Like more than 60 other cities and 150 school districts across the State, Duarte is involved in the process to change how voters elect the City Council. Duarte is responding to a potential challenge by a private legal group relating to its current At-Large Election process. The City Council decided to take advantage of recent legislation (AB 350) that provides a short window of opportunity to discuss, invite public input, and ultimately decide to adopt a District-Based Election process.
Pursuant to Elections Code Section 10010, the City has been conducting a series of Public Hearings over the last 90 days to receive community input on the composition of proposed electoral districts for City Council seats. The City Council asked for the public’s help in planning the City’s change to by-district Council elections through both the submittal of paper or on-line maps.
Throughout the process, maps have been presented for public review and comment. The City Council appreciates the input by the community on possible boundary maps for the City Council to consider. November 3rd was the last day to submit draft voting district maps for the Monday, November 13th public hearing. October 24th was the previous deadline for residents to submit draft voting district maps for the November 2nd public hearing. Before the deadline, the public submitted 17 different versions of the map.
The intended result is that beginning in November 2018, elections for Councilmembers in Duarte will be by district, instead of the current at-large (also known as citywide) elections in which all voters have the opportunity to make a decision on each council seat. This means that all voters will now vote for the one Councilmember representing the district where they live once every four years. The City Council, at its November 13th Council meeting, expressed their preference for map 703 that has seven separate council districts, with minor adjustments to District 7. (See proposed map below.)
The elections code also requires the determination of the election year sequencing for each proposed map. The next regularly scheduled municipal election for Council seats is in November of 2018, and the remaining Council seats in November of 2020. Based on Council action at the November 13, 2017 City Council meeting, the City Council approved the following election sequence going forward, where five of the seven districts will be placed on the November 2018 ballot. One of the seats (District 7) will be for a two-year term and will then be on the ballot again in 2020 for a four-year term. This step allows the City Council to immediately increase in size to seven following the 2018 election, while at the same time, staggering the City Council seats forfuture elections post-transition. Specifically, in 2020, three seats will be on the ballot for four-year terms and in 2022, four seats will be on the ballot for four-year terms.
The proposed district map below (703) and election sequencing will be incorporated into an ordinance amending the City's Municipal Code to implement by-district elections that will be presented to the Council for first reading during a special meeting on December 4, 2017 at 5:00 pm in the Community Center. For additional information on The District Election process, please visit www.accessduarte.com and click on the “district voting” icon.
( Proposed Map )