Important Information for the April 12, 2016 El Segundo General Municipal Election


May 4, 2016 Election Update

Final Election Results Certified at the May 3, 2016 El Segundo City Council Meeting

The old El Segundo City Council conducted minimal City business and adopted a resolution certifying the April 12, 2016 General Municipal Election results. The outgoing City Council members stepped down from the dais, the newly elected members were sworn in, and they voted to choose the new mayor and mayor pro tem. Then they voted on a proposal by Mike Dugan and Carol Pirsztuk to change to a rotating mayor and mayor pro tem with only one-year terms.

For more details and the results, see:

New El Segundo City Council Members Sworn In, Council Voted for Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem


April 21, 2016 Election Update

UNCERTIFIED FINAL ELECTION RESULTS:

The Uncertified Final Vote Count for the April 12, 2016 El Segundo General Municipal Election is now in. The vote counts have increased, but the election outcome has not changed. The campaign spending and the final cost per vote for each candidate and for Measure B have been calculated and summarized in two tables.


April 20, 2016 Election Update

543 UNCOUNTED BALLOTS

543 Ballots Remain to be Counted for the April 12, 2016 El Segundo General Municipal Election. They will be canvased and counted on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at City Hall in the City council Chamber.


April 12, 2016 Election Update

PRELIMINARY ELECTION RESULTS:

And the winners are … challengers Drew Boyles, Carol Pirsztuk, and Don Brann.

And the losers are … incumbents Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson.

And Measure B passed … imposing a 50% increase in the Hotel TOT tax, from 8% to 12%, which far exceeds the excessive 9% sales tax in Los Angeles County.

For more details, see:

April 12, 2016 El Segundo Election Results: Boyles, Pirsztuk, and Brann defeat incumbents Fellhauer and Atkinson; Measure B passes


Election Information Flyers were distributed throughout the City of El Segundo to inform voters about Measure B and the City Council candidates before the April 12, 2016 El Segundo General Municipal Election.

Election Flyer #1 was distributed on Sunday, April 10, 2016.
Election Flyers #2 and #3 were distributed on Monday, April 11, 2016.

Click HERE to download a PDF file containing Election Flyer #1.
Click HERE to download a PDF file containing Election Flyer #2.
Click HERE to download a PDF file containing Election Flyer #3.

Click HERE to view Election Flyer #1 as a web page.


Arguments Against Measure B – El Segundo’s Bait-And-Switch Tax Hike



Once You See What El Segundo Pays Its Police and Firefighters, You Won’t Vote for Any Tax Hikes!

And you will know why the El Segundo Police Officers’ Association (Police Union) and El Segundo Firefighters’ Association (Firefighters Union) PACs spent $30,175 as of March 27, 2016 to influence our votes in this election. (Source: FPPC Form 460 Campaign Finance Statements filed with the El Segundo City Clerk’s office.)

None of the firefighters and only about one-fourth of the police live in our city. (Source: City of El Segundo, in response to a Public Records Act request.)


Articles on the City Council Election and Candidates


Letters to the Editor of the El Segundo Herald and The Beach Reporter

Letters on Measure B


Letters on the City Council Election and Candidates


Letters on Marie Fellhauer’s City Council Agenda Item to Allow Very Large Homes on Small Size Lots, Blocking Sunlight and Air Flow


Letters on Marie Fellhauer’s City Council Agenda Item to Reduce or Eliminate City Council Member Salary and Benefits

(Marie Fellhauer put an item on the April 15, 2014 City council agenda that read, “Consideration and possible action to discuss the salary and benefits that the City Council members receive and whether such should be reduced or eliminated either voluntarily or through formal action.” Note that Fellhauer gets generous pay and benefits off the taxpayers from her police job at LAPD, and she did not include the elected City Clerk and City Treasurer in her agenda item.)


Letters on the City Charging Residents More Than $1,850 for Each Fire Department Paramedic Ambulance Transport to the Hospital

(Incumbent City Council candidates Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson voted to start charging El Segundo residents for Fire Department paramedic ambulance transports to the hospital, and had residents speaking against it at City Council meetings. They had plenty of time to stop charging this fee, but refused to do so. These fees are based on the City paying firefighter union members $150,000 to more than $375,000 each in total annual compensation. See http://TransparentCalifornia.com/salaries/2014/el-segundo/.)


Letters on the Police and Firefighter Associations (Unions)


Posted in Beach Reporter Letters, California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), El Segundo Measure B TOT Tax Hike, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Letters to the Editor, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Important Information for the April 12, 2016 El Segundo General Municipal Election

Alert for the Tuesday, April 12, 2016 City of El Segundo General Municipal Election

EL SEGUNDO CITY ELECTION:
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Vote “NO” on the Measure B Tax Hike.

