Council Dates Voter Decision


Rent measure vote set for Nov. 6, 2018

Alameda voters will decide whether to include Ordinance 3148 into the City Charter next November after City Council voted to place the measure in the General Election at the Oct. 17 council meeting. 

Council had two options for the scheduled vote to add Ordinance 3148, or “the City of Alameda Rent Review, Rent Stabilization and Limitations on Evictions Ordinance” to the City Charter. Either the June 5, 2018, primary or the Nov. 6, 2018, General Election. The council voted unanimously in favor of the November election.

Councilmembers cited the cost disparity between the two elections as a reason they chose the November voting date. Placing the measure on the General Election ballot would cost approximately $25,000 in printing costs, according to reports. However, costs for placing the measure on the primary ballot could range from $580,000 to $720,000. These costs could lower if the measure can be consolidated with another item on the ballot, but it would still be more than $200,000, according to city officials. 

“I could think of a lot of ways to spend the couple hundred thousands of dollars directly into the community than running a June small turnout election,” said Councilmember Frank Matarrese. 
Councilmembers were also concerned with the possibility there would not be as big a turnout for the June primary as opposed to the November election.

“June is summer months and people disperse,” said Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft. “This is an important issue and I think it is imperative we allow as many voters as possible to weigh in on it.”

Before the Council voted on the issue, several residents shared their opinions on the June primary, November election debate.

“To have most democratic election we should chose the one that will have the largest turnout,” said Brian McGuire. “A general election in 2018 will have a bigger turnout than a June Primary.” 

The Council still needs to decide the language for the ballot question. The Council wanted to make sure the question — which needs to be 75 words or less — was precise enough for voters to understand. The council voted to adopt the November election measure now and amend the language at a later date.