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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Santa Clara County, CA June 6, 2006 Election
Measure I
Charter Proposal
City of Milpitas

Advisory Vote Only

2,980 / 41.15% Yes votes ...... 4,261 / 58.85% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of June 26 11:47am, 100.00%% of Precincts Reporting (26/26)
Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Should the Milpitas City Council place before the voters a charter city proposal that would require the following: (1) a budget reserve only for emergencies and not salaries, (2) voter approval of future capital projects over $15 million, (3) increase City Council from five to seven members, (4) an open recruitment process for top city management, (5) scheduled performance audits for all city departments, and (6) voter approval for city charter amendments?


Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A yes vote is advisory only.

A NO vote on this measure means:
A no vote is advisory only

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
California Elections Code Section 9603 authorizes advisory ballot measures. Elections Code Section 9603 (c) provides that an "advisory vote" means an indication of general voter opinion regarding a ballot proposal, and that the results of the advisory vote are not controlling on the City Council.

The City Council, by majority vote, approved holding an advisory election to ascertain whether the City Council should place before the voters a charter city proposal that would do the following: (1) create a budget reserve to be used only for emergencies and not employee salaries or related benefits; (2) require voter approval of future capital projects over $15 million; (3) increase the City Council from five to seven members; (4) establish an open recruitment process for top city management positions; (5) schedule performance audits of all city departments; and (6) require voter approval for amendments to the city charter.

As this ballot measure is an advisory measure, the results of this measure will not change existing law.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Steven T. Mattas

City Attorney

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Arguments For Measure I Arguments Against Measure I
Milpitas is currently a General Law City. Rules regulating much of how general law cities are run are dictated by the State Legislature. Voters can better control their fate by adopting a charter that can only be changed by them, not distant state politicians. Other local Charter Cities include Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Gilroy, Palo Alto and Mountain View.

An important element of a Charter City is the local control that a charter gives to voters. State politicians lose control and local voters are given more say in the way their city government operates.

You are being asked to vote to move forward with a charter giving Milpitas voters more say in how their government runs and help fix some problems in Milpitas. Think back to the building of the new city hall. It's cited year after year by residents as the worst example of government spending. City Hall started out at $24 million and escalated to over $39 million. Milpitas' charter would require voter approval before major projects are built.

Also, under a previous City Manager, we had problems with senior staff skipping open recruitment processes, leaving people wondering whether the most qualified people were appointed to high level positions. A charter could require formal recruitment processes for all senior staff appointments. No more sweetheart deals. And this charter would require a "rainy day" budget reserve to be used only in dire emergencies and not for salaries. Only voters could change this critical policy.

Some politicians don't want to give voters more control, saying this is political. They're wrong. This is about trusting Milpitas voters. Simply put, a charter city puts you, the voters in charge. The state politicians lose power and the local voters can determine much of its own fate. Vote yes on Measure I.

/s/ Robert Livengood

Milpitas City Councilman
/s/ Armando Gomez
Milpitas City Councilman
/s/ Noella Tabladillo
Milpitas Planning Commissioner
/s/ Gunawan Ali-Santosa
Milpitas Planning Commissioner

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Measure I gives more control to the City Council, not the citizens of Milpitas. Today there are few legal differences between being a General Law city over a Charter City. If you want to change the charter, it will cost every time. This election is costing $108,000, what will it be in the future--$250,000?

City hall was built with redevelopment money, not general operating funds. The budget was $30 million and Livengood voted against rebuilding it for half the cost 10 years earlier. They say you can vote on projects over $15 million. What's left to build in Milpitas? Deception and lies continue.

Councilmembers Livengood and Gomez say no more "sweetheart deals", but they gave one to the acting city manager. While serving as city manager, he retired as police chief, then continued receiving an extra 10% in pay with their blessing; $350,000 with benefits. They did not support open recruitment and no charter will change this.

They say you will be in charge, but they will write the charter and we will pay the price. The residents of San Jose have a Charter! Look at the mess they are in.

Milpitas will need to cut services over the next 5 years by $30 million. Over 83% of the budget goes to city employee salaries and benefits. The only place to cut is programs for us. Accountability, fiscal responsibility is needed, not a charter by politicians for politicians!

NO on Measure I!

/s/ Jose S. Esteves

Mayor, City of Milpitas
/s/ Alfred R. Garcia
Former Charter City Commission Member
/s/ Patricia "Trish" Dixon
Milpitas Vice Mayor, former
/s/ Hai T. Pham
CAC Commissioner
/s/ Marsha Grilli
Former Charter City Commission member
Measure I is Smoke and Mirrors

After 17 months of review and input from the community, a citizen's task force said NO to a charter. There is still no compelling reason to change.

Now we are being asked to give an advisory vote costing us $108,000. The vote by Councilmembers Giordano, Gomez and Livengood to place this on the ballot was held only 10 days before the deadline. General Law provides us with the protection of state law. A charter is inflexible and transfers power to politicians.

Why the rush? Why now during a low voter turnout election instead of November for less money? Why the deception?

What are the advantages/disadvantages? They claim this is your city but don't say who will write a charter.

Measure I is only advisory. The council can write their own charter and put more power in their hands not yours. Councilmembers receive retirement benefits for life and subsidized medical coverage after 5 years. Will they overturn the Hillside Ordinance, will they rewrite term limits? Services are being cut but they want to add additional members which will increase the costs to taxpayers. Who needs more?

Lots of questions and no answers! For 52 years, Milpitas has grown and thrived as a General Law city. For 35 years, Livengood has been a part of this process but now says it is flawed. Where is the accountability, where is fiscal responsibility?

Vote NO on expanding city council powers! Vote NO on Measure I!

/s/ Robert F. McGuire

Open Space Director - Retired
/s/ William D. Weisgerber
Former Mayor City of Milpitas
/s/ Jerry F. Epps
Charter City Task Force
/s/ Maria Lemery
Cofounder Save Our Milpitas Hills
/s/ Althea L. Polanski
Milpitas City Councilmember

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Opponents of "Measure I" say we benefit from the "protection" of state law. Who are they kidding? The Legislature has sold us out time after time. They looted Milpitas' RDA and General Fund, costing Milpitas taxpayers millions. Remember how the state lottery was supposed to help our schools? Yeah, right. "Measure I" puts you in charge, not Sacramento politicians.

Reading the impartial analysis of "Measure I", you'll see that this is an advisory measure. Councilmembers Gomez, Giordano and Livengood put this measure on the ballot because they want to hear your opinion. Ask yourself; why are Mayor Esteves and Councilwoman Polanski fighting so hard against hearing what you have to say? Are they afraid to hear your opinion?

Milpitas is the largest city in Santa Clara County that is NOT a charter city. Over 86% of Santa Clara County residents live in a charter governed city. Milpitas should enjoy the same benefits that 86% of our neighbors receive.

Don't be fooled by the opponents of "Measure I". The city charter will not extend term limits for politicians or overturn the hillside ordinance. They're just trying to scare you. And they are not telling you the full story. A charter can only be approved or changed by you, the voters. Local politicians don't gain power with a charter. You do. And a charter can save taxpayer dollars.

Take power away from the legislature and put it in your own hands. Vote for local control.

Vote Yes on "Measure I".

/s/ Armando Gomez

Milpitas City Councilmember
/s/ Robert Livengood
Milpitas Councilmember
/s/ Henry C. Manayan
Past Mayor, 1996-2002
/s/ Debra J. Giordano
Milpitas Councilmember

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