the November 8, 2022 general municipal election, when two (2) Page 1 of 5 18323272.1 Page 2 of 5 18323272.1 districts (District Nos. 2 and 4) will select Councilmembers, with the transition to district-based elections fully completed in the November 2024 general election, when the final three (3) districts (District Nos. 1, 3, and 5) will select Councilmembers. The City Council has held seven (7) public hearings for the City’s transition to by-district elections. At these hearings, the City's demographer made presentations regarding the requirements for by-district elections, and the process for taking public input to help determine how the City Council districts might be constructed. The City Council then heard from the public on the various communities of interest that exist in the City, and how the districts might be drawn to recognize these communities of interest. The City Council and City Staff also sponsored several community workshops and outreach at community events in December and January. Although the law requires the City to hold only five (5) public hearings, the City Council held seven (7) public hearings – not including the additional community workshops held by City Staff – because the City Council desired to provide as many opportunities as possible for the public input. Moreover, the City also invited additional public input through its dedicated website, and the submission of community of interest forms and draft maps. In addition to input on communities of interest and district composition, the City Council also invited input on whether to have four (4) districts and an at-large directly-elected Mayor, or five (5) districts with the Mayor selected by the City Council on a rotating basis. At the December 8, 2021 hearing, based on input from the public, the City Council voted to proceed with a five-district system with the mayoral rotation, and directed its demographer to draft maps that divide the City into five (5) districts in preparation for the January 11, 2022 public hearing. At the January 11th, January 25th, and February 8th public hearings, the City Council received, reviewed, and heard public input regarding the draft maps that were presented by the City’s demographer and other information and proposed maps offered by the public at the hearings or through the City's outreach efforts. All maps considered by the City Council were posted seven (7) days in advance of those hearings. After these three hearings, the final set of draft maps as directed by the City Council were made available for public review on February 15th on the City's website. At the February 8th public hearing, the City Council again invited feedback and public input on the revised maps developed by the City's demographer and community-submitted maps. The City Council narrowed the list of draft maps to five; F, G, H, I, and J. These maps came before the City Council at the public hearing on February 22, 2022. These draft maps comply with the district formation criteria required under California and Federal law. The City is using the latest 2020 Census data provided by the Statewide Database with the state prison population reallocated, as required under the Fair Maps Act. These maps also use the underlying Census tract geography to establish the boundaries of individual City Council districts. In drawing these maps, the utmost care was used to honor neighborhood integrity, communities of interest, and the public input received. At the February 22, 2022 hearing, the City Council again invited input on final draft maps F, G, H, I, and J. Based on input from the public, the City Council voted to proceed with Map G. The City Council's selection of Map G was the final step in the ultimate adoption of a five-district electoral map for City Council elections. Additionally, the City Council also invited public input to determine the order of elections – that is, which two (2) districts will be on the 2022 general election ballot, and which three (3) will be on the 2024 general election ballot. The City Council ultimately decided that District Nos. 2 and 4 will be on the 2022 general election ballot, and District Nos. 1, 3, and 5 will be on the 2024 general election ballot. The City Council made this decision "in the spirit of the California Voting Rights Act." Finally, the City Council invited public input on whether candidates for City Council must be residents of the district in which they seek election for any period of time prior to filing their nomination papers. Page 3 of 5 18323272.1 Pursuant to Government Code section 34882, a candidate running for a city councilmember position is not eligible to hold that office unless they reside in the geographical area making up the district from which they are elected at the time their nomination papers are issued. While there is no requirement related to a minimum residency period, and the City is not required to impose such a requirement, the City Council decided to impose a 30-day residency requirement. At the conclusion of the February 22, 2022 hearing, the City Council waived the first reading and introduced the Ordinance as entitled in the Action section above (1) selecting Map G for adoption, (2) ordering the sequence of elections in the 2022 and 2024 general elections, and (3) establishing a 30-day residency requirement for all candidates seeking a seat on the City Council. Four Councilmembers voted in favor of its introduction, and one Councilmember abstained from the vote. This Ordinance is now presented to the City Council for a second reading and adoption at this March 8, 2022 City Council meeting. Public Outreach In addition to the