Charter change, bench seat on primary ballot

Sunday Times Newspapers

SOUTHGATE — City voters will be asked to weigh in on only two matters of local concern among the county, state and national office races in Tuesday’s primary election.

In addition to selecting judicial candidates for the 28th District Court, city officials have placed on the ballot a charter amendment proposal designed to save municipal costs.

The question — to allow city council meetings to begin one hour earlier than the current 8 p.m. start time to 7 p.m.

Two other housekeeping proposals weren’t approved in time for this week’s primary, but voters will instead be asked in November to approve revisions to city requirements for publishing legal notices.

City Administrator Brandon Fournier said the charter revisions had been submitted as a package, but state election officials requested that the question regarding legal notices be presented as separate ballot items. Revised ballot language failed to meet the deadline and instead will be asked during the general election.

Fournier said the proposals were designed to boost resident attendance at city council meetings and to save costs, most of which would be realized with the November questions that would allow the city to switch from published to electronic public notifications.

“The majority of the savings would come from the publishing change,” Fournier said. “Moving the city council meetings to an earlier start would, we think, increase participation.”

Along with the ballot proposal, Southgate voters will be asked to select judicial candidates for the expiring 28th District Court seat currently held by Judge James Kandrevas. Attorneys — and city council members — Bill Colovos and John Graziani are challenging Kandrevas, and voters will be asked to select one of the three. The top two vote-getters will advance to the November general election.

(James Mitchell can be reached at