Vote only 2 of 3 City Council votes, for best two: Don Brann and Carol Pirsztuk, or also vote for third best, Drew Boyles, although that is a vote againstBrann and Pirsztuk.

VOTE OUT INCUMBENTS Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson.


Posted in ALERTS, California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo News, Elections, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Alert for the Tuesday, April 12, 2016 City of El Segundo General Municipal Election

Mike Robbins’ Public Communications at the May 3, 2016 El Segundo City Council Meeting

Honorable Mayor Suzanne Fuentes and Members of the City Council,

Good evening. I am Mike Robbins, a 33-year El Segundo resident and a former El Segundo City Councilman.

REPORTS CITY CLERK Item I-7

Thank you to outgoing Mayor Pro Tem Carl Jacobson

First, I want to thank outgoing Mayor Pro Tem Carl Jacobson for his many decades of service to the City and the citizens of El Segundo, as Mayor, as Mayor Pro Tem, as Councilmember, on the Planning Commission, and in other capacities.

I had the privilege of serving on City Council with Carl Jacobson as mayor. We agreed on most issues, but when we disagreed, I always knew he was honest, intelligent, competent, and doing what he believed was in the best interest of the City and the citizens of El Segundo.

Congratulations to the newly elected City Council Members

Second, I would like to congratulate the newly elected City Council Members, Don Brann, Carol Pirsztuk, and Drew Boyles. The City Council election turned out the way I believe will be best for our City. I am disappointed with the passage of Measure B, the 50 percent increase in the Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax.

I hope that increase in City tax revenue will not trigger a clause in the union contracts to give automatic additional COLA pay raises to the City employees. Such a clause existed in the previous union contracts.

Third, I realize that the City Council meeting where the new Councilmembers are sworn in is meant to be brief and celebratory in nature. However, there is an item on the City Council agenda to change the way the mayor and mayor pro tem are elected, without a vote of the citizens of El Segundo to make that change. That item has many flaws that must be considered.

REPORTS – NEWLY ELECTED/CURRENT CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS Item L-8

Change in the current practice of electing the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem

Any change in the way the mayor and mayor pro tem are elected should be based on what is best for the citizens of El Segundo, and should be put before the voters of El Segundo. All of the pros and cons of such a change should be carefully considered before putting the question before the voters.

Recall that un-elected Mayor Bill Fisher, and outgoing Councilmembers Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson, were all defeated in their reelection campaigns in part because of their violating El Segundo’s longtime tradition that the Mayor is elected to a two-year term, and absent good cause for removal, should serve a full two-year term.

At present, the mayor and mayor pro tem are elected by the new City Council members every two years, at the meeting after the City election where the newly elected Council members are sworn in. This system is a middle of the road compromise between having the mayor directly elected by the people to a four year term and having rotating mayors with one-year terms.

I believe it will not serve the voters of El Segundo well to change the term of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem from the current two years, which is half a City Council term, to one year or less. I believe the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

Here are some of the disadvantages.

First, the additional and specialized experience and knowledge gained during the first year as mayor will be lost with each annual rotation.

Second, it will break continuity. It will reduce the ability of the mayor to develop continuity in leadership, and to cultivate relationships and influence on behalf of the City with other government entities throughout the region.

Third, it will result in an ongoing Lame duck Syndrome for half to all of the one-year mayoral term. The mayor will not be taken as seriously by other elected officials in and outside El Segundo, and by City employees, if the mayor has a term of only one year. The mayor and mayor pro tem will only be ceremonial positions.

And fourth, if a councilmember turns out to perform very well as mayor, the mayor will or may be changed in only one year instead of two years.

City Council choosing mayor based on number of votes received

The proposal for the City Council members to select the mayor based on the number of votes each received may seem reasonable, but it too has flaws. Different elections have different voter turnouts. And the number of votes received depends on how many seats are up for election, how many candidates are running, how much money is spent on the campaign by each candidate, and by the police and firefighter unions who usually support candidates and ballot measures based on their own financial interests at the expense of the taxpayers.

In this last election, one candidate, Don Brann, started out recovering from a serious injury that hindered his walking door to door, which undoubtedly cost him many votes.

Also, a candidate can get elected with the most votes by getting mostly each voter’s third vote. This occurs when there are two opposing factions and a candidate is viewed as unsatisfactory to voters in each faction, but not as unsatisfactory as the candidates in the other faction.

Election Campaign Spending Data

FPPC campaign disclosure forms show the police and fire unions spent an overwhelming $39,247.50 in our city election ($19,033.50 police, and $20,214.00 fire) to influence voters on Measure B and the City Council race. See PublicSafetyProject.org.