formal public hearing process, since October 12, 2021, the City has been actively collecting public input during this process through a robust multilingual outreach campaign to encourage public participation and inclusivity as a part of the districting process. The City has: •Hosted a webpage dedicated to districting, which includes an explanation of the districting process, relevant demographic data, the process for obtaining public input (in all legally required languages), a calendar of public hearings, meetings, and/or workshop dates, the notice and agenda for each hearing/meeting/workshop, audio/video records of the hearings/meetings/workshops, and copies of the draft map(s) to be considered; •Invited the submission of community of interest ("COI") forms to allow the public to provide input on keeping COI in single districts to the extent possible, and invited the submission of draft maps using an interactive mapping tool to allow the public to weigh-in on how the actual district lines might be drawn; and •Provided the above referenced information to local newspapers (including those serving the City's minority communities) and to good government, civic engagement, and minority groups active within the City to ensure active community engagement and outreach to a wide cross section of the community, including minority groups and non-English speaking residents. Materials are provided in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. The City's public outreach efforts include, but are not limited to: o Publishing notice related to the hearings/meetings/workshops in Sing Tao (local Chinese newspaper) and El Reportero (local Spanish newspaper); o Sending postcard mailers regarding the districting process (in English, Mandarin, and Spanish) to every Millbrae address in mid-December; o Sending inserts regarding the districting process along with COI forms (in English, Mandarin, and Spanish) to each household that receives a utility bill in Millbrae; and, o Communicating the release of draft maps, public hearing/meeting/workshop announcements with local community groups. Page 4 of 5 18323272.1 •City Staff also have hosted community workshops and solicited community input at additional workshops. In these ways, the City has provided multiple ways for the public to submit feedback at formal hearings, City-sponsored workshops, and via on-line submissions of community of interest forms, draft maps, and other input. As of February 18, 2022, the City has received 75 COI forms and 40 draft maps. Public hearings, meetings, and workshops have also been open and available for participation of City residents throughout this process and toward the final map adoption by the City Council. Additional information about this process and opportunities for the public to provide feedback is available at ConfigureMillbrae.org. Public Input Received Over several months, the City Council oversaw an extensive community outreach process and received substantial comments related to district boundaries in the City and draft maps. In response to this input, the City's demographer developed revised maps to address the public's concerns and the direction provided by the City Council, all the while ensuring that the City complied with the criteria mandated by the California Voting Rights Act and the Federal Voting Rights Act. District Formation Criteria In creating the district boundaries, the City must ensure compliance with the following criteria mandated by the CVRA and the Federal Voting Rights Act: •Each district must contain a nearly equal population (no more than a 10% variance but best practices encourage no more than a 5% population deviation); •The districting plan must be drawn in a manner that complies with the Federal Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution; and, •The districts must not be drawn with race as the predominant factor because the overall population balance between districts is the highest priority. Additionally, Election Code section 21601 requires general law cities like the City of Millbrae to adopt districts using the following criteria, which are set forth in order of priority: •Districts shall be geographically contiguous. •To the extent practicable, the geographic integrity of any local neighborhood or local community of interest must be respected and maintained. A “community of interest” is a population that shares common social, economic and geographic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation. •District boundaries should be easily identifiable and understandable. To the extent practicable, districts shall be bounded by natural and artificial barriers, by streets, or by the boundaries of the jurisdiction. •To the extent practicable, and where it does not conflict with the preceding criteria, districts shall be drawn to encourage geographical compactness. Page 5 of 5 18323272.1 FISCAL IMPACT: The City Council appropriated $175,000 to underwrite costs associated with undertaking and completing the transition to district-based elections for City Council elections with the actual cost estimate to be over the budgeted amount given legal and district formation requirements. COUNCIL ACTION: The City Council is presented with an Ordinance, waives the second reading, and enacts which amends the Millbrae Municipal Code by retitling, amending and restating in its entirety Chapter 2.35 "City Council By-District Elections," providing for the election of members of the City Council by five districts, establishing the boundaries, identification numbers and the election order of each district, establishing a residency requirement to seek a City Council seat