On November 13, 2018 City Council Member Kayla Jones submitted her resignation effective December 1, 2018. Per California Government Code section 36512, when a vacancy of an elected official occurs, the remaining Council must, within 60 days from the date of the vacancy, either fill the vacancy by appointment or call a special election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the appointment term. Council Member Jones’ term expires in November 2020.
Candidates for Council who did not receive the highest vote counts from the November 2018 election do not automatically fill this vacancy.
Should the Council chose to fill the vacancy by election, the Council must call for an election during a regular meeting and publish a notice of election no less than 113 days and no more than 127 days from the date the election would be held. The process will follow a normal election cycle with a full nomination period, which is detailed below.
The cost for a special election can vary depending if the Council choses to facilitate the election in house, such as the special election of 2017 or to contract with the Monterey County Elections Department. Monterey County Elections previously quoted a special election for the City of Seaside between $188,000 and $268,000 depending on a variety of factors, including but not limited to postage prices, ballot and voter guide printing prices, and voter turnout. The City of Seaside conducted the 2017 special election in-house for just under $60,000. To pay for the election, the Council would have to allocate funds for this election from the general fund or reserve funds, as it is not currently budgeted.
Should the Council chose to appoint to fill the vacancy, according to the CA Government Code any appointee must be a “qualified person”. A qualified person is any individual who is registered to vote in the City of Seaside. There is no prescribed process in the Government Code for this appointment and historically when the City has had vacancies and has chosen to appoint rather than hold a special election, they publically noticed an application process, conducted interviews and made their selection based on a weighted vote.
Understanding that the election process takes between four to six months, if the Council called a special election during the December 20th meeting, the earliest the winner could be seated would be June 2019.
Optimally, the City Council would place the decision regarding filling the vacancy on a mid December to mid January agenda and decide how to proceed.
Any questions about this can be referred to the Public Affiars Officer/City Clerk Lesley Milton-Rerig at email@example.com or by calling 831-899-6707