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Voters to decide fate of two SH city council seats, charter measures March 5

With the election just days away, SH residents have time to decide who and what they want to vote for

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Residents will decide the fate of two Signal Hill City Council positions and the future of city elections during the general-municipal election on Tuesday, March 5.

In a few days, residents will be able to vote for: two of three candidates for a position on the Signal Hill City Council, which will be held for a full-term of four years; a City Clerk to a full-term; a City Treasurer to a full-term; and two competing charter amendments, Measure M and Measure N.

Kim Boles, deputy city clerk and assistant to the city manager, told the Signal Tribune in a phone interview Feb. 27 that polls will close March 5 at 8pm. Once poll workers conclude their paperwork, the ballots will then be delivered to officials with Los Angeles County– a first, as the City of Signal Hill has conducted ballot counts in the past.

Boles said County officials then begin counting the votes as soon as they’re delivered.

“At that point by 8pm when the polls close, they can start processing the vote-by-mail ballots, meaning the signatures have already been verified at that point, but they can actually start counting the ballots,” Boles said. “So, we should start seeing election results online at lacountyvote.net, I would think, as early as 8:30pm, 9pm, they will post those vote-by-mail ballot counts. And then they’ll update periodically throughout the evening.”

She added that vote-by-mail ballots can be accepted up to three days after the election, and election results won’t actually be certified by the County until March 22.
“That’s a tentative date right now,” she said. “It could be earlier, but it’s at the latest.”

The candidates for city council are, in alphabetical order by last name: Tina Hansen, current Signal Hill mayor and incumbent; Keir Jones, current Signal Hill City Clerk; and Chris Wilson, current Signal Hill City Commissioner.

The positions for City Clerk and City Treasurer are uncontested and each have one candidate– Carmen Brooks and David Hopper, respectively.

If residents vote for Measure M, it would amend the city charter to change the City’s general-municipal election date to the statewide primary-election date of the first Tuesday in March of even-numbered years.

Measure N would amend the city charter to change the general-municipal election date to the statewide general-election date of the first Tuesday in November of even-numbered years.

Currently, Signal Hill municipal elections are held on the first Tuesday in March of odd-numbered years.

Per City Attorney Dave Aleshire’s impartial analysis, Measure M would extend the terms of municipal officers, including certain councilmembers who are termed-out March 2021, by a year, since the ordinance would move the election dates to even-numbered years (March 2022).

The analysis also states that Measure N would move the charter-mandated election on March 2021 to November of even-numbered years (which would be November 2022). As a result, the terms of councilmembers that are scheduled to end March 2023 will be shortened by four months.

Both measures were introduced in an effort to encourage positive voter turnout and align Signal Hill elections with the state, per the city-attorney analysis.
As reported a few weeks ago, the Signal Tribune hosted a candidate forum Feb. 13 at the Signal Hill City Council Chamber to learn about policies and stances from Hansen, Jones and Wilson.

The two-part story about the forum can be found on signaltribune.com or at the following abbreviated links: bit.ly/2StxUfE and bit.ly/2StunOB.

A full breakdown of the Tuesday, March 5, general-municipal election, along with polling locations, can be found at cityofsignalhill.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=495.

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Voters to decide fate of two SH city council seats, charter measures March 5