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Meeting Information

Budget and Policy Committee

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Budget and Policy Committee

Elections Commission

April 6, 2005




  • 1.CALL TO ORDER:  Chair, Michael Mendelson called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm.


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


  • 3.Discussion and possible action to approve the minutes for the Budget and Policy Committee meeting of March 2, 2005.  Commissioner Matthews MOVED to approve the minutes, Commissioner Gleason SECONDED.

The Motion CARRIED.


4.         Discussion and possible recommendation regarding the report by Commissioner Richard P. Matthews on his progress in having the Controller incorporate into the Citizen’s Survey questions regarding citizen’s opinions about physical polling places in their neighborhood (as opposed to all-postal-return balloting), and questions about their opinions of some components in the Voters’ Information Pamphlet.   Commissioner Matthews reported that Director John Arntz had been in communication with the Controller’s office and asked him to report his progress regarding this item.  Mr. Arntz said that the person in the Controller’s office to whom he wanted to speak was on vacation and had just recently returned.  Mr. Arntz said that he would be able to report back at the next Committee meeting.  Chairperson Mendelson asked if timing was essential to get the DoE’s questions in the Citizen’s Survey.  Mr. Arntz said that it was too late to participate in that survey, but that the DoE may have to issue it’s own survey instead. 


  • 5.Discussion and possible action regarding impacts of continuation of Paid Arguments in the Voters’ Information Pamphlet (VIP).  Commissioner Gerard Gleason MOVED that the Committee recommend that the Commission organize a public forum to discuss whether the Department continue to publish paid ballot arguments in the VIP.   Commissioner Gleason said that he was in favor of tabling this item until the citizen survey regarding the helpfulness of the VIP is completed.


Chairperson Mendelson said that there were two relevant pieces of information necessary before this item could be ready for action:  1. The Citizen Survey,

2. Information regarding the costs of the VIP.   

Commissioner Matthews asked Commissioner Gleason if the results from the survey were not available until next year, does this mean the Commission is to put its efforts on hold?   Commissioner Gleason said that the DoE has to prepare for a November election and would probably not be able to do this for the current year.  He said that if we do the survey, we would have to handle the costs ourselves.


Public CommentDavid Pilpel suggested a survey in the upcoming VIP that would be compiled early enough in 2006 to make legislative changes. 


Commissioner Matthews reminded the Commission that the survey, to be relevant, must include not just the voters who use the VIP, but those who do not, as well.


  • 6.       Update of the Department’s recent issuance of a Request for Proposal for a new voting system by the Director.  Chairperson Mendelson reported that this item will be discussed at the next meeting due to a posting error in which it did not appear on some agendas.


ADJOURNMENT at 7:25 pm.