On Monday, the East Contra Costa Fire Protection Board of Directors will discuss the transition from an appointed board to an elected board, its size, and how voters will get to vote on the measure.
The move comes after voters in November of 2016 voted to transition the ECCFPD from a 9-member appointed board to an elected board—currently, the City of Brentwood makes four-appointments, City of Oakley makes three-appointments while the County, who represents unincorporated, makes two appointments.
Specifically, the Board will discuss the size of the elected board, when an election will occur, and whether or not they will have “at large” or “districts. The District will direct staff if the voting will occur by mail-out ballot or be place on the June ballot.
According to the agenda:
Size of Board:
- Should the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District begin the process to place an initiative on the ballot to reduce the size of the board?
- If so, should the initiative propose a reduction of the Board from 9 members to 3 members, 5 members or 7 members?
At-Large verses Division Elections
- Should the District begin the process to place an initiative on the ballot to transition to election of Directors by division (rather than at-large)?
- If so, what factors are most important to consider determining the boundaries of the division?
Timing and Coordination of Questions:
- If the District is going to place one or both measure on the ballot, when should these election(s) be held?
- If the District is going to place both measures on the ballot, should the two questions be voted on independent of one another or should they proceed as a single ballot question covering both subjects?
Staff is recommending the Board direct staff to prepare a resolution for consideration at the November Board meeting to place a single measure before the voters at an all-mail ballot election on March 6, 2018 to both reduce the size of the Board to 5 members and have these members elected by division.
Currently, all cities in Contra Costa have 5-member city councils, elected at large, except for Richmond, which has 7 members. Meanwhile, here is a look at other governing bodies:
- The BART Board Board of Directors (covering 3 counties) has 9 members, elected by division
- All sanitary Districts in the County have an elected board of 5 at-large members.
- All water districts in the county have 5-member boards, elected at large.
- The East Bay Regional Park District (covering 2 counties) has 7 members elected by Ward.
Previously, the Board had recommended waiting until 2020 for an election for Districts due to costs, however, the County Elections is willing to conduct the requisite data analysis and provide the Board with the proposed division maps at no cost to the District.
County Elections and staff recommend that the District consider transition to election of Directors by division at the same time it considers a reduction in size of the board, both of which should occur before the first election of Directors—saying transitioning to Districts after “at large” would be more difficult.
County Elections has offered to prepare several proposed division maps for the Boards consideration, possibly as early as the November 2017 meeting. The primary legal constraint is the division maps must be comparable in size of number of residents in each district and must keep communities of intact.
For the full staff report: click here.
If you go:
October 2, 2017 beginning at 6:30 pm
Brentwood city Council Chambers
150 City Park Way, Brentwood CA