NOTE:

The following sentence in the third disadvantage was accidentally omitted from the spoken public communications: “The mayor and mayor pro tem will only be ceremonial positions.”


Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), El Segundo Measure B TOT Tax Hike, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter Union Corruption, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mike Robbins’ Public Communications at the May 3, 2016 El Segundo City Council Meeting

New El Segundo City Council Members Sworn In, Council Voted for Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem

Suzanne Fuentes to Continue as Mayor and Drew Boyles to Serve as Mayor Pro Temp for Next Two Years

By Michael D. Robbins

The May 3, 2016 El Segundo City Council meeting began with a proclamation, a commendation, and a presentation recognizing the Election poll workers for their valuable services rendered to the City of El Segundo during its April 12, 2016 General Municipal Election.

Next was a roll call, followed by public communications. Former El Segundo City Councilman Mike Robbins spoke, thanking Mayor Pro Tem Carl Jacobson for his decades of service to the City and citizens of El Segundo, congratulating the newly elected City Council members, and opposing agenda item L-8 to change the traditional method of electing the mayor and mayor pro tem and their terms. That agenda item, requested by Councilman Mike Dugan and Councilwoman Carol Pirsztuk, would change to a rotating mayor and mayor pro tem selected by the City Council with only one-year terms.

The old City Council then conducted a minimal amount of City business, including approving the minutes from the April 19, 2016 City Council meeting. They adopted a City Council Resolution certifying the final election results, declaring the winning candidates, and declaring that Measure B, the 50 percent increase in the Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), was passed.

Then the traditional American peaceful transition of power took place. Outgoing Mayor Pro Tem Carl Jacobson and City Council Members Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson said their goodbyes, received gifts and recognition certificates, and stepped down from the dais in the City Council Chamber. Marie Fellhauer showed off her very young adopted baby again. And a video was shown on the big screen on the Council Chamber wall recognizing Carl Jacobson’s decades of service as the city’s mayor, mayor pro tem, council member, and in other capacities.

Deputy City Clerk Mona Shilling administered the oath of office to reelected City Clerk Tracy Weaver. She ran unopposed and easily won reelection. City Clerk Weaver then administered the oath of office to reelected City Treasurer Crista Binder who also ran unopposed and easily won reelection. City Clerk Weaver then administered the oath of office to newly elected City Council Members Drew Boyles, Carol Pirsztuk, and Don Brann, who then took their seats on the dais where each gave a brief speech.

Then it was time for the new City Council to choose the new mayor and mayor pro tem from among the Council members. I suspected there were two but not the necessary three votes (out of five) to choose Suzanne Fuentes for her second two-year term as mayor. I also suspected that three or four members of the new City Council, including Suzanne Fuentes, Mike Dugan, Carol Pirsztuk, and possibly Drew Boyles, wanted to be mayor and there might not be three votes for any of them. I was curious to see what would happen.

Councilman Don Brann started the process by quickly nominating Suzanne Fuentes for mayor. Fuentes just served a two-year term as mayor. Councilwoman Carol Pirsztuk nominated Councilman Mike Dugan. There was a vote for Fuentes, which failed with only two out of five votes, with Brann and Fuentes voting yes. Then there was a vote for Dugan, which also failed with only two out of five votes, with Pirsztuk and Dugan voting yes.

The Assistant City Attorney, who attended the meeting because City Attorney Mark Hensley could not attend, suggested that Suzanne Fuentes remain as mayor since there was no change of mayor as a result of the insufficient votes to choose a new mayor. There was a Council consensus to accept his recommendation and keep Fuentes as mayor.

Mayor Fuentes then nominated Councilman Don Brann for mayor pro tem. There was also a nomination for Councilman Drew Boyles for mayor pro tem. The vote for Brann failed with only two out of five votes, with Fuentes and Brann voting yes. Then there was a vote for Boyles, which passed.

Next, the City Council discussed agenda item L-8, requested by Mike Dugan and Carol Pirsztuk, to change to a rotating mayor and mayor pro tem with one-year terms from the traditional mayor and mayor pro tem selected by a vote of the new City Council after each city election, with two-year terms.

The Assistant City Attorney stated that the City Council could adopt an ordinance to implement that change if it so desired. He said the City Council could direct that an ordinance be drafted, that the item be studied further and brought back to City Council at a later date, or that it be tabled.

There was some discussion. Mayor Fuentes opposed the change. Mayor Pro Tem Boyles stated he originally thought it was a good idea, but after additional research, he is no longer sure and it would require further study. Don Brann had nothing to say on the agenda item.

Mike Dugan moved and Carol Pirsztuk seconded to direct the City Attorney to draft an ordinance to implement the proposed change and come back to City Council with it. The motion failed 2 to 3, with Dugan and Pirsztuk voting yes, and Fuentes, Boyles, and Brann voting no. The item was tabled.

