Result… Measure A & Measure C Both Pass
Measure A & Measure C
One asks residents to approve a slight increase in the city’s sales tax while the other focuses on the city clerk position.
That’s what South Pasadena voters will be faced with on Tuesday, November 5, as they head for the polls.
The City of South Pasadena distributed voting information on Thursday for the special election that included two polling locations, the War Memorial Building and Library Community Room.
City officials have since learned of a third location, 1919 Huntington Dr. that was not included in correspondence from the County.
The three polling places in South Pasadena will be:
- War Memorial Building, 435 Fair Oaks Ave. Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Library Community Room, 1115 El Centro. Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1919 Huntington Dr. Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Registered voters may vote at any of the above locations.
What is Measure A All About?
Measure A is a ballot measure asking South Pasadena voters to approve a new 0.75 percent increase in the sales tax to help balance the city’s budget.
What it means to the consumer, noted Dean Serwin, co-chair of Yes on A, is about 38 cents on a $50 purchase.
Serwin hopes residents will take the figures he provides at public events seriously, most notably the claim, “South Pasadena faces a $1 million deficit for the next fiscal year, growing to $2 million in five years.”
He says rising costs, including increasing public employee pension (CALPERS) funding requirements, along with labor and material, combined with flat or decreasing revenue from property taxes and the UUT are responsible for the shortfall.
South Pasadena citizens have two choices, contends the Measure A co-chair – raise revenue, such as a sales tax increase or cut services.
“Cutting costs means cutting staff and services for things we care about – like police, fire, and paramedic officers and support, infrastructure maintenance and repairs, and seniors, the library and our parks,” Serwin explained. “And because expenses are increasing every year, additional cuts would be required each year.”
As a measure of support, he said a recent survey showed 68 percent of South Pasadenans support a sales tax increase to raise funding. He said only 1 percent of sales tax revenue currently comes back to the city’s general fund.
“Measure A will nearly double that amount, generating an additional $1.5 million per year, every penny of which will stay in South Pasadena,” said Serwin. “And these funds are subject to oversight by a mandated annual independent financial audit.”
Monrovia, Sierra Madre, Irwindale and Claremont are scheduling similar ballot measures on the November 5 ballot. Twenty seven other cities in the county, including Arcadia, Pasadena, Pomona, Burbank and Pasadena, have passed sales tax increases. Serwin said more cities will like push for passage of a sale tax adjustment in the future.
For more on Measure A, proponents have developed a website at SouthPasYesonA.com
What’s Measure C All About?
Measure C asks South Pasadena residents to give the city the power to appoint the city clerk outright, and eliminate our current elected city clerk.
State law requires general law cities like South Pasadena to have city clerks. The position may be elected or appointed.
Over 70% of all California cities have transitioned from elected to appointed city clerks. Appointed city clerks are professional employees who perform duties including, but not limited to keeping a list of all legislation adopted by the city council, certifying official documents, responding to Public Records Act requests, publishing legal notices, maintaining City Council minutes and other official records of the city, administering oaths of office, attending council meetings, and acting as the election official for the city.
So, why both?
The hired city clerk (newly hired as of Aug.2019 from Vernon) runs the day to day operations and is paid as an employee on salary. This is a critical professional position. Our current elected city clerk is paid a small stipend ($380/month) and is in position to oversee city operations internally, as well as provide leadership on behalf of the voters. She does not answer to a ‘boss’ who can terminate employment.
Our current elected City Clerk, Evelyn G. Zneimer (bio click here), is a resident of South Pasadena and provides an important liaison role according to current voters. Many feel that her years of institutional knowledge of South Pasadena combined with her professional expertise lends an important mentorship resource to our newly employed city leadership and decision makers.
Her background includes: (As published on the South Pasadena City Website)
“City Clerk Zneimer has been a resident of South Pasadena for over 30 years. She has served as a City of South Pasadena (City) Commissioner for over 14 years (seven years with the Natural Resources Commission now Natural Resources and Environmental Commission and seven years with Parks and Recreation Commission). She served in various ad hoc committees, including the Measure M Citizens Oversight Committee, Utility Users’ Tax Committee, Arroyo Seco Nature Park Committee and Community Gardens. City Clerk Zneimer also served on various boards for civic organizations such as the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, South Pasadena Preservation Foundation, American Cancer Society (ACS), San Gabriel Valley Leadership Council for ACS, and South Pasadena Chinese American Club. She was instrumental in the naming of the South Pasadena Arroyo Seco Woodland and Wildlife Park, drafted the amendments to the City’s Tree Ordinance, and assisted in drafting the Community Gardens Bylaws. She is passionate in advocating for the no-smoking regulations within the City.
In October 2010, City Clerk Zneimer received a Commendation from Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich as honoree for her outstanding contribution in the San Gabriel Valley Leadership Council for ACS.”
Many residents in town have pointed out: Making this an appointed position will eliminate an elected official overseeing the internal operations of our City Hall on behalf of South Pasadena residents.
The City of South Pasadena began the process of transitioning to an appointed city clerk office in 2013 when the City Council established a full‐time salaried chief city clerk and a part‐time, stipend‐compensated elected city clerk, per Resolution No. 7289.
Currently, South Pasadena has both an elected city clerk and an appointed chief city clerk, resulting in some duplication of efforts between the two officials. The elected city clerk performs only ceremonial duties of administering oaths of office and signing official city documents, while the appointed full‐time chief city clerk performs these same ceremonial duties as well as all other daily functions of the city clerk’s office, including, but not limited to supervision of other city staff, response to public records act requests, handling of claims and subpoenas, and serving as the signing officer for compliance with the Fair Political Practices Commission for all city officials.
The elected city clerk is elected to a four‐year term, with the current term expiring in fall 2020.
The South Pasadena City Council placed Measure C on the ballot to put the issue to the voters, by simple majority, to decide whether to make the city clerk office an outright appointed position, and eliminate the elected representative.