2012-07-05 / Front Page
Right to Vote initiative qualifies for fall ballot
The Thousand Oaks Right to Vote Initiative has qualified for the November ballot with more than 8,000 county-certified petition signatures, according to the city clerk’s office.
The measure requires vacancies on the Thousand Oaks City Council to be filled by a special election, allowing interim appointments only until the date of the next statewide election.
“We’re really happy to be taking the next step toward making the initiative law,” Planning Commissioner Michael “Mic” Farris, who authored the measure, told the Acorn.
“The petition was very well received by everyone. The short time it took to collect the signatures is indicative of the level of support (the initiative has),” he said.
Farris started the petition two days after Joel Price was appointed to serve the remaining 33 months of Dennis Gillette’s term on the City Council in March.
Gillette stepped down in February due to health problems.
On June 11, 10,421 signatures were submitted to the city clerk’s office, Farris said.
More than two weeks later, on June 28, the county recorder’s office had certified enough signatures to qualify the measure for the Nov. 6 ballot, said City Clerk Linda Lawrence.
Farris said he was notified about the count the next day.
Under California law, the initiative needed about 7,300 signatures, or 10 percent of the city’s 72,785 registered voters, to move forward.
Lawrence said that the office stopped counting after reaching 10,271 signatures because the county felt that amount was sufficient to reach the threshold.
Of that number, 8,332 signatures were valid; 1,939 were disqualified because the signers were not registered to vote in T.O., signatures were duplicates or for other reasons, the city clerk said.
The measure will go before the City Council on July 10, when council members may adopt it into law or send it to the voters, Lawrence said.
The council ordered an impact analysis report on the initiative to study what impacts it might have on T.O. city government at its meeting last week.