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Ballot Measures 2014

At a Special Meeting on July 1, 2014, the Stockton City Council approved placing a single ballot Measure on the November 4, 2014, General Election ballot to amend the Stockton Charter with Resolution 2014-07-01-0901.

 

Proposed Amendments to Stockton City Charter - July 1, 2014, City Council Meeting

 

Measure C Ballot Question (As it will appear on the November 4, 2014 Ballot)

Revisions to Stockton City Charter

"Shall the Stockton City Charter be amended to revise the Introduction; amend criteria for determining the Mayor's compensation; revise certain restrictions on, and benefits of, officers and employees; delete certain requirements as to the qualifications and process for selection of certain Fire Department and other employees; revise certain public bidding procedures and delegate to the City Council the determination of the administrative spending authority of the City Manager?"

 

Measure C - City Attorney's Impartial Analysis (Provided in the Voter Information Guide)

A charter is a written document, approved by the voters, that operates as a "constitution" for the city. Voters must also approve amendments to a charter.


The Stockton City Council has placed a measure to amend the city charter, designated as Measure "C," on the November 4, 2014 ballot. Pursuant to California Constitution Article XI, Section 3, a majority of the voters must approve the measure, and if approved it must be filed with the Secretary of State before it is effective.

 

The measure would amend various sections of the city charter, which are addressed below, and the Introduction to the city charter, which contains a historical narrative pertaining to the city charter but has no legal consequence.

 

Under Article IV, Section 410 of the city charter, the salary of the Mayor as set by the Council Salary Setting Commission may not be less than the Chair of the Board of Supervisors and the compensation of the Mayor and Council must be set taking into account the compensation of other public and private positions with similar duties, responsibilities, and obligations. The measure would remove those limitations on the discretion of the Council Salary Setting Commission with regard to the compensation of the Mayor and members of the Council. The measure would also permit the Council to reduce the salary of the Mayor and Council at any time by a 2/3 vote.

 

The measure would amend Article X by prohibiting the City from employing a former Mayor or former member of the Council until one year has passed following expiration of his or her service as Mayor or member of the Council. The measure would also clarify and rephrase certain conflict of interest provisions and remove outmoded language pertaining to military leave and employment qualifications.

 

Under the city charter the administrative spending authority of the City Manager is capped at $20,000.00 (currently adjusted for inflation to $33,018.00). The measure would amend Article XII, Section 1201(g) and Article XX, Section 2002 to remove the stated dollar limitation from the city charter and provide for adoption of an administrative spending limit by ordinance.

 

Current Article XVI, Section 1605 of the city charter addresses the appointment of chief officers to certain supervisory positions in the city fire department. The measure would entirely remove this section from the city charter.

Article XX of the city charter addresses bidding for contracts and supplies and currently requires that contracts over $20,000.00 (currently adjusted for inflation to $33,018.00) be awarded through a process of competitive bidding. By amending Sections 2000 and 2001 the measure would require the Council to provide a competitive method for awarding contracts for public works, goods, and services by ordinance, and remove the requirement that requests for proposals be brought to the Council for authorization prior to their issuance.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Measure C?

Measure C is a ballot measure to amend the City of Stockton Charter. It proposes updates and changes to the Stockton Charter to modernize and align the Charter with State and Federal law.

 

What is a Charter? How long have we had a City of Stockton Charter?

A City Charter is a set of governing laws that allows the city to adopt ordinances and codes which are laws that specifically address the needs of the city. The City of Stockton was founded in 1849 and was granted a City Charter by the State Legislature in 1851. The first Stockton Charter approved by voters was in 1888, and a new Charter was approved by voters in 1922. Throughout the years, voters have approved numerous updates and amendments.

 

Why have these changes been proposed and who is proposing them?

These Charter amendments have been proposed to update and clarify language, modernize and adapt to changing conditions, and remove sections and language in conflict with State and Federal law. Over a period of several months, a Charter Review Advisory Commission comprised of community members, City Council and City employees, engaged in a review process, resulting in recommendations. Public Hearings were held April 15, 2014, and June 10, 2014.

 

What amendments are included in Measure C?

Measure C revises the Introduction to the Stockton Charter to reflect more recent history and proposes the following updates and changes to the Charter language:

  • Amends the criteria for determining the Mayor's salary and compensation;
  • Revises certain restrictions on, and benefits of, officers and employees;
  • Deletes requirements as to the qualifications and process for selection of certain Fire Department and other employees;
  • Revises some public bidding procedures; and
  • Allows the City Council to determine the administrative spending authority of the City Manager.

