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Smart Voter
Contra Costa County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Measure M
Change Elected Mayor to Appointed
City of Antioch

Majority Approval Required

Fail: 2023 / 15.98% Yes votes ...... 10635 / 84.02% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jun 22 3:50pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (55/55)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the position of a directly elected mayor be eliminated, so that the Antioch City Council is composed of five members who will choose among themselves who will serve as mayor?

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
The Antioch City Council voted to place Measure M on the ballot. If approved by a majority of the voters, Measure M would eliminate the position of a directly elected Mayor. The current Mayor's term would be completed, but there would be no election for Mayor in November 2012. The City Council would revert to a 5-member City Council, with each Council Member elected by the voters. The City Council could adopt a process for the selection of a Mayor from among the Council Members.


State law allows for a mayor of a general law city, like Antioch, to be selected by a vote of the members of the city council or directly elected by the voters. Since 1972, Antioch voters have voted directly for the position of Mayor.

According to statistics from the League of California Cities, of approximately 480 cities, 149 cities have a directly elected mayor.

Duties of a Directly Elected Mayor

According to state law, a directly elected mayor makes all appointments to boards, commissions, and committees, with the approval of the city council, unless otherwise specified by statute. Per practice, the Antioch Mayor chairs the meetings of the City Council and the City Manager consults with the Mayor in preparing the agenda. The Mayor also sits as a Board Member on the Delta Diablo Sanitation District and is the City's representative at the Countywide Mayors' Conference.

A directly elected mayor in a general law city is different from the full-time "strong mayor" form of government in some charter cities, such as San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. Antioch is a general law city not a charter city; therefore, this approach is not an option.

Financial Impact

A directly elected mayor in a general law city can receive additional salary if authorized by ordinance. However, the City's Municipal Code does not currently provide any additional salary to the Mayor. The City Council's adopted Travel and Expense policy does provide a $450 per month cap for travel expenses ($100 more per month than a Council Member) and a $100 per month cap for communication expenses ($50 more per month than a Council Member).

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Tracy Nerland, Antioch City Attorney

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Arguments For Measure M Arguments Against Measure M
Your "YES" vote on Measure M will eliminate the directly elected mayor position and allow voters to elect five equal council members, who will adopt a process for choosing a mayor from among the council members.

This is the process that the city followed for over one hundred years and is the process that nearly 70% of all cities in California currently follow.

Eliminating the directly elected mayor position will foster collegiality among the council members and bring new energy and ideas each year as a new mayor is chosen.

In addition, it allows all five council members a greater role in making key appointments to various boards and commissions.

Finally, eliminating the directly elected mayor position avoids the possibility of the mayor receiving a greater salary, something that Antioch cannot afford.

During these challenging economic times, Antioch needs to think of new and creative approaches to revitalize the city we know and love.

We urge you to vote "YES" on Measure M to eliminate the directly elected mayor position and create a City Council of five equal members.

Antioch City Council

James D. Davis, Mayor City of Antioch

Measure M presents a very basic question to the voters - Do you want politicians selecting your mayor, or do you want the residents of Antioch to decide who will lead our city? We think the voters do a good job of electing the Mayor.

Your NO vote ensures citizens are in charge.

Exactly why are we voting on Measure M? It isn't complicated. The politicians want to choose Antioch's Mayor amongst themselves, so they are asking voters to change existing law. Whose interest are they looking out for? Taking the right away from voters is not in your interest.

Your NO vote is in your interest.

A directly elected Mayor can lead Antioch with consistency and a clear mandate. When working with other cities on regional issues a directly elected Mayor has a strategic advantage because s/he is at the table for four years and knows the ends and outs of the debate. For example, widening Highway 4 depended on a strong Mayor pushing our projects past other regions of the county and state for funding.

When voters choose the Mayor, s/he is accountable to you. You can vote them out of office if crime isn't controlled or job opportunities aren't increased.

The power to choose the Mayor should stay with the voters.

When a problem arises in your neighborhood, the first person anyone thinks to call is the Mayor. If the Mayor rotates each year, do you want to try and figure out whose turn it is? Or do you want to pick up the phone and know the person at the other end is the one the voters elected?

Keep voters in charge. Vote NO on Measure M.

Joel Keller, Former Elected Antioch Mayor

Nancy E. Fernandez, Community Activist

Jack Roddy, Rancher/Antioch Citizen of the Year

Arne Simonsen, Former City Councilmember

Barbara Zivica, Political Commentator

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Created: July 26, 2012 13:00 PDT
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