Thus, for the next two years, the City of El Segundo’s mayor is Suzanne Fuentes and its mayor pro tem is Drew Boyles.


Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo News, Elections, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New El Segundo City Council Members Sworn In, Council Voted for Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem

Inherent Conflict of Interest – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

The following letter to the editor was published in the El Segundo Herald newspaper (HeraldPublications.com) on Thursday, April 21, 2016 in the Letters section on page 3. The El Segundo Herald has a strict 250-word limit, including the title.


Inherent Conflict of Interest

The Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Associations (unions) bankrolled the Measure B tax-hike campaign. FPPC campaign disclosure forms show the police and fire unions spent an overwhelming $39,247.50 in our city election ($19,033.50 police, and $20,214.00 fire) to influence voters on Measure B and the City Council race.

This is nearly four times the $10,000 they contributed to the “Yes on Measure A” campaign in 2014, for eleven tax hikes, on residents and businesses. The fire union probably spent more than $100,000 on their Measure P campaign in 2012, to outsource our local Fire Department to Los Angeles County for a reduced level of service, for their own financial benefit.

None of the firefighters and only about one-fourth of the police live in town. They campaign in our local elections to maximize their pay and pensions, and raise taxes and fees to pay for it, no matter how excessive and unsustainable.

The latest available El Segundo City Employee compensation data, for 2014, at TransparentCalifornia.com, shows the 58 sworn police employees had the following total annual pay and benefits statistics: Minimum=$139,028; Maximum=$358,536; Average=$228,240; and Median (half above and half below)=$214,867.

The 44 sworn firefighter employees had the following total annual pay and benefits statistics: Minimum=$148,235; Maximum=$375,524; Average=$247,646; and Median=$225,882. The firefighters are paid to sleep and eat, including some of those hours at the overtime rate of 150% their regular pay rate.

The union campaigns have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with union greed.

– Mike Robbins


Posted in California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), El Segundo Measure B TOT Tax Hike, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Letters to the Editor, Measure A - 5 New Taxes and 6 Tax Inceases, Measure P - Firefighters Union Initiative, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Inherent Conflict of Interest – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Smear Campaign? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

The following letter to the editor was published in the El Segundo Herald newspaper (HeraldPublications.com) on Thursday, April 21, 2016 in the Letters section on page 3. The El Segundo Herald has a strict 250-word limit, including the title.


Smear Campaign?

I would like to assure Marie Fellhauer’s campaign supporter, Jenica Brigham, that I do exist. I am not “the same person” as Mike Robbins as she claimed in her insulting 4/7/16 Herald letter. Brigham attacked me, Mike Robbins, and others with childish name-calling and other baseless personal attacks because we reminded voters of Fellhauer’s record on City Council. She used personal attacks because she could not disprove any of our facts about Fellhauer’s true record.

Brigham claimed the residents “think everything should be free.” In fact, we don’t want to be charged twice for the same things, such as $1,850+ fire department ambulance transport fees when taxes already pay for our fire department.

Brigham described herself as “a young woman”, apparently to attract young voters to vote for Fellhauer. But at age 38, she hardly qualifies as “a young woman”. By 38, you’d think she would have registered to vote. She is not even registered to vote in El Segundo, at least not as of 2014.

Another Fellhauer campaign supporter, Beth Schodorf, submitted a letter calling accurate descriptions of Fellhauer’s City Council record a “smear campaign”. Now who’s doing the smearing? Schodorf even defended Fellhauer by attacking Lou Kutil. That was a mistake. For many years Lou Kutil, an elderly resident himself, has volunteered his own time and money to drive elderly residents to their doctor appointments, wait for them, and drive them back home.

– Marianne Fong


Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Letters to the Editor, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Smear Campaign? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

More Help on the Way – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Richard Switz

The following letter to the editor was published in the El Segundo Herald newspaper (HeraldPublications.com) on Thursday, April 21, 2016 in the Letters section on page 3. The El Segundo Herald has a strict 250-word limit, including the title.


More Help on the Way

Many thanks to the Voters of El Segundo for electing candidates last week to aid existing City Council members in continuing the positive changes started two years ago…well done El Segundo voters!

– Richard Switz


Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, Elections, Letters to the Editor, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on More Help on the Way – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Richard Switz

Final Vote Count for the April 12, 2016 El Segundo General Municipal Election

Updated on April 28, 2016 by Michael D. Robbins.

The uncertified final election results are in for the April 12, 2016 El Segundo General Municipal Election. They will be certified when the current City Council adopts a City Council Resolution certifying the final election results at the next regular El Segundo City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. The meeting will be held in the City Council Chamber at City Hall, starting at 7:00 PM.

