City Council still split on consolidating elections


City Council still split on

consolidating elections

By Brett Callwood

Four weeks after the issue of consolidation of municipal and state/federal elections was raised at a city council meeting, after the idea was put forward by the state, Culver City’s council is still split.

Vice Mayor Thomas Small and Council Member Meghan Sahli-Wells are very much in favor of the move that they see as making life easier for voters, while Mayor Jeffrey Cooper, and Council Members Jim Clarke and Goren Eriksson worry about compromising Culver City’s autonomy.

Culver City has an average turnout of 67.5 percent for general elections, while the turnout for municipal elections fluctuates between 14 and 20 percent. Small compared that to the sister city of Capo d’Orlando in Sicily, Italy, where the voting percentage fluctuates between 75 and 90 percent.

Still, on Monday, Clarke voiced his concerns that people voting in a general election might not be informed about municipal issues, but would cast a vote anyway based on a name they like. He also said that other things could be done to increase voter turnout.

Resident David Haake stood to say that the low voter turnout says it all, and that he fully supports consolidation. Michelle Weiner said that she’s delighted people will have a chance to vote on this as a ballot measure.

However, former Steve Gourley stood, as he did four weeks ago, to say that the good work being done by Culver City’s council is evidence that we shouldn’t consolidate and sacrifice power to the State.

“It’s never been easier to vote,” Gourley said. “If people are too lazy to vote, I don’t care whether they’ve involved in politics. I want people who do care, and put up lawn signs.”

Sahli-Wells said that calling voters lazy is an insult.

Ultimately though, the people of Culver City will decide.