Brawley City Council delays state election coordination

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BRAWLEY — The Brawley City Council voted April 18 to continue with the regularly scheduled election in November 2017 to accommodate the addition of the Utility Users’ Tax (UUT) on the ballot.

Beginning January 1, 2018, the California Voter Participation Rights Act (SB 415) goes into effect which prohibits a political subdivision, such as a city, from holding an election other than a statewide election. Once the Act goes into effect, all elections will be held in even-numbered years to coincide with state elections. The Act requires that all elections be consolidated by 2022.

Since the UUT expires in 2018, Brawley council members had to include the vote on the UUT on the ballot for November 2017.

While the council voted to continue with the November 2107 election, they will move the 2019 election to 2020 to coincide with even-year state elections.

“Because of the UUT issue and its importance to the city, we have decided to put this off until 2020,” said Mayor Sam Couchman.

According to City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore, the UUT funds approximately 20 percent of the city’s general fund.

After the second reading of the ordinance, it will be sent to the Imperial County Board of Supervisors for approval.

“Council members up for election in 2017 and 2019 will have their terms extended one year,” explained Bill Smerdon, Brawley’s city attorney.