SANTA CRUZ — Whereas many poll measures on this yr’s elections equivalent to measures D, N and O, divided Santa Cruz voters figuratively, the passage of Measure E over the summer time divided them actually.
The measure’s passage got here with a majority vote within the June election, with 11,490 voting for and 5,774 towards the measure, and altered town of Santa Cruz’s constitution in order that the mayor is instantly elected by metropolis residents and serves a four-year time period. The town was additionally break up into six districts, with voters from every district voting on their very own council members.
The primary election utilizing the district system occurred in November when Districts 4 and 6 had been received by political newcomer and UC Santa Cruz lecturer Scott Newsome, and incumbent Renee Golder, respectively.
If Measure E didn’t move, the Santa Cruz Metropolis Council would have carved town into seven geographical districts, as a substitute of six, and the mayor would have continued to be chosen internally every year. In both consequence, the mayor has no better decision-making energy than their friends, although the mayor continues to set the council agenda and run conferences, together with different ceremonial duties.
“I actually see execs and cons to electing a four-year mayor,” stated Santa Cruz Mayor Sonja Brunner to the Sentinel in June. “The professional is that town will get the soundness of a frontrunner working with employees over the 4 years to characterize the complete metropolis and get vital work finished. The con is the brand new, long run will exclude lots of people who, like myself, should work a full-time job to outlive.”
After he was sworn in, newly appointed Mayor Fred Keeley stated on the council assembly that the passage of Measure E served as the beginning of a brand new period of Santa Cruz historical past. The mayor additionally recounted two related turning factors in native historical past such because the founding of UC Santa Cruz and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. He stated that these “inflection factors” separated the primary two eras of town’s fashionable historical past, and the passage of Measure E, the third.
“I consider that what we’ll see going ahead, and I imply in a really complimentary approach, is neighborhood politicians equivalent to Scott Newsome, equivalent to Renee Golder who’re elected by their district,” stated Keeley. “The job as mayor, it appears to me, on this new world order that’s been established, is to try to see if there will be some overarching, citywide appears and actions taken that respect the districts that we now have and that we’ll full within the 2024 election.”