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Smart Voter
Ventura County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Measure D
Schedule of Regular City Elections
City of San Buenaventura

City Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 25610 / 82.61% Yes votes ...... 5391 / 17.39% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 24 2:43pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (101/101)
Information shown below: Official Information | Arguments |

Shall Section 500 of the City Charter be amended to provide for regular City elections in November of even-numbered years instead of odd-numbered years to increase voter turnout and decrease election costs?

Official Sources of Information

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Arguments For Measure D Arguments Against Measure D
A YES vote on Measure D will change San Buenaventura's General Municipal elections from odd to even-numbered years. This simple change will save the City substantial money and should increase voter participation. It will also align the City's election cycle with all other Ventura County cities, and the election cycles for the President, US Senators, members of Congress, the State Governor, and others.


Because San Buenaventura is the only City in the County that still holds its elections on an odd year cycle, the City's share of the overall election costs is greater and has been increasing every year. In 2013 we spent $173,000 on our City election. If we change our elections to even-numbered years, our costs will be reduced to approximately $35,000, a nearly $140,000 savings. These savings could help the City pay for other needed services. And by making this change, all of the currently elected City Councilmembers' terms will be extended on a one-time only basis until the next even-year election cycle, which means the City will save even more money by avoiding a costly 2015 election.


In 2013 when the City held its last General Municipal Election, voter turnout was only 26%. In the 2010 gubernatorial election cycle the City's voter turnout was 63%, and in 2012, voter turnout was 78% for the Presidential election. There is a proven and dramatic increase in election turnout when City measures are on the same ballot as national and state elections.

Vote YES on Measure D to save money and increase voter participation in the City of San Buenaventura's elections.

s/Cheryl Heitmann
Mayor, City of San Buenaventura

s/Erik Nasarenko
Deputy Mayor, City of San Buenaventura

s/Carl E. Morehouse
City Councilmember, City of San Buenaventura

s/Mary Haffner
President, Board of Education Ventura Unified School District

s/Debbie Golden
Vice President, Board of Education Ventura Unified School District

Rebuttal to Arguments For
No rebuttal was submitted to the arguments for this measure.

The writers of our City Charter were not dumb or thoughtless. They tried to establish a system of elections that would have the best chance of producing better government.

If the City election is combined with all the other County, State and Federal elections, local candidates and issues will inevitably get buried in the election hullabaloo of all these other races and issues. Not only will it be more difficult for candidates to get their message heard above the noise of these well-funded campaigns for major offices, but the cost of local campaigns will increase significantly, making it far more difficult for challengers to defeat entrenched incumbents. Because the City severely limits the amount of money candidates can raise to fund their election campaigns, less well- known candidates will have greater difficulty getting their message and concerns before the voters.

For the sake of saving a few thousand dollars a year, Measure D would make it more difficult for voters to understand the issues and learn the qualifications of candidates.

The small additional cost of the odd year elections is a sound investment in better government because it gives voters a better chance to get to know the qualifications of local candidates and their stands on important local issues. While there has historically been greater voter turn-out for State and Federal elections, City offices and issues would be listed at the end of the ballot. Ballots in these elections are long and complex. An enormous number of voters simply do not vote for "down-ballot" offices or issues. Those that do often find it harder to get valid and useful information about them. The result is less well-informed voters and a far greater likelihood that the races develop partisan characteristics.

Measure D is not good for Ventura.

s/Neal Andrews
City Council Member

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Voting YES on Measure D will save more than "a few thousand dollars a year." It will save the city over $300,000 from 2015 through 2017 alone, savings that can be used for basic city services.

Our current off-year election cycle is not a "small additional cost. In 2011 Ventura spent $152,000 holding its election in an odd year; in 2013, it spent $173,000. Our costs are increasing because we do not have other entities with whom to share the expense of printing, mailing and tabulating ballots. By sharing the ballot with others on even years, we will also be sharing election-related costs.

"The writers of our City charter were not dumb or thoughtless," but they began writing the charter in 1931, when the population of Ventura was about 11,000. Our city has changed significantly over the past 83 years, and it is time that our election cycles did too.

The argument against Measure D states that, if the measure passes, it will be "far more difficult for challengers to defeat entrenched incumbents." But the fact of the matter is that in the last six elections, where typically more than two thirds of all voters didn't even participate, only one incumbent has been defeated.

Ojai, Oxnard, Moorpark, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Port Hueneme, Simi Valley, Santa Paula and Fillmore all hold their elections in even years, recognizing that it makes financial sense. It's time for Ventura to do the same.

Vote YES on Measure D

s/James L. Monahan
City Councilmember, City of San Bueneventura

s/Michael Tracy
City Councilmember, City of San Bueneventura

s/Christy Weir
City Councilmember, City of San Bueneventura

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