BALLOT TITLE AND SUMMARY
Provided by City Attorney
A Charter Amendment Initiative to Establish Campaign Finance Rules for Local Elections and to Establish By-District City Council Elections.
This Initiative proposes to amend the City of Alhambra’s Charter. If adopted, it would direct the City Clerk and City Attorney to codify certain terms into the Charter.
Campaign Finance Provisions:
1. No person may make contributions in excess of $250 to a candidate for City office or a candidate’s controlled committee. The same contribution limitation applies to committees supporting or opposing one or more candidates.
2. Businesses and their owners are treated as one “person” for the limitations where the owner is a partner in a general partnership or has controlling interest in a corporation.
3.Loans to campaigns are subject to the $250 limit, except to commercial loans on standard terms. However, a candidate may loan their own campaign up to $10,000.
4. A candidate may have only one campaign committee and one checking account. Contributions may only be spent in connection with the candidacy identified in the FPPC Candidate Intention Statement. Candidates may not transfer contributions to other candidates or to committees.
5. Contributions may not be collected except between the date seven months prior to an election and the December 31st immediately following the election.
6. Unspent contributions totaling more than $5,000 must be returned by a former candidate to contributors on a pro rata basis or donated to a charity within 90 days of the election or the candidate’s withdrawal. $5,000 may be used for any political purpose or lawful purpose. This applies retroactively to funds in former candidates’ accounts as of one year from the date of adoption.
7. Candidates who receive contributions in violation of the rules must return them within 72 hours.
8. Violators are subject to criminal prosecution and civil penalties. A candidate may also be prevented from assuming office if a criminal court finds a violation was substantial and might have had a bearing on the election.
By-District Election Provisions:
9. City Council elections will take place on a by-district basis instead of an at-large basis, meaning residents may only vote for the Council representative of the district in which they reside and may not vote for candidates in other districts.
10. Persons signing nominating papers for a candidate must reside in the district the candidate will represent.
11. Councilmembers shall be elected by district at the next election after adoption and thereafter, but terms of councilmembers that commenced prior to the effective date are not affected until such terms expire.
12. If a vacancy occurs prior to the end of a Councilmember’s term, the Council must call a special election to fill the vacancy.
City Clerk Duties:
13. City Clerk must review all required statements and declarations and promptly advise candidates and committees of any errors or failures to file.
14. City Clerk must post candidate Form 460s in their entirety on the City website within 5 days of receipt.