The traditional peaceful transition of power will then be made, with the outgoing City Council members stepping down and the newly elected City Council members being administered their oath of office by the City Clerk, and then stepping up to assume their seats at the dais in the City Council Chamber. The City Clerk will chair the City Council meeting until the new City Council votes to choose the new mayor. The Mayor will then chair the meeting, and the City Council will vote to choose the Mayor Pro Tem.

The final vote counts, campaign spending, and cost per vote for each candidate and for Measure B are provided in the tables below.

The remaining uncounted ballots were canvassed and then counted by machine today, Thursday, April 21, 2016, at City Hall in the West Conference Room near the City council Chamber. City Council candidate Don Brann, the only candidate that could possibly lose the election after winning in the election night preliminary vote count, was present with his campaign staff to observe the counting of the remaining ballots.

As expected, the election outcome has not changed from the election night preliminary vote count. As previously reported, 543 ballots remained to be counted. Those were provisional ballots cast at the polls on election day, and vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by election day and delivered to City Hall before the first Friday after election day or held for delivery until Monday because City Hall is closed every Friday. The uncounted ballots were canvased and counted today, Thursday, April 21, 2016 at City Hall in the West Conference Room near the City council Chamber.

Here are the uncertified final election results for the April 12, 2016 City of El Segundo General Municipal Election for City Council, City Clerk, City Treasurer, and Measure B.

Image of a table showing the uncertified final election results for the April 12, 2016 City of El Segundo General Municipal Election for City Council, City Clerk, City Treasurer, and Measure B.
Uncertified final vote count from a PDF file posted on the official City website at ElSegundo.org. Click the image to see a larger image.

The City Clerk’s office posted a PDF file containing this information on the City website at ElSegundo.org. (Local archived copy.)


The following table summarizes the final vote count and campaign spending for each City Council candidate and for Measure B, the 50 percent increase in the Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) from 8 to 12 percent.

CANDIDATE/ MEASURE VOTES CANDIDATE SPENDING UNION SPENDING TOTAL SPENDING
Drew Boyles 2,686 $27,538 $20,248 $47,786
Carole Pursztuk 2,467 $3,311 $20,248 $23,559
Don Brann 1,642 $29,485 $23,248 $52,733
Marie Fellhauer 1,450 $13,264 $0 $13,264
Dave Atkinson 800 $528 $0 $528
Measure B 2,534 $0 $12,500 $12,500

NOTES:

  1. Union Spending and Total Spending columns are higher than the amounts shown, due to total ESPOA and total ESFA campaign spending being substantially higher than the amounts they itemized in their FPPC Forms for the three City Council candidates and for Measure B.
  2. The Union Spending amounts for candidates assign the entire cost of a slate mailer to all three candidates rather than one third of the cost to each candidate, on the basis that each candidate gets all or most of the benefit of the entire cost of the mailer.
  3. The incumbent candidates were Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson. Challengers must spend considerably more campaign money than incumbents to level the playing field, due to the many advantages of incumbency, including name recognition and more frequent contact with potential campaign supporters.
  4. Challenger candidate Don Brann served on City Council from 2008 to 2012, but he did not run for reelection and he lost name recognition over the following four years. Also, he was recovering from a leg injury and lost considerable time walking door-to-door during the beginning of the campaign, before vote-by-mail ballots are received by voters.
  5. The amounts are rounded up or down to the nearest dollar to improve readability.


The following table summarizes the final vote count and cost per vote for each City Council candidate and for Measure B.


CANDIDATE/ MEASURE VOTES CANDIDATE COST/VOTE UNION COST/VOTE TOTAL COST/VOTE
Drew Boyles 2,686 $10.25 $7.54 $17.79
Carole Pursztuk 2,467 $1.34 $8.21 $9.55
Don Brann 1,642 $17.96 $14.16 $32.12
Marie Fellhauer 1,451 $9.14 $0.00 $9.14
Dave Atkinson 800 $0.66 $0.00 $0.66
Measure B 2,534 $0.00 $4.93 $4.93

NOTES:

  1. Union Spending and Total Spending amounts used in calculations, and therefore the Union Cost Per Vote and Total Cost Per Vote columns, are higher than the amounts shown, due to total ESPOA and total ESFA campaign spending being substantially higher than the amounts they itemized in their FPPC Forms for the three City Council candidates and for Measure B.
  2. The Union Spending amounts for candidates assign the entire cost of a slate mailer to all three candidates rather than one third of the cost to each candidate, on the basis that each candidate gets all or most of the benefit of the entire cost of the mailer.
  3. The incumbent candidates were Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson. Challengers must spend considerably more campaign money than incumbents to level the playing field, due to the many advantages of incumbency, including name recognition and more frequent contact with potential campaign supporters.
  4. Challenger candidate Don Brann served on City Council from 2008 to 2012, but he did not run for reelection and he lost name recognition over the following four years. Also, he was recovering from a leg injury and lost considerable time walking door-to-door during the beginning of the campaign, before vote-by-mail ballots are received by voters.
  5. The amounts are rounded up or down to the nearest dollar to improve readability.