from each district, and related actions. Page 1 of 5 ORDINANCE NO. ___ CITY OF MILLBRAE, COUNTY OF SAN MATEO STATE OF CALIFORNIA *** AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF MILLBRAE TO AMEND THE MILLBRAE MUNICIPAL CODE BY RETITLING, AMENDING AND RESTATING IN ITS ENTIRETY CHAPTER 2.35, "CITY COUNCIL BY-DISTRICT ELECTIONS" PROVIDING FOR THE ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL BY FIVE DISTRICTS, ESTABLISHING THE BOUNDARIES AND IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS OF EACH DISTRICT, ESTABLISHING THE ELECTION ORDER OF EACH DISTRICT, AND RELATED ACTIONS WHEREAS, the City of Millbrae has historically used an at-large method of election, which is consistent with the guarantees of Section 7 of Article 1 and of Section 2 of Article II of the California Constitution; and WHEREAS, California Government Code Section 34886 permits the City Council to change the method of election by ordinance to a “by-district” system in which each member of the City Council is elected only by the voters in the district in which the candidate resides, in accordance with California Government Code Section 34871; and WHEREAS, a by-district system can also be consistent with the guarantees of Section 7 of Article I and of Section 2 of Article II of the California Constitution; and WHEREAS, on October 12, 2021, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 21-70 that initiated the process of establishing a by-district election system; and WHEREAS, under the provisions of California Elections Code Section 10010, a city that changes from an at-large city council method of election to a by-district city council method of election must hold a total of five public hearings, which includes at least two (2) public hearings regarding potential voting district boundaries prior to the release and consideration of any draft voting district maps, and two (2) public hearings following the release of draft voting district maps; and WHEREAS, on November 9, November 17, and December 8, 2021, pursuant to California Elections Code Section 10010(a)(1), the City Council held public hearings where the public was invited to provide input regarding the composition of the City’s voting districts before any draft maps were drawn, and the City Council of the City of Millbrae considered and discussed the same; and WHEREAS, at the public hearing of the City Council on December 8, 2021, the City Council also invited input on whether to have four (4) districts and an at-large directly-elected Mayor, or five (5) districts with the Mayor selected by the City Council on a rotating basis, and voted to proceed with a five-district system with the mayoral rotation, directing its demographer Attachment 1 Page 2 of 5 to draft maps that divide the City into five (5) districts in preparation for the January 11, 2022 public hearing; and WHEREAS, on January 11, January 25, February 8, and February 22, 2022, pursuant to California Elections Code Section 10010(a)(2), the City Council held public hearings where the public was invited to provide input regarding the content of the draft maps that had been released and published at least seven (7) days before each public hearing and the proposed sequence of the elections, and the City Council of the City of Millbrae considered and discussed the same; and WHEREAS, at its public hearing on February 8, 2022, the City Council directed staff to prepare a proposed ordinance adopting a voting district map for the City Council’s consideration and determining the sequence of elections in each district; and WHEREAS, on February 22, 2022, the City Council held its seventh and final public hearing on the proposal to establish district boundaries, reviewed and considered additional public input, formally selected the voting district map and the election sequence attached to, incorporated in, and set forth, in this Ordinance as Exhibit A, which was introduced for a first reading at the same public hearing; and WHEREAS, throughout the foregoing process, the City engaged in a significant amount of public outreach and engagement above and beyond the public hearings and other procedures required by California Elections Code Section 10010, including hosting a webpage dedicated to districting; inviting the submission of community of interest forms to allow the public to provide input on keeping communities of interest in single districts to the extent possible; inviting the submission of draft maps by the public using an interactive mapping tool; and providing districting information to local and to good government, civic engagement, and minority groups active within the City; and, WHEREAS, the purpose of this Ordinance is to enact, pursuant to California Government Code Section 34886, an ordinance providing for the election of members of the City Council of the City of Millbrae by district in five (5) single-member districts as reflected in the voting district map referred to as Map G and attached as Exhibit A to this Ordinance, in furtherance of the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (Chapter 1.5 [commencing with Section 14025] of Division 14 of the Elections Code) to encourage by-district elections as one method to implement the guarantees of Section 7 of Article I and of Section 2 of Article II of the California Constitution. NOW THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MILLBRAE, CALIFORNIA ORDAINS THAT: Section 1: INCORPORATION OF RECITALS. The recitals set forth above are true and correct and are hereby incorporated herein by this reference as if fully set forth in their entirety. Section 2: AMENDED, RESTATED AND NEWLY ENTITLED CHAPTER 2.35. Chapter 2.35, newly entitled “City Council By-District Elections,” in Title 2 of the Millbrae Municipal Code is amended and restated in its entirely to read as follows: Page 3 of 5 Chapter 2.35 City Council By-District Elections Sections: 02.35.010 Date of Election 02.35.020 Declaration of Purpose 02.35.030 City Council Districts Established 02.35.040 Election of Members of the City Council By-District 02.35.050 Commencement of District Elections 02.35.010 Date of Election Pursuant to Elections Code Sections 1301 and 10403.5, the general municipal election in the City of Millbrae for the offices of city councilmember shall be the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of even-numbered years commencing in November 2022. 