 

When would these changes become effective?

If approved by the voters, the Charter amendments become effective after the election is certified and the Measure is filed with the State.

 

Ballot Measures 2013

On July 9, 2013, the Stockton City Council unanimously approved placing a three-quarter (3/4) cent sales tax on a November 5, 2013 ballot with a Council vote of 7 - 0.  The Stockton City Council adopted Resolution 2013-07-09-1601 calling, giving notice, and requesting consolidation of a Special Election.  This Special Election included two (2) ballot Measures. 

 

On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, Stockton voters approved both Measures A & B.  The sales tax increase went into effect on April 1, 2014.  The Stockton City Council certified the election results on December 3, 2013.

 

Citizens' Oversight Committee

The following community members have been appointed to a Citizens' Oversight Committee in accordance with the Measure:  Ned Leiba, Don Mark Guzman, David Renison, Joseph Johnson, Gary Ingraham, Susan Mora Loyko and Dwight Williams.  The Committee will do all of the following:

  • Meet at least annually, or more often, if needed;
  • Review all revenues and expenditures from the tax measure;
  • Review annual audits conducted by an independent accounting firm;
  • Measure economic recovery to determine when the tax should end (sunset);
  • Make, at least, annual reports to the City Council at a public meeting; and
  • Make recommendations to the City Council.

All reports, meeting notices and information will be available to the public on the City's web site.

 

Measure A

The proposed sales tax appeared on the ballot for voter consideration as Measure A.  As a general tax, voters must approve the tax with a majority vote before it can go into effect. Measure A was approved with a majority vote of 51.86%.  The new sales tax went into effect April 1, 2014.

 

Measure A Ballot Question  (As it appeared on the November 5, 2013 Ballot)

Law Enforcement, Crime Prevention, and Other Essential City Services Measure

"To pay for law enforcement and crime prevention services such as those described in Stockton's Marshall Plan on Crime, to help end the bankruptcy and restore other City services; and provided it shall sunset in ten years or when economic recovery occurs, a Citizen's Oversight Committee reports on the use of proceeds, and independent audits are done annually; shall Ordinance 2013-07-09-1601 be adopted to impose a 3/4-cent transaction and use (sales) tax?"

 

Authorized under Ordinance 2013-07-09-1601.

 

Measure A - City Attorney's Impartial Analysis (Provided in the Voter Information Guide)

The California Constitution requires the voters to approve a general tax by a majority vote. The Stockton City Council has placed a general tax, designated as Measure "A," on the November 5, 2013, election ballot asking voters to approve this tax by adopting an ordinance that would impose a three-quarter cent (0.75%) retail transaction and use (sales) tax to be applied throughout the City. A majority of the voters must approve the measure before the sales tax can be imposed.

 

The proposed transactions and use (sales) tax is a general tax because the City can use the tax revenue for any legal municipal purpose. As explained in the ballot question, the City may use the tax revenue for public safety services (including "Stockton's Marshall Plan on Crime"), parks maintenance, library services, roadway and street-tree maintenance, and other governmental purposes, including payment of lawful debts.

 

If adopted, the City Council or the voters may subsequently reduce or repeal the tax. Also, the tax would expire by its own terms in ten years, unless extended by the City Council. To extend the tax beyond the initial ten-year term, the City Council would be required to hold two publicly noticed meetings at least 14 days apart and adopt findings based on evidence that the revenues provided by the tax continue to be necessary and the total compensation paid to City employees is not excessive when compared to other similarly situated public-sector employers.

 

The tax would also be subject to potential review, and the City Council could reduce or eliminate the tax based upon the City's economic recovery.

 

The expenditure of the tax revenue generated would be subject to the oversight of a committee of citizens appointed by the City Council. This committee would meet at least annually, provide recommendations and a report to the City Council regarding the expenditure of the tax proceeds, and provide oversight regarding any findings the City Council may make in furtherance of any extension of the term of the tax and the City's economic recovery.

 

The tax revenue and its expenditure would be audited annually by an independent accounting firm. The audit report would then be posted on the City's website and made available to the public and discussed at a meeting of the City Council that is open to the public.

 

Measure B 

Voters will also be asked to consider a non-binding advisory measure on the same ballot, which may prove helpful in communicating the priorities and will of the people. Measure B will provide an opportunity for voters to express an opinion about how the money from the tax will be used.