NOTE:

This post was updated on April 28, 2016 by Michael D. Robbins to include the uncertified final vote count after the manual count (by hand) of Precinct 18 (to audit the machine count from one precinct), as received from the El Segundo City Clerk’s office and posted on the City website.

The original vote counts after counting the provisional ballots and remaining vote-by-mail ballots, but before the manual re-count of Precinct 18, is given below. They were superseded by the new uncertified final vote count information after the manual re-count of Precinct 18, which is given above.

The following vote counts were changed by the manual re-count of Precinct 18: City Council candidate Marie Fellhauer went from 1,451 to 1,450 votes, and unopposed City Clerk candidate Tracy Weaver went from 2,697 to 2,701 votes.

The PDF file pointed to by the link on the City’s website at ElSegundo.org was replaced with an updated file at the same link.


Here is the uncertified final election results for the April 12, 2016 City of El Segundo General Municipal Election for City Council, City Clerk, City Treasurer, and Measure B.

Image of a table showing the uncertified final election results for the April 12, 2016 City of El Segundo General Municipal Election for City Council, City Clerk, City Treasurer, and Measure B.
Uncertified final vote count from a PDF file posted on the official City website at ElSegundo.org. Click the image to see a larger image.

The City Clerk’s office posted a PDF file containing this information on the City website at ElSegundo.org. (Local archived copy.)

Note that the 33.4% figure for Overall Voter Turnout in the bottom line of the chart appears to be incorrect, as 3,625 divided by 11,604 is 0.3124, or 31.2%.


Posted in California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), El Segundo Measure B TOT Tax Hike, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Final Vote Count for the April 12, 2016 El Segundo General Municipal Election

What are Provisional Ballots, Why are They Useful, and Who Should Use Them?

California state election law allows voters to request and vote a provisional ballot at a poll on election day if their name and address do not appear on the roster of registered voters at that poll, or if their name and address are marked as a voter who was sent a vote-by-mail ballot.

What are provisional ballots?

Provisional ballots are special ballots that are cast at the poll on election day, but like vote-by-mail ballots, are placed in a sealed envelope with the voter’s name, address or other information, and signature on it. Each provisional ballot is placed in an envelope to keep it identified and segregated from all the other ballots cast on election day, to allow it to be verified that the person who voted the provisional ballot is:

  1. A registered voter in the election district;
  2. Is the registered voter in whose name they voted; and
  3. Did not also vote and send in a vote-by-mail ballot which would be a duplicate ballot.

Provisional ballots and vote-by-mail ballots are verified in the same way. The signature on the envelope of a provisional or vote-by-mail ballot is compared with the signature on the voter registration card. And it is also verified that the voter did not vote both a provisional ballot and a vote-by-mail ballot.

After the provisional ballot is verified, it is removed and separated from the envelope to maintain the privacy of how the voter voted, and it is counted towards the final election vote totals. In some jurisdictions, uncounted provisional ballots and vote-by-mail ballots may not be counted if they are insufficient in number to change the election results, i.e., which candidates and ballot measures won or lost. The reason cited is to save money. However, every vote should be counted, even if it won’t change the election outcome, both as a matter of principle, and for the practical matter of knowing by how many votes a candidate or ballot measure won or lost.

Why are provisional ballots useful?

Provisional ballots allow registered voters to vote at their assigned poll even if their name does not appear on the roster of registered voters, or at another poll if they don’t know their assigned poll or cannot make it there before the polls close. Provisional ballots also allow registered voters to vote at a poll on election day if they lost, did not receive, or do not have access to their vote-by-mail ballot.

Who should use a provisional ballot?

Any registered voter who shows up at their assigned poll and is told they are not on the roster of registered voters should request and vote a provisional ballot. Alternatively, if time permits before the polls close, such voters can find out if they were assigned to a different poll and go there to vote.

Any registered voter who cannot vote at their assigned poll and goes to another poll in the same election district to vote.

Registered voters who requested a vote-by-mail ballot, or who are on the permanent vote-by-mail list, and who did not receive their vote-by-mail ballot, or who lost it or do not have access to it, should go to the poll for their residential address, or another poll in the same election district, and request and vote a provisional ballot.

If you do not know your polling place, go to the official website for the city clerk or county clerk for your address, or call the information phone number for the city clerk or county clerk.

