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Meeting Information

Budget and Policy Committee

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Budget and Policy Committee

Elections Commission

June 15, 2004




  1. Chair, Michael Mendelson called the meeting to order at 4:04pm.


  1.   Present were Commissioner Michael Mendelson, Commissioner Gerard Gleason, Director John Arntz and Deputy City Attorney Julia Moll.  Commissioner Winnicker was absent.


  1. .  Commissioner Mendelson called the Committee’s attention to item one of the proposed operating procedures.  “Any Commissioner has the absolute right to place any item on the Commission agenda not withstanding any action taken by the Committee on that item no matter the Committee action.”  He said that his goal was for Commissioners to have complete access.  Mr. Mendelson said that there was no need to move on these general operating procedures and asked if Commissioner Gleason had any concerns or comments.   Commissioner Gleason said that he felt the list covered most of the situations that he could foresee the Committee doing.


  • Discussion and possible action to urge the Ballot Simplification Committee (BSC) to approve all Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) language used in the voting instructions and tallying information that will appear in the Voter’s Information Pamphlet (VIP).   Commissioner Gleason said that the Municipal Elections Code clearly states that the BSC will participate in the digest or VIP, but it also gives the Director the authority to decide other materials about which the Ballot Simplification Committee may participate.  Mr. Gleason said that he wants to move this item forward as a recommendation to the Director. 


Commissioner Mendelson suggested that the resolution be changed to a motion to be placed on the full Commission agenda and to read as follows:  To foster voter education for county elections, the Elections Commission urges the Director of Elections to include the Ballot Simplification Committee in the review of all voting instructions and informational material about Ranked Choice Voting in the Voter Information Pamphlet.


            Commissioner Mendelson said that he would report this decision to the Commission and ask that it be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.  Motion CARRIED.


  1. Commissioner Gleason said that he brought this item forward because other counties are considering this action.  The Commissioner said that he would contact these counties and survey their opinion on eliminating the newspaper notice in favor of website posting.  Commissioner Mendelson said that San Francisco can take the lead in moving this to an amendment of the State Elections Code.  Chairperson Mendelson said that he would report to the Commission that the Committee will be doing further studies of this issue and will be in communication with other counties before the Committee suggests a motion to the Commission.


  1.     Commissioner Mendelson reminded the Commissioners that Director Arntz had provided a list of the activities that would be incompatible for persons working for the Department.  The Commissioner said that the list was appropriate and asked the Director if he still thought it was appropriate.  Mr. Arntz agreed.  Commissioner Gleason said that his only concern with the list was the time constraints, however the restrictions on activities were appropriate.  Mr. Mendelson asked Deputy City Attorney Moll if she had also reviewed the list.   Ms. Moll said she had reviewed it and that she had no legal concerns regarding the Committee’s approval of the list.  Chair Mendelson said that the Committee recommends passage of the Incompatible Activities Statement of the San Francisco Department of Elections that Director John Arntz presented to the Commission a month earlier.  (This Incompatible Activities Statement is appended to these minutes.)



ADJOURNMENT at 4:22 pm.