Though Measure A proponents claim moving the Chico City Council elections from November to June would not cost taxpayers more money, the Registrar of Voters Office says different. A June 2012 ballot could cost Chico $130,000 versus a November election price tag of $57,000, according to a Butte County Registrar of Voters estimate. The city could pay about $73,000 more per council election, which occur every two years.
Because the city would be sharing the June election with just the county rather than about 17 jurisdictions who appeared in the November 2010 ballot, the election would likely cost more, said Laurie Cassady, assistant county registrar of voters. Measure A supporters had enough signatures to put the initiative on the June 7 special municipal election ballot. During a debate last week, proponents said the election month change would not cost more money.
“There is no extra cost to taxpayers by combining city elections with the existing county elections,” proponent Stephanie Taber said in the voter’s booklet. “Our current taxes cover the costs of every scheduled election.”
Chico city manager Dave Burkland said election money comes from the general fund, which can be spent on almost anything including public safety and roads. Sales taxes and property taxes, among others, feed into the general fund. “I’m concerned about paying more for something that, frankly, has been in place for many years,” Burkland said.
Full Article: Voting change could be costly – Chico Enterprise Record.