Citizen Initiatives on the November 3, 2020 Ballot
Arguments in favor of and against a measure are due to the Town Clerk no later than Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 4:30 p.m.
Rebuttal to arguments in favor of and against a measure are due to the Town Clerk no later than Tuesday, August 11, 2020, 4:30 p.m.
The Declaration of Authors of Arguments or Rebuttals form must be completed with original signatures and submitted with the argument in favor of or against.
On October 7, 2019, a Notice of Intent to Circulate a Petition titled A Citizens Initiative Measure Amending the Town Code to Limit the Time a Person May Serve on the Town Council to Two Consecutive Terms was filed with the Town’s Elections Official. On January 16, 2020, James R. Sutton, on behalf of Phil Koen, Richard Van Hoesen, and Jak Van Nada, proponents of the initiative, filed with the Elections Official the petition containing a total number of 2,960 signatures. On January 22, 2020, the petition was delivered by the Elections Official to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Office (ROV) for signature verification.
| "Shall the measure proposing a term limit ordinance to require that after serving two (2) four (4) year terms, a Town Council Member is not eligible to run for the Town Council or to be appointed to a vacancy unless a period of four years has elapsed since their last service on Town Council, be adopted?"
The following question will be submitted to the voters:
| “Shall the measure proposing an ordinance replacing the Town’s current Finance Committee and Sales Tax Oversight Committee with a Finance Commission that would advise the Town Council on financial, budgetary and investment matters, including but not limited to, the Annual Budget, the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, capital expenditures, sales tax revenue and expenditures, and other recommendations as the Town Council directs, be adopted?”
Full text of the proposed initiative can be found here: Finance Commission Initiative.
Provided below are answers to some frequently asked questions:
What is an initiative? How does the initiative process work?
The initiative is a process under the State Constitution and State law that allows residents to propose adoption of an ordinance through a local election. An ordinance is a local law. The proponents of an initiative first must draft a proposed ordinance and if approved by the voters, it can typically only be amended by subsequent voter approval.
Did the Town bring the Finance Commission ballot initiative forward?
Who did bring the Finance Commission ballot initiative forward?
Three residents of Los Gatos
What is the proposed Finance Commission ballot Initiative?
The initiative proposes to disband both the current Finance Committee and Sales Tax Oversight Committee and establish instead a Finance Commission consisting of seven (7) members - five (5) voting members and two (2) non-voting Council Members, with each Council Member appointing one Citizen Appointee. The function of the Finance Commission would be to serve in an advisory capacity to the Town Council. The proposed Finance Commission would have purview over a broader array of issues pertaining to Town finances than the current Finance Committee, including but not limited to: the Annual Budget, the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, capital expenditures, the revenue and expenditure of Measure G Sales Tax, and recommendations about the Town's financial budgetary and investment matters and operations related thereto to the Town Council and any other Town department, agency, committee, commission or other body as the Town Council directs.
Does the Town have a position on the initiative?
The Town may provide fair, impartial and factual information regarding an initiative. The Town Council has the ability to discuss an initiative and take a position by majority vote, but it may not use or authorize the use of any public resources to campaign for or against an initiative. The Town Council has not taken a position at this time.
If the initiative ordinance is approved by the electorate, can it later be amended?
An ordinance approved by the electorate through the initiative process can generally only be amended or repealed by another vote of the electorate; it cannot be amended or repealed by the Town Council unless the initiative expressly allows such action.
Does Los Gatos currently have a Finance Committee?
How long has Los Gatos had a Finance Committee?
For many years, the Council Finance Committee consisted of two Council Members who met annually with the Town’s independent auditor to discuss the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) prior to its consideration by the full Town Council. During the January 2017 Strategic Priorities session, the Town Council directed staff to return with options for increased public participation in the Council Finance Committee.
On February 21, 2017, the Town Council considered several options for increasing public involvement on the Council Finance Committee (Here) and directed staff to prepare an enabling resolution for the Council Finance Committee that would add three non-voting members of the public and clarify the scope of the Committee. On March 7, 2017, the Town Council adopted this enabling resolution for the Council Finance Committee (Here).
On August 6, 2019, the Town Council rescinded Resolution 2017-008 in order to facilitate the timely convening of the initial Sales Tax Oversight Committee meeting. Here is the current adopted Enabling Resolution for the Council Finance Committee (2019-042).
What is the Council Finance Committee composition?
The Council Finance Committee consists of five (5) members. Two (2) Town Council Members, appointed annually by the Mayor, and three (3) adult residents, appointed by the Town Council.
Who votes on the Council Finance Committee?
The two duly elected Town Council Members are voting members and the three (3) adult resident advisory members are non-voting members.
What is the purpose and scope of the current Council Finance Committee?
The function of the Committee is to serve in an advisory capacity to the Town Council regarding the following:
- Annual review of the Town's investment policy;
- Annual review of the independent financial audit (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report);
- Annual review of and potential recommendations to address the Town's CalPERS unfunded pension and Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) liabilities;
- Annual review of proposals and make recommendations regarding new and increased revenue sources;
- In the event the Town’s Sales Tax Oversight Committee does not have the required five (5) members, the Council Finance Committee resident members will serve as members of the Sales Tax Oversight Committee.
- Special projects as directed by the Town Council, Town Manager, or Finance Director.
Where can I view a full copy of the initiative?
It is available on the Town’s website: Here