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THE CITY OF 19 <br /> -'••r' i CITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT <br /> pL£ASANTON. <br /> September 21, 2021 <br /> City Manager <br /> City Attorney <br /> TITLE: ADOPT A RESOLUTION DECLARING THE CITY OF PLEASANTON'S <br /> INTENT TO TRANSITION FROM AN AT-LARGE ELECTION SYSTEM <br /> TO A DISTRICT-BASED ELECTION SYSTEM <br /> SUMMARY <br /> The City of Pleasanton currently utilizes an at-large election system, whereby electors <br /> from the entire city choose each of the four Councilmembers and the Mayor. <br /> A district-based election system is one where the city is divided into separate districts, <br /> each with one councilmember who resides in the district and who is just chosen by the <br /> electors residing in that particular district. The office of Mayor remains elected at-large <br /> even under a district-based election system. <br /> The City received a letter on August 5, 2021, from attorney Kevin Shenkman asserting <br /> that the City's at-large electoral system violates the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 <br /> ("CVRA") (Attachment 1). Mr. Shenkman's letter claims that polarized voting may be <br /> occurring in the city and threatens litigation absent the City's voluntary conversion to <br /> district-based elections for Councilmembers. <br /> The City Council met in closed session on September 7, 2021, and directed staff to <br /> move forward with drafting the resolution of intention to transition from at-large to <br /> district-based elections for its consideration. <br /> RECOMMENDATION <br /> Adopt a resolution declaring the City's intent to transition from an at-large election <br /> system to a district-based election system. <br /> FINANCIAL STATEMENT <br /> The costs to implement the procedures to transition from an at-large to a district-based <br /> election system within the safe harbor time period provided by the CVRA will include <br /> approximately $50,000 for outside legal counsel and a demographer. There will also be <br /> potential attorneys' fees to Mr. Shenkman that are limited to not more than $30,000 <br /> (plus an annual adjustment for inflation) if the City meets the CVRA time limits. <br /> Those expenses are not included in the FY 2021/22 budget and will therefore be <br /> included in the FY 2021/22 mid-year budget. <br />