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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election

City of Monrovia
Measure RM - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results


1,861 votes yes (24%)

5,903 votes no (76%)

Shall an ordinance be adopted to amend the Monrovia Municipal Code to eliminate the directly elected Mayor position, and to establish an annual rotation process among City Councilmembers for the offices of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Craig A. Steele, City Attorney

A general law city like Monrovia can choose its mayor in one of two ways: (1) the members of the city council can select a mayor from among the city councilmembers, or (2) the voters of the city can elect the mayor directly. As the
result of a ballot measure in 1976, the voters of Monrovia elect the Mayor every two years. Measure RM, if approved by the majority of the voters, would eliminate the elections for Mayor and establish an annual rotation process among the five elected Monrovia City Councilmembers to fill the offices of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore. Measure RM is an Ordinance that was placed on the ballot by the Monrovia City Council for consideration by the voters, based on the
2016 recommendation of an advisory committee made up of Monrovia residents.

In the City's current directly-elected mayor system, the Mayor is elected by the voters to hold office for a two-year term. The Mayor is one member of the City Council and has little power or authority by virtue of being elected that is
significantly different from the other City Councilmembers. However, the Mayor can be a visible representative and spokesperson for the City and a point of coordination between the City Manager and City Council. Under state law, only
the voters of Monrovia can decide to change to a rotational mayor system because the voters previously established the current directly-elected mayor system.

If approved, Measure RM provides that the office of Mayor will convert to a four-year City Council seat starting with the General Municipal Election in 2024. The person who is elected Mayor in 2022 will serve a full two-year term. The
City Council would then select Councilmembers to serve as Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore every year, beginning after the 2024 General Municipal Election results are certified. In the rotational system proposed by Measure RM, the
Councilmember serving as Mayor Pro Tempore will annually rotate into the office of Mayor, unless that Councilmember declines to serve.

If Measure RM is approved, future voter approval would be required to reinstate the directly-elected Mayor system. The City Council could amend the Ordinance in other minor ways without voter approval.

A "yes" vote on Measure RM favors eliminating the directly-elected Mayor position and establishing an annual rotation process among the five elected City Councilmembers for the offices of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore. A "no" vote would keep the current directly-elected mayor system in place.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

Monrovia's system of electing a Mayor every other year has been divisive and unnecessary, and leads to misunderstandings about the governance of our City. This outdated system should be eliminated in favor of the rotational system that most other cities use.

The position of our elected Mayor, is by definition, in title only and carries no additional power. We should VOTE YES on Measure RM to eliminate this relic from the past. Measure RM will put in place a modern, inclusive structure that affirms all elected members of the City Council share equal responsibility for City governance.

In the San Gabriel Valley almost 80% of cities use a rotating Mayor system. Monrovia was the same until 1976 when a political feud led to the establishment of an elected Mayor. The Mayoral election campaigns every two years since have
become increasingly hostile and partisan, and that's just not the Monrovia way.

In 2016 an independent, bi-partisan, committee of longtime Monrovia residents came together to look at this issue, held four public meetings, and recommended that the voters should be asked to replace the elected Mayor with the rotational system proposed in Measure RM. Those individuals were:

Steve Baker
Don Hopper
Karen MacNair
Joanne Montgomery
Brian Ulm

Again, Monrovia's elected Mayor is a member of the City Council and has no more authority than any other member. They do not "run the city." In fact, the entire City Council shares responsibility for the governance of the City, and every member should take their turn serving as Mayor. Additionally, rotating the title of Mayor will promote more equity and diversity in the governance of our City. It's time Monrovia moves past the political feuds of the past for more inclusive and equitable government by voting YES on Measure RM.


Arguments AGAINST

Keep Your Vote! Since 1972, Monrovians have directly elected our Mayor every two years. Why change now? This pointless measure is proposed by councilmembers, not Monrovians. This measure intends to take your vote away. The
foundation for the Council’s reasoning is flawed and diminishes the power of the community to choose its own leader. Now is the time to seek stability, not unnecessary change and disruption.

Directly electing our Mayor assures accountability to Monrovians and does not leave this critical choice to a majority vote - a decision needing only three of five Councilmembers. Why should Monrovians count on three people to choose
our Mayor? Currently, Monrovians have the power to change the council majority by electing one mayor and two councilmembers every two years. Measure RM would change that.

Monrovia’s Mayor has unique powers beyond those of other councilmembers: chairing and balancing diverse voices at public meetings, setting the tone for council discussion, appointing commissioners, and executing retirement contracts.
Monrovia’s Mayor represents us as the spokesperson to local, regional, county, state, and federal organizations.

Leadership requires building relationships over time, not rotating out every twelve months. Not all council members are automatically effective leaders nor collaborators. Furthermore, Measure RM automatically moves the Mayor Pro Tem to
Mayor, eliminating the power of your vote. The visible representative for our community must be a choice of the people.

Advocates suggest Measure RM will solve divisive elections. Respectful debate is a fundamental principle of democracy, necessary to a healthy electoral process. Monrovians should demand respectful elections and maintain accountability by defeating this measure.

Clear-thinking Monrovians understand the Mayor’s power: there is no problem that this measure solves. Electing a Mayor every two years is how our community maintains accountability. Elect Your Mayor! Keep Your Vote! Vote NO on Measure RM.

Monrovia Voter & Business Owner

Monrovia Voter & Business Owner

Monrovia Voter & Business Owner

Monrovia Voter & Business Owner

Monrovia Diversity & Equity Committee; Educational Specialist, SLP

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