Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

La Mesans to lose right to vote?

Appointment of city clerk discussed at meeting

Mary Kennedy
Mary Kennedy

The La Mesa City Council on May 13 voted 4-1 to place a measure on the November 4 ballot that asks voters to change the city clerk from an elected position to an appointed one. Mayor Art Madrid cast the dissenting vote, saying it denied the voters' right to express their choice.

Voters in November will also elect a mayor, two councilmembers, and decide whether to set term limits for those offices.

City clerk Mary Kennedy said in a May 15 interview that the Registrar of Voters notified the city on May 13 that the La Mesa Term Limits Committee's petition drive yielded the 3306 signatures needed to schedule a vote on the "Three Consecutive Terms Limit" ordinance.

Kennedy, who was re-elected in 2012, advanced from deputy city clerk to city clerk in 1998. Rather than hold a special election that year, the council interviewed candidates and appointed Kennedy to finish the previous clerk's term.

The issue of appointing the city clerk was put on the agenda by councilmembers Ruth Sterling and Ernie Ewin.

Sterling said that while the city clerk's duties increased since La Mesa incorporated in 1912, the requirements for that position haven't changed. The clerk must be a U.S. citizen, La Mesa resident, registered voter, and at least 18 years old. (Madrid said later that those were the requirements for any elected office in La Mesa.)

Ewin said voters don't elect the police chief, and "the city council hires one person, the city manager." That "person is in the best position to manage" hiring.

When asked by Ewin, Kennedy said she supported the proposal because it treats her position like others at the department-head level.

Madrid objected to "taking the voters' right away.… The next thing you know" residents won't vote for mayor, and there will be "district elections although [La Mesa is] only 9.2 square miles." Madrid, who plans to run for re-election, served on the council from 1981 until he was elected mayor in 1990.

The issue of a non-elected mayor came up at the November 12 council meeting. Term-limits opponent Kristin Kjaero spoke about making a public-records request about "people looking into the possibility of making the mayor and city clerk non-elected positions."

When I asked who was involved, Kjaero said she was making the request to find out.

The Reader’s public-records request indicated that city manager Dave Witt was contacted by two members of the La Mesa Citizen Oversight Group.

Russell Buckley asked in an October 24 email why the city clerk was an elected position.

Kevin George's October 29 email asked why the clerk and treasurer were elected. He also wrote, "We have observed that many cities have a floating mayor, with the position rotating among councilmembers." He asked, "Who or what has jurisdiction/ability to change" those situations?

Those situations require ballot measures when the offices of city clerk and mayor aren't on the ballot, Witt wrote in his responses and in an update to the council for the week of October 28 through November 1.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Oceanside – eclecticism reigns

Oceanside Blvd. beach rip-rap, Fire Mountain incursion, airport death, growing up in Camp Pendleton housing, Oceanside Pier, Samoan gangs, Saint Malo, harbor vs. surfers
Next Article

Moved to tears by Dave’s Hot Chicken

Nashville hot chicken ranges from no spice, to hot, to the indemnified “reaper”
Mary Kennedy
Mary Kennedy

The La Mesa City Council on May 13 voted 4-1 to place a measure on the November 4 ballot that asks voters to change the city clerk from an elected position to an appointed one. Mayor Art Madrid cast the dissenting vote, saying it denied the voters' right to express their choice.

Voters in November will also elect a mayor, two councilmembers, and decide whether to set term limits for those offices.

City clerk Mary Kennedy said in a May 15 interview that the Registrar of Voters notified the city on May 13 that the La Mesa Term Limits Committee's petition drive yielded the 3306 signatures needed to schedule a vote on the "Three Consecutive Terms Limit" ordinance.

Kennedy, who was re-elected in 2012, advanced from deputy city clerk to city clerk in 1998. Rather than hold a special election that year, the council interviewed candidates and appointed Kennedy to finish the previous clerk's term.

The issue of appointing the city clerk was put on the agenda by councilmembers Ruth Sterling and Ernie Ewin.

Sterling said that while the city clerk's duties increased since La Mesa incorporated in 1912, the requirements for that position haven't changed. The clerk must be a U.S. citizen, La Mesa resident, registered voter, and at least 18 years old. (Madrid said later that those were the requirements for any elected office in La Mesa.)

Ewin said voters don't elect the police chief, and "the city council hires one person, the city manager." That "person is in the best position to manage" hiring.

When asked by Ewin, Kennedy said she supported the proposal because it treats her position like others at the department-head level.

Madrid objected to "taking the voters' right away.… The next thing you know" residents won't vote for mayor, and there will be "district elections although [La Mesa is] only 9.2 square miles." Madrid, who plans to run for re-election, served on the council from 1981 until he was elected mayor in 1990.

The issue of a non-elected mayor came up at the November 12 council meeting. Term-limits opponent Kristin Kjaero spoke about making a public-records request about "people looking into the possibility of making the mayor and city clerk non-elected positions."

When I asked who was involved, Kjaero said she was making the request to find out.

The Reader’s public-records request indicated that city manager Dave Witt was contacted by two members of the La Mesa Citizen Oversight Group.

Russell Buckley asked in an October 24 email why the city clerk was an elected position.

Kevin George's October 29 email asked why the clerk and treasurer were elected. He also wrote, "We have observed that many cities have a floating mayor, with the position rotating among councilmembers." He asked, "Who or what has jurisdiction/ability to change" those situations?

Those situations require ballot measures when the offices of city clerk and mayor aren't on the ballot, Witt wrote in his responses and in an update to the council for the week of October 28 through November 1.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Kahlee310’s snitch rapper reactions

“He’d literally do anything for the money or fame”
Next Article

Albert Brooks’ mockinfomercial introduction

The glad-handing human laugh track, assures his audience, “That was funny.”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close