Photo by Sophie Yeung
The South Pasadena City Council celebrated the overwhelming “no” to the repeal of the Utility Users Tax (UUT), as well as the re-election of the District 4 and 5 councilmembers in their meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 7. These results followed the Nov. 6 mid-term elections, where residents voted on issues ranging from city services to local politicians.
The review of the preliminary election results released by the Los Angeles County Registrar saw the downfall of Measure N with the South Pasadena community rallying to secure six thousand votes against the proposition. The passage of Measure N would have seen the repeal of the UUT, resulting in $3.4 million being cut from the city’s annual budget.
The council developed a financial plan in preparation of the possible passage of Measure N, which would have included the layoffs of 12 public safety employees, a reduction of $1 million a year for street repairs, and increased library closure. The reduction of public safety members, such as police officers, would have set South Pas below the national average of 1.75 officers per one thousand residents.
Both South Pas councilmembers and residents have been combatting the proposition in the coming months before the November ballot, believing that the repeal of the UUT would degrade the quality of the services available to the entire community. The council credited much of the effort in the failed repeal to the Measure N committee and the residents who fought to keep the city’s services intact.
“I want to thank the residents for their strong support of the continuation of the Utility Users Tax,” returning District 5 councilmember Diana Mahmud said. “We are going to continue to keep looking for ways to make your precious tax dollars stretch further.”
Long time District 4 incumbent Michael Cacciotti retained his position with 72.2 percent of votes, despite being opposed by newcomer Eric Brady. District 5 councilmember Diana Mahmud was also re-elected to serve, while Evelyn Zneimer and Gary Pia ran unopposed for City Clerk and City Treasurer, respectively. Additionally, the council reviewed the election results for the school board. Newcomers Dr. Ruby Kalra and Zahir Robb, as well as returning incumbent Dr. Michele Kipke, secured the three open positions on the school board displacing board member Julie Guilioni.
The election results will consider mail-in ballots before being certified and reviewed in the city council’s next meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 5.