The San Ramon City Council is set Tuesday to consider a resolution that would maintain the same voluntary campaign spending limit for this year's mayoral race, while raising it slightly for the two council races in this November's election.
San Ramon's municipal election this year will be for mayor and council members for districts 2 and 4, seats that are currently held by Mayor Dave Hudson, councilmembers Mark Armstrong and Sabina Zafar, respectively.
"In previous elections, the recommended voluntary campaign expenditure limit was established by determining the number of registered voters, the price of postage, and an expenditure amount per registered voter," city clerk Christina Franco said in a staff report.
Under that rubric, the voluntary campaign contribution limit in 2020 was set at approximately $1.25 per registered voter, or $55,285 in total for the mayor's race, and approximately $2.25 per registered voter for council races.
With courts having ruled that no limits can be set on the amount spent by candidates during an election, unless those limits are voluntary, candidates in the District 1 council race were listed as the only ones going above the limit that year. Luz Gómez, who was defeated by Scott Perkins, spent approximately $2.78 per registered voter, with Perkins spending approximately $2.52 per registered voter.
For this year's municipal election, staff are presenting options for the council ranging from $1 to $2.25 per registered voter for the mayoral race, and $1 to $2.50 for the council races. The council's Policy Committee recommends that the council renew the existing limit of $1.25 per registered voter for the mayoral race, while raising the limit to $2.50 for the council races.
Staff are also recommending that the council choose to make public whether or not a candidate has agreed to the voluntary spending limit via the city's website.
The regular council meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tuesday (June 14). Read the full agenda here.
In other business
* Councilmembers are set to vote on a resolution that would establish a flat rate for 250-word candidate statements in future elections, and increased fees for candidate statements up to the maximum of 400 words, under the resolution on the table.
* The council will consider a resolution that would authorize the Contra Costa County Elections Division to administer the Nov. 8 election, a move that would involve compensation from the city to the county for costs incurred.
* Hudson is set to present a proclamation declaring this month as LGBTQ+ Pride Month to Ali Gardiner and Taylor denBroeder, board members of the Danville and San Ramon chapter of Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
* John Coleman, local director of the East Bay Municipal Utility District, will present an annual update.