 

Measure B - Ballot Question (As it appeared on the November 5, 2013 Ballot)

Advisory Measure

"If Measure A is approved by the voters, shall (i) 65% of its proceeds be used only to pay for law enforcement and crime prevention services in the City such as those described in the City's Marshall Plan on Crime and (ii) 35% of its proceeds be used only to pay for the City's efforts to end the bankruptcy and for services to residents, businesses, and property owners?"

 

This question requires the approval of a majority of those casting votes.  It is an advisory measure only.  

  • A "Yes" vote expresses an opinion that 65% of the tax proceeds should be used to pay for law enforcement and crime prevention services, such as those described in the City's Marshall Plan on Crime, and 35% should be used only to pay for the City's efforts to end bankruptcy and for services to residents, businesses and property owners.
  • A "No" vote may be viewed as an opinion against the uses or as neutral, as to the uses proposed.

Measure B - City Attorney's Impartial Analysis (Provided in the Voter Information Guide)

The Stockton City Council has placed Measure "B" on the November 5, 2013, general election ballot asking voters to consider a non-binding, advisory measure concerning the use of revenues that may arise from the voters' approval of a new transactions and use (sales) tax being presented to the City's voters on this same ballot as Measure "A."

 

Under state law the City Council may place an advisory measure on the ballot in order to receive general voter opinion on an issue. The results of this advisory vote are not controlling on the City, but may prove helpful in communicating the will of the voters to the City Council when making decisions concerning how funds from Measure A will be spent.

 

Measure "B" provides an opportunity for the voters to offer their opinion regarding the use of revenues that may arise from the approval of the new transactions and use (sales) tax being presented to the City's electorate on this same ballot as Measure "A." A "Yes" vote expresses an opinion supporting the uses of the tax proceeds proposed in the ballot question for Measure "B," which are as follows: 65% of the proceeds would be used only to pay for law enforcement and crime prevention services in the City such as those described in the City's Marshall Plan on Crime and 35% of the proceeds would be used only to pay for the City's efforts to end the bankruptcy and for services to residents, businesses, and property owners. A "No" vote may be viewed as expressing an opinion against the uses of the revenue that have been proposed or as a neutral opinion, neither in favor of, nor in opposition to, the uses proposed.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money will this tax raise?

The City's fiscal year is from July 1 through June 30 of each year. Since the tax would take effect on April 1, 2014, the first year would be a partial fiscal year for the City. This tax is expected to raise approximately $6.8 million in the first partial year that it is in effect. It is anticipated that City would realize a benefit of approximately $28 million per year in the first full fiscal year, July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, and in each future fiscal year.


How will the money raised from this tax be used?

Because it is a general tax, the City may use it for public safety services, including Stockton's Marshall Plan on Crime, parks maintenance, library services, roads and street-tree maintenance, and other governmental purposes, including payment of lawful debts. The funds may be used to restore services, particularly public safety services, and to get out of bankruptcy.


How will we be able to keep track of how the taxes are being used?

A seven-member (7) Citizens Oversight Committee will be appointed by the City Council. The Committee will do all of the following:

  • Meet at least annually, or more often, if needed;
  • Review all revenues and expenditures from the tax measure;
  • Review annual audits conducted by an independent accounting firm;
  • Measure economic recovery to determine when the tax should end (sunset);
  • Make, at least, annual reports to the City Council at a public meeting; and
  • Make recommendations to the City Council.

All reports, meeting notices and information will be available to the public on the City's web site.

 

How long will this tax last?

The City Council or the voters could, at a later date, reduce or eliminate the tax. The tax will expire (sunset) after 10 years - or sooner, if the City's general fund revenues reach 2009 levels, adjusted for inflation. To continue the tax, the City Council must take specific action, including:

  • Conduct analysis and reviews;
  • Hear recommendations from the Citizen's Oversight Committee;
  • Adopt findings that the tax is still necessary;
  • Ensure that employee total compensation is not excessive; and
  • Hold two (2) public meetings at least 14 days apart.
  •  

What will the sales tax rate be in Stockton?

With an additional three-quarter (3/4) cent sales tax, the sales tax within the City of Stockton will be 9%, which is the same sales tax rate as the cities of Lathrop and Livermore. The City currently has a one-quarter (1/4) cent dedicated sales tax passed in 2004 with Measure W. Measure W funds are dedicated for police and fire services that would not change with passage of this tax measure.


External Links


San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters

This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 10/21/2014