Morro Bay voters will be asked this November whether to do away with the city’s June election for local offices.
On a 3-2 vote, Morro Bay city councilmembers voted to prepare ballot language that, if voters approve, could override the 2006 Measure S-06, which established a June election.
Councilmembers Nancy Johnson and George Leage voted against the proposal, and said that Morro Bay citizens implemented a June election to ensure that candidates must receive a majority of votes to win an elected office. Morro Bay is the only such city that holds an election in June, with the possibility of a November runoff.
“I just think that the winners need to be determined by more than just a minimal percentage,” Johnson said, a sentiment Leage later echoed.
But a majority of councilmembers said the election is too costly and creates a burden on city resources. The 2010 election, for example, cost the city about $10,466 in June and another $8,357 in November, according to City Clerk Jamie Boucher.
“I think it’s time, and the bottom line is the voters will make the decision,” Mayor Jamie Irons said. “We just have the opportunity to put it on the ballot.
The item was addressed late in the night at the City Council’s June 24 meeting, and no members of the public were present to comment. City staffers are scheduled to bring back tentative ballot measure language on July 8 in order to send the measure to county election officials by July 23.