02.35.020 Declaration of Purpose The City Council hereby declares that the change of method of electing members of this City Council hereby enacted is being made in furtherance of the California Voting Rights Act of 2001. 02.35.030 City Council Districts Established Five (5) City Council districts are hereby established in the City of Millbrae. The boundaries and identifying number of each district shall be as described on the City Council District Map as attached hereto as Exhibit A and incorporated herein. 02.35.040 Election of Members of the City Council By-District (a) Following the effective date of this Ordinance and upon the commencement of “by- district” elections in the order established in Section 2.35.050 of this Chapter, City Councilmembers shall be elected “by-district” as defined in California Government Code Section 34871 or any successor statute. Any candidate for City Council must have been a resident and elector of the district in which they seek election for at least 30 days before the time they file nominating papers or an equivalent declaration of candidacy for the City Council, or such person’s appointment to fill a vacancy therein. No term of any City Councilmember that commenced prior to the effective date of this Ordinance shall be affected by the adoption of this Ordinance. (b) Registered voters signing nominating papers or voting for a City Councilmember shall be residents of the geographical area making up the district from which the City Councilmember is to be elected. (c) The terms of the office of each City Councilmember elected shall remain four (4) years. Pursuant to Section 2.05.050 of the Millbrae Municipal Code, no person shall be eligible to serve as a City Councilmember for more than two successive four (4) year terms. 02.35.050 Commencement of District Elections (a) Commencing on the general municipal election in 2022, and every four (4) years thereafter, the voters in districts 2, and 4 shall elect City Councilmembers by-district for full four (4) year terms. At the general municipal election in 2024, and every four (4) years thereafter, the Page 4 of 5 voters in districts 1, 3 and 5 shall elect City Councilmembers by- district for full four (4) year terms. (b) The term of office of any City Councilmember who has been elected and whose term of office has not expired shall not be affected by any change in the boundaries of the district from which he or she was elected. Section 3: TECHNICAL ADJUSTMENTS AND METES-AND-BOUNDS. If necessary to facilitate the implementation of this Ordinance, the City Clerk is authorized to make technical adjustments to the district boundaries that do not substantively affect the populations in the districts, the eligibility of candidates, or the residence of elected officials within any district. The City Clerk shall consult with the City Manager and City Attorney concerning any technical adjustments deemed necessary and shall advise the City Council of any such adjustments required in the implementation of the by-district elections. The City Clerk shall also direct the City's demographer to provide a metes-and-bounds description of each district as shown on the map attached as Exhibit A and incorporated herein by reference, which shall be submitted to the City Council at its next regular meeting and kept on file in the City Clerk's office for public review. Section 4: SEVERABILITY. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid, unconstitutional, or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, such section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this Ordinance shall be deemed severable and the remaining portions of this Ordinance shall nonetheless remain in full force and effect. The City Council of the City of Millbrae hereby declares that it 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, unconstitutional, or unenforceable. Section 5. ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINATION. Adoption of this Ordinance is exempt from environmental review as the adoption of this Ordinance does not qualify as a “project” pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), under Public Resource Code Section 21065 and CEQA Guidelines Section 15320, 15378, and 15061(b)(3), as there is no possibility that such action would cause either a direct, or reasonably foreseeable indirect, physical change in the environment. Page 5 of 5 Section 6. EFFECTIVE TERM; PUBLICATION. This Ordinance shall become effective 30 days after its adoption. The City Clerk is directed to publish a summary of this Ordinance in the manner required by law. INTRODUCED at a meeting of the City Council of the City of Millbrae held on February 22, 2022. PASSED AND ADOPTED at a meeting of the City Council of the City of Millbrae held on _______________. _____________________________ Anne Oliva Mayor ATTEST: ____________________________ Eduardo Gonzalez Acting City Clerk