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Meeting Information

Budget and Policy Committee

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Budget and Policy Committee

Elections Commission

May 4, 2005

(Approved August 4, 2005)



  • 1.CALL TO ORDER:  Chair, Michael Mendelson called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm.


  • 2.ROLL CALL:  Present were Commissioners Michael Mendelson, and Gerard Gleason. Also present were John Arntz, Director of the Department of Elections and Deputy City Attorney Julia Moll. Absent was Commissioner Richard P. Matthews.


  • 3.Discussion and possible action to approve the minutes for the Budget and Policy Committee meeting of March 2, 2005 and April 6, 2005.  Commissioner Gleason MOVED to approve the minutes.  The Motion CARRIED.


  1. Update of the Department’s recent issuance of a Request for Proposal for a new voting system by the Director.  Commissioner Gleason said that the Director made a report to the full Commission regarding this item and that to be consistent, it would be more appropriate that the update be made at the full Commission’s next meeting.  This item was not heard.


  • 5.Discussion and possible action to recommend that the Commission approve and make the Department of Elections’ Outreach Plan the official policy of the Elections Commission.   Commissioner Gleason said that the Outreach Plan met with his approval and that the role of the Commission in regard to outreach was vague.  He said that if the Commission adopts this plan as policy, the Commission would be “putting itself in a box”, and that he commends the Department for its Outreach Plan but the plan should not be a policy of the Commission.  Commissioner Mendelson said that the Charter states that the Director is responsible for Outreach, however, the thought behind having it on the agenda is to give the Commission an opportunity to discuss and determine if the Commission has any recommendations.  He said that at the Committee level, public comment could be taken.  Commissioner Mendelson said that the Outreach Plan, proposed by the Director, is well done, and that he is happy that San Francisco, out of 58 counties, is the only one with such an extensive outreach program.  He said that the Commission should take steps to either ratify the plan or make recommendations to the plan.  Commissioner Gleason said that he was in favor of moving this item to the full Commission to have the Commission decide.  He said that he wants citizens to have “a sense of ownership” of the voting franchise.


The Committee forwards this item to the full Commission for discussion.  This item is forwarded without recommendation.


Discussion and possible action to propose an amendment to the Bylaws regarding the procedures for the election of Commission President and Vice President.  Commissioner Mendelson read a statement concerning the Commission's history of electing officers and its rule of collegiality regarding these elections, in which the Vice President usually becomes President.  He proposed a rule that the Vice President automatically become President at the end of the term. 


Commissioner Gleason said that he likes the current system in which candidates are nominated and the Commissioners vote, and he would not support a system in which the Vice President automatically becomes President.  He said he would rather not “telegraph off into the future” who will be the next President because the sitting Vice President will automatically fill the office of President.


This matter was forwarded to the Commission without recommendation.  



ADJOURNMENT at 7:32 pm