Note that the entire City of El Segundo is within the same election district.


Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo News, Elections, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What are Provisional Ballots, Why are They Useful, and Who Should Use Them?

543 Ballots Remain to be Counted for the April 12, 2016 El Segundo General Municipal Election

By Michael D. Robbins

Due to a new California election law, vote-by-mail ballots will be counted if they are postmarked on or before election day, and they are delivered to City Hall on or before the Friday after the election. Although City Hall is closed every Friday, the City has a special permit or arrangement for the Post Office to hold all mail that would have been delivered on Friday had City Hall been open, and deliver that mail on Monday segregated from the regular Monday mail delivery.

The total number of uncounted ballots, including provisional ballots cast at the polls on election day, and vote-by-mail ballots received by the new deadline, has swelled to 543 ballots. All of these ballots must be verified that they are not duplicate ballots for the same voter (e.g., if the voter voted both their vote-by-mail ballot and a provisional ballot at the poll), that the signature on each ballot envelope matches the signature on the voter’s registration card, and for provisional ballots, that the voter is registered to vote.

It is possible but highly unlikely the election outcome will change. The only possible change is for City Council candidates Don Brann and Marie Fellhauer. The outcome for the other City Council candidates, and for Measure B – the 50 percent increase in the Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) from 8 to 12 percent – cannot change.

Based on the preliminary vote count on election day, Brann won in third place, with 1,439 votes, while Fellhauer lost in fourth place with 1,238 votes. Thus, Brann was ahead of Fellhauer by 201 votes, which is less than the 543 uncounted ballots. However, the uncounted ballots will likely have a vote distribution the same as or similar to that of the counted ballots cast on election day, making it extremely unlikely the election outcome will change.

The remaining 543 ballots will be canvassed and counted on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Canvassing will begin at 9:00 AM at City Hall in the West Conference Room in City Hall near the City Council Chamber, followed by a machine count by the City’s election consultant, Martin & Chapman, at 10:00 AM, also in the West Conference Room. A manual recount by hand of Precinct 18 will begin at 1:00 PM in the West Conference Room, to audit the machine count for one of the three precincts. All of these activities are open to public observation.


Note: This article was updated on Thursday, April 21, 2016 to reflect the following. The public notice posted at City Hall indicated the canvassing and counting of the remaining uncounted ballots was to take place at City Hall in the City Clerk’s office. However, the location was changed to the West Conference Room in City Hall near the City Council Chamber, and signs were posted to indicate the location change.


Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), El Segundo Measure B TOT Tax Hike, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 543 Ballots Remain to be Counted for the April 12, 2016 El Segundo General Municipal Election

April 12, 2016 El Segundo Election Preliminary Results: Boyles, Pirsztuk, and Brann defeat incumbents Fellhauer and Atkinson; Measure B passes

by Michael D. Robbins

April 12, 2016
Updated April 20, 2016 with campaign spending data.


The April 12, 2016 City of El Segundo General Municipal Election preliminary results are in. The ballots were counted in the City Council Chamber at City Hall after the polls closed.

For the three City Council seats up for election, Challengers Drew Boyles, Carol Pirsztuk, and Don Brann are the winners. Incumbents Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson are the losers.

Losers Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson were caught up in a perfect storm that led to their defeat. The police and fire unions were out to defeat them because the City Council did not offer them as big raises as what they demanded during their long and protracted labor contract negotiations. The fiscal conservatives, who push back against the police and fire unions’ excessive and unsustainable pay and pensions, were out to defeat Fellhauer and Atkinson because of their poor judgement, poor decisions, and poor behavior on City Council. And all three challenger candidates – Drew Boyles, Carol Pirsztuk, and Don Brann – ran very strong campaigns, with Boyles and Brann each far out-spending all the other candidates combined.

Boyles came in first place with 2,330 votes after spending a whopping $27,538, and Brann came in third place with 1,439 votes after spending an even larger $29,485.09. These figures are in addition to the $39,247.50 spent by the police and firefighter unions in our local election ($19,033.50 ESPOA plus $20,214.00 ESFA), campaigning for City Council candidates Drew Boyles, Don Brann, and Carol Pursztuk, and for the Measure B tax hike, to provide more tax money for their pay and pension increases.

Carol Pirsztuk came in at a high second place with 2,135 votes after spending only $3,311 and walking the entire city door-to-door.

Marie Fellhauer came in fourth place with 1,238 votes after spending $13,264.31. And Dave Atkinson came in fifth (last) place with 692 votes after spending $527.53 and spending much of his time campaigning door-to-door for the Measure B tax hike.

