This election is not a secret ballot election. However, that is not due to a policy choice made by the City, but due to a requirement of California law.
Under California law, when a city conducts a property-owner mail ballot election for this sort of property-related fee, the ballot in the election is required to include:
- A place where the property-owner can indicate support or opposition to the proposed fee
- A place where the person returning the ballot can "indicate his or her name"
- A place where the person returning the ballot can provide "a reasonable identification of the parcel" (Government Code Section 53755.5(b)(2))
Some residents have asked why their name and property address is on the ballot. The current stormwater fee has not been adjusted for the past 27 years, state laws regarding this sort of election have changed in the last decade, and many of our residents are used to participating in elections where every registered voter can cast a ballot. However, as noted above, the City cannot conduct a property-owner mail ballot election as a secret ballot election.