Before the hoopla celebrating the farewell to its outgoing City Manager, the Riverbank City Council held a brief early meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 23, voting to save some money by canceling two of the three planned elections on the upcoming November ballot.
As reported earlier, Mayor Richard O’Brien and District 4 Councilmember Darlene Barber-Martinez were the only candidates for their seats, respectively, to file nomination papers for the Nov. 8 General Election by the deadline, Aug. 12, at 5 p.m.
The council was faced with two choices last week, either appoint them to their seats, bypassing the need for an election as provided for in the state Election Code, or do nothing. By failing to act, the council would be agreeing to unnecessarily spend money to leave the names on the ballot and to be voted for and ballots counted.
Just how much it would cost the city is not yet known, since county elections officials, who conduct the process, have not yet presented their estimates for this year.
City Election Official Annabelle Aguilar advised the council that it had to act by last Tuesday’s meeting, the 75th day before the General Election in November. If no action was taken, the election will, by law, go on as scheduled.
The council last week voted 5-0 on both issues, appointing O’Brien and Barber-Martinez to their seats.
Following the decision, according to the election code, Aguilar cannot accept any other filing for write-in candidacy after the appointment is made.
The Aug. 12 filing deadline was extended to Wednesday, Aug. 17, at 5:30 p.m., because District 2 incumbent Jeannine Tucker failed to file for re-election.
Both Cindy Fosi and Anthony McKinney filed during the extended period and will appear on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot, the two competing for that district post in a contested race.