Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 21-0937   
Type: Report to Council Status: Passed
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 11/22/2021
Title: Discussion Regarding Next Steps Related to Councilmember Mason Fong's Resignation and Direction Regarding the Date to Declare the Vacancy in City Council Seat No. 3
Attachments: 1. Mason Fong - Formal Letter of Resignation from the Sunnyvale City Council, 2. Sunnyvale Charter Section 606 - Vacancies, 3. Sunnyvale Municipal Code Chapter 2.30 – Appointment Process to Fill Vacancies on the City Council, 4. Scenario: Declare Vacancy on November 30, 2021, 5. Scenario: Declare Vacancy on December 7, 2021, 6. Scenario: Declare Vacancy on December 14, 2021, 7. Draft Recruitment Schedule if Appointment Process is Desired, 8. Charter Review Committee Final Report and Recommendations – April 26, 2018, 9. Presentation to Council 20211122
REPORT TO COUNCIL

SUBJECT
Title
Discussion Regarding Next Steps Related to Councilmember Mason Fong's Resignation and Direction Regarding the Date to Declare the Vacancy in City Council Seat No. 3

Report
BACKGROUND

Resignation

Mason Fong, who was elected to the City Council on November 6, 2018 and served a term to expire January 3, 2023, has submitted a letter of resignation from the Council, effective November 14, 2021 (Attachment 1).

Former Councilmember Fong was elected by the voters of Sunnyvale in 2018 to at-large Council Seat No. 3. As part of the City's transition to district-based Council elections, Seat Nos. 1, 2 and 3 will cease to exist when candidates are sworn in to represent Council Districts 1, 3 and 5 after the November 8, 2022 Election.

Charter Section 606

Sunnyvale Charter Section 606 (Attachment 2) was amended when more than 71% of voters approved proposed changes in 2018. The Amendment followed a special election in August 2016 to fill a vacancy on the Council, which was required under the then-existing provisions of the Charter. The total cost of the 2016 special election was approximately $794,978, and voter turnout was just 23%. The City Council subsequently formed of a Charter Review Commission (the "CRC") to review the City's existing rules related to City Council vacancies and make recommendations for revisions to the City Council vacancy provisions in the Charter. The CRC's April 26, 2018 Final Report and Recommendations (Attachment 8) includes a discussion of the following guiding parameters the CRC applied to prepare the language in Section 606:

? The process for filling a vacancy should be uniform regardless of the reasons for how a seat was became vacant.
? A Council seat should not be left vacant for an extended period of time.
? Appointments should be as short a duration as possible.
? No more than two Council members at a time could be appointed.
? While Council should be able to make a choice between a special election...

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