Another winner in the City Council race, who didn’t spend a dime, was Marie Fellhauer’s newly adopted young baby. Fellhauer carried that baby along the campaign trail as if it was a stage prop, apparently hoping to gain votes. But that may have backfired. Some voters felt sorry for the baby and wondered where its mother would be between her job as an LAPD police officer and City Council meetings if she got reelected.

The following table summarizes the preliminary vote counts and the campaign spending for each City Council candidate and for Measure B, the 50 percent increase in the Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) from 8 to 12 percent.

CANDIDATE/ MEASURE VOTES CANDIDATE SPENDING UNION SPENDING TOTAL SPENDING
Drew Boyles 2,330 $27,538 $20,248 $47,786
Carole Pursztuk 2,135 $3,311 $20,248 $23,559
Don Brann 1,439 $29,485 $23,248 $52,733
Marie Fellhauer 1,238 $13,264 $0 $13,264
Dave Atkinson 692 $528 $0 $528
Measure B 2,197 $0 $12,500 $12,500

NOTES:

  1. Union Spending and Total Spending columns are higher than the amounts shown, due to total ESPOA and total ESFA campaign spending being substantially higher than the amounts they itemized in their FPPC Forms for the three City Council candidates and for Measure B.
  2. The Union Spending amounts for candidates assign the entire cost of a slate mailer to all three candidates rather than one third of the cost to each candidate, on the basis that each candidate gets all or most of the benefit of the entire cost of the mailer.
  3. The amounts are rounded up or down to the nearest dollar to improve readability.

Unchallenged incumbents, City Clerk Tracy Weaver and City Treasurer Crista Binder, easily won re-election as they only needed one vote each to be guaranteed re-election, and they can vote for themselves. Incumbents running unopposed normally get a large majority of the votes, especially if they are perceived as doing a decent job.

Measure B passed, imposing a 50% hike in the Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), from 8% to 12%. Apparently, the most persuasive argument in favor of Measure B was that El Segundo voters would not have to pay it, and that it is paid by the hotel customers like the sales tax is paid by store customers. Voters took the bait of a “free lunch” that someone else is forced to pay for. However, the TOT tax raises the price to the customer for hotel rooms, and raising prices reduces sales. Fewer hotel customers will result in fewer customers and sales for other local businesses.

Perhaps Kip Haggerty said it best in his letter to the editor in the April 7, 2016 El Segundo Herald:

“To my dismay, I see the City Council has come back to us yet again with the immoral proposition of gouging hotel customers for the crime of not being us. The argument in favor is based on the bromide “every one else is doing it.” Anything higher than the sales tax rate is just plain wrong and I hope we have the collective wisdom to vote it down again.”

Here are the preliminary election results itemized by precinct and by vote-by-mail or precinct ballots:

Photo of the screen of the laptop PC that was used by the City Clerk's staff to update the vote count on the large screen display on the wall of the City Council Chamber. Photo ©2016 by Michael D. Robbins
Screen of laptop PC that was used by the City Clerk’s staff to update the vote count on the large screen display on the wall of the City Council Chamber. Photo ©2016 by Michael D. Robbins.

Screen shot image from the City Clerk's office of the final preliminary vote count displayed in the City Council Chamber on election night.
Screen shot image from the City Clerk’s office of the final preliminary vote count displayed in the City Council Chamber on election night.

Click HERE to view or download a PDF file made from the spreadsheet file containing the preliminary election results. (Local archived copy.)

This preliminary vote count does not include:

  1. Provisional ballots cast at the polls that need to have the voter’s signatures verified, and
  2. Vote-By-Mail ballots that have not been received or have not had the voter’s signature verified.

However, it is highly unlikely the outstanding ballots will change the election outcome.


Related Article

543 Ballots Remain to be Counted for the April 12, 2016 El Segundo General Municipal Election. They will be canvased and counted on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at City Hall in the City council Chamber.


Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), El Segundo Measure B TOT Tax Hike, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on April 12, 2016 El Segundo Election Preliminary Results: Boyles, Pirsztuk, and Brann defeat incumbents Fellhauer and Atkinson; Measure B passes

Election Information Flyers Were Distributed Throughout El Segundo

Election Information Flyers were distributed throughout the City of El Segundo to inform voters about Measure B and the City Council candidates before the April 12, 2016 El Segundo General Municipal Election.

Election Flyer #1 was distributed on Sunday, April 10, 2016.
Election Flyers #2 and #3 were distributed on Monday, April 11, 2016.

Click HERE to download a PDF file containing Election Flyer #1.
Click HERE to download a PDF file containing Election Flyer #2.
Click HERE to download a PDF file containing Election Flyer #3.

Click HERE to view Election Flyer #1 as a web page.


Posted in California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Measure B TOT Tax Hike, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Election Information Flyers Were Distributed Throughout El Segundo