Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 19-0043   
Type: Report to Council Status: Passed
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 2/5/2019
Title: Appoint Applicants to the Citizen Advisory Committee to Advise Council on Outreach Efforts Related to Potential Changes to City of Sunnyvale's Electoral System
Attachments: 1. Citizens Advisory Committee Application, 2. CAC Selection Process Timeline, 3. CAC Applications




Appoint Applicants to the Citizen Advisory Committee to Advise Council on Outreach Efforts Related to Potential Changes to City of Sunnyvale’s Electoral System



On December 11, 2019, the City Council approved a Community Engagement and Outreach Plan to gather community input on transitioning from the City’s current at-large with numbered seats system for electing City Council members to a district-based form of elections. As part of the outreach plan, Council approved the formation of a Citizen Advisory Committee (“CAC”) to advise on community outreach efforts and serve as ambassadors to encourage resident engagement with a term length of 11 months (February to December, 2019). Council also authorized the Mayor to appoint three Council Members to serve on the ad-hoc CAC Selection Criteria Subcommittee to advise on the application process, then to appoint a second ad-hoc Selection Subcommittee of the new Council to nominate candidates to the CAC.



Per Council direction, Mayor Hendricks appointed three Councilmembers (Larry Klein, Gustav Larsson, and Russ Melton) to serve on a subcommittee to develop the criteria, application materials, and timeline for the CAC selection. The criteria and desired qualities were as follows:

                     Eligible to vote in a Sunnyvale election in 2020

                     Connection or outreach experience with diverse communities in Sunnyvale

                     Ability to understand and communicate potential changes to the electoral system

                     Effectively serve as an ambassador to encourage resident engagement

                     Availability to attend public outreach meetings and 3 to 4 CAC meetings

                     Open minded


                     Community minded


The application was released on December 20, 2019 with a deadline of January 22, 2019. The application was made available in English, Chinese-Simplified, Hindi, and Spanish.


To promote the opportunity, staff posted the information on the Facebook, and NextDoor, created a news post on its website, and included information in Update Sunnyvale. The information was also emailed to the District Elections list-serve, Neighborhood Association leaders, and City Commissioners. Our consultants also conducted targeted outreach to individuals and nearly 90 local nonprofit organizations serving Sunnyvale residents.


As a result of these outreach efforts, a total of 22 applications were received. However, one of the applicants was ineligible and one application was received after the deadline and therefore not accepted. Of the applicants, 12 were women and 8 self-identified as people of color (Attachment 3 - CAC Applications).


A second subcommittee was appointed by Mayor Klein to review applications and select CAC members, comprised of Councilmembers Gustav Larsson, Nancy Smith, and Mason Fong. Each application was reviewed by the Selection Subcommittee to ensure they met the criteria and to evaluate their qualifications. Candidates were narrowed based on their responses to the written application with 12 candidates asked to participate in a follow-up interview. The Selection Committee made a final decision after the interview process and is nominating the following nine residents for membership on the CAC:

                     Prakash Giri

                     Charles Huse

                     Jodi Marvet

                     Reid Myers

                     Misuk Park

                     Judy Pavlick

                     Martin Pyne

                     Janette Ramirez

                     Mike Serrone


The Subcommittee recommends appointing an alternate CAC member that could serve should one of the appointed CAC members be unable to fulfill their term:

                     Valarie Suarez (Alternate)


The Selection Committee feels strongly that the nominees to the CAC will be effective community ambassadors and provide valuable input to help guide the process. Additionally, the CAC nominees represent many geographic neighborhoods throughout the City, household types, several active community groups, and diverse ethnic communities within Sunnyvale.


Per Council Policy 7.2.19, appointments of board and commission members are placed on the City Council meeting agenda. The appointment process is conducted by one of the following two methods, at the discretion of the Mayor:


1.                     Individual Candidate Votes: The Mayor will announce by board or commission each vacancy including its term, and then will read each applicant’s name. Council will vote on each applicant. The candidate receiving the most affirmative votes and at least four affirmative votes will be appointed. The process is repeated for each board or commission.


2.                     Paper Votes: The Mayor will announce each board or commission in an order predetermined by the City Clerk to facilitate a speedy process and to accommodate applicants who specify multiple preferences. The City Clerk will distribute individual voting sheets to be completed by each Councilmember. The candidate receiving the most votes and at least four affirmative votes will be appointed.


Resolving ties: Should a tie between the candidates receiving the most affirmative votes occur, the affected applicants will be voted on again. If a tie remains, and the affected applicants each have received at least four affirmative votes, the Mayor would ask the City Attorney to draw the name of the person to be appointed.


Terms of members appointed at this time will become effective immediately. Following appointments, the Committee members will be provided an orientation at the CAC’s first meeting. Each member is required to take the Oath of Office and sign the Model of Excellence.



On April 21, 2015, Council adopted revisions to Council Policy 7.2.19 Boards and Commissions regarding the appointment of board and commission members to allow for paper votes or individual candidate votes, at the discretion of the Mayor.



The action being considered does not constitute a “project” with the meaning of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines sections 15378 (b)(5) as it is a governmental, organizational or administrative activity that will not result in direct or indirect changes in the environment.



No additional funding is being requested at this time.



Public contact was made by posting the Council agenda on the City's official-notice bulletin board outside City Hall, at the Sunnyvale Senior Center, Community Center and Department of Public Safety; and by making the agenda and report available at the Sunnyvale Public Library, the Office of the City Clerk and on the City's website.



1. Appoint Citizen Advisory Committee members nominated by the Ad Hoc Council CAC Selection Committee.

2. Other action as directed by the City Council.




Staff makes no recommendation.





Prepared by: Jaqui Guzmán, Deputy City Manager

Reviewed by: Teri Silva, Assistant City Manager

Approved by: Kent Steffens, City Manager



1. Citizens Advisory Committee Application (English)

2. CAC Selection Process Timeline

3. CAC Applications