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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City of San Mateo
Measure L Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


22,576 votes yes (59.8%)

15,201 votes no (40.2%)

100% of precincts reporting (53/53).

323,303 ballots counted.

Shall the Charter amendment eliminating the requirement that the City maintain its own separate Fire Department, thereby allowing the City to enter into an agreement with other agencies to form a new entity for the provision of fire services be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

City Attorney

Existing law requires the City of San Mateo to maintain its own Police Department, Fire Department, and Free Public Library, each with its own department head. The City's Charter states the City Council may neither eliminate any of these three departments nor consolidate them with another department. The City Council may, however, enter into agreements with other agencies for the "consolidation and/or joint provision of police, library, and/or library services."

The proposed measure would amend the City Charter by removing the requirement that the City maintain its own, separate Fire Department. This would allow, but not require, the City Council to dissolve the City's Fire Department and contract with another agency for the provision of fire services.

The proposed measure would also make a corresponding change to the charter provision to correct a drafting error in the provision by removing a second reference to "library" when describing the types of services that may be provided jointly.

Finally, the measure would clarify the existing charter provision to establish that the City may jointly provide police andl ibrary services with other agencies but it may not dissolve or consolidate the Police and Library departments, nor may it form a new agency with other entities to perform those services

This measure is placed on the ballot by the San Mateo City Council.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote Yes on Measure L because it allows the City of San Mateo to save money and build a stronger, more unified Fire Department to serve our region. The City of San Mateo currently provides shared fire services with the Cities of Foster City and Belmont. The current arrangement provides for shared Fire Administration and shared staffing of a fire truck stationed at Fire Station 23 in San Mateo. Sharing these services saves the City over $500,00 per year. The City Charter as currently written does not permit further consolidation into a Joint Powers Authority and the potential cost savings that could result.  The proposed Charter Amendment would eliminate the requirement for the City to have its own Fire Chief and would allow the City to consider the potential benefits of a Joint Powers Authority to oversee the shared Fire Services.

/s/ Joe Gooethals, Mayor of San Mateo

Arguments AGAINST

No information submitted

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