Editor,

I understand the legal requirement to switch to district elections, and applaud those councils who are proceeding in the best interests of their cities. Sadly, for Belmont residents, the City Council is exploiting this transition to invent a four-year elected mayor position, grabbing one council seat for themselves and forcing their electorate into four districts instead of five. First, adding a citywide elected position is contrary to the intent of the lawsuit — which was meant to make elected office more accessible to marginalized groups. It means one less seat open to a newcomer. Second, running for citywide mayor will require resources not available to most candidates, and competing for one of five council positions was a lot easier than competing for a single elected role. Most importantly, it robs neighborhoods of a representative district; it forces a merger of disparate neighborhoods that do not share common interests, ensuring distrust and opposing motives going forward. What is the new word for “gerrymandering?” Belmont councilmembers have not explained any benefit to creating a four-year elected mayor position aside from further entrenching their own political interests.

Kristin Mercer

Belmont

Recommended for you

(2) comments

Tim E Strinden

I agree with Kristin that an at-large elected mayor is a bad idea, and it appears contrary to the California Voting Rights Act. The district where the mayor resides will have two votes on the city council, which is twice the voting power of each of the other three districts. That gives an unfair advantage to one district over the others.

Thomas Morgan

Not to mention their meeting and agendas page seems to be off, if you go to the main page it appears there are only planning meetings listed. Click the all past link and it appears there has not been a meeting in 2022, must click the advanced link in order to actually see agendas. Not sure how they expect to get public input?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for visiting the Daily Journal.

Please purchase an Enhanced Subscription to continue reading. To continue, please log in, or sign up for a new account.

We offer one free story view per month. If you register for an account, you will get two additional story views. After those three total views, we ask that you support us with a subscription.

A subscription to our digital content is so much more than just access to our valuable content. It means you’re helping to support a local community institution that has, from its very start, supported the betterment of our society. Thank you very much!