Story by Zoe Schlaak
Photo by Alicia Alderete
South Pasadena residents voted on Measure A and Measure C on Tuesday, Nov. 5, with both measures passing with landslide numbers. Measure A will implement a 0.75% sales tax increase, while Measure C will instate a city clerk appointed by the city council instead of a city clerk elected by residents.
Measure A’s 0.75% increase in the sales taxes aims to help alleviate the city’s budget deficit. The total sales tax rate would increase from 9.5% to 10.75%. Results showed that 66.4% of the 2,194 votes selected “YES” on measure A.
South Pasadena is currently facing a budget deficit because of rising construction material costs, labor expenses and increase in public employee pensions due to CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System). Measure A’s tax revenue will allow for the maintaining of public services and facilities around South Pasadena. Without its passing, staff and budget cuts would have to be made in government owned services like libraries and parks.
Measure C consists of residents giving the city the power to choose the city clerk, instead of elections. City council will now be allowed to appoint the city clerk on their own. Results showed that 61.4% of the 3221 total votes chose “YES” on measure C.
Most California cities have already transitioned to appointed city clerks. This measure will add new requirements to the appointed city clerk position. Currently, elected city clerks require no previous training. Appointed city clerks are required to be verified by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.
Current elected city clerk Evelyn Zneimer’s position will be eliminated at the end of her term in 2020.