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Southland voters to cast ballots in dozens of races

Elections are being held Tuesday for city council and school board seats and to decide a handful of ballot measures aimed at relieving some fiscal concerns.

November 06, 2011|By Jean Merl, Los Angeles Times

Elections are scheduled Tuesday in dozens of cities, school districts and other jurisdictions throughout Southern California. Voters will choose city council and school board members and weigh in on a handful of ballot measures designed to augment campus or municipal purses.

In San Bernardino, for example, voters will decide on four City Council members, a city attorney, city clerk, city treasurer and a school board member. Palm Springs voters will pick a mayor; six candidates are trying to defeat incumbent Steve Pougnet. Six others are vying for two seats on the City Council.

In Orange County, voters will help decide board members for two districts they share with Los Angeles County: the Mount San Antonio Community College District and Rowland Unified School District. In the city of Ventura, voters will choose three members of the City Council.

And in the city of Los Angeles, voters will decide a replacement for Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who gave up her seat when she was elected to Congress over the summer.

Monetary matters are on voters' minds in some places, where tight budgets in recent years have spawned a number of ballot measures aimed at relieving some fiscal concerns.

The city of Riverside, for instance, is seeking approval for a special tax for public library services, a measure that can pass with a "yes" from two-thirds of voters. A proposed hotel tax in Indian Wells requires a simple majority for passage.

In Hermosa Beach, voters must decide between two competing business tax proposals, one aimed at bars and restaurants and the other designed to "simplify, update and restructure" the city's business tax system overall.

Some school districts also are turning to voters for financial aid.

The Las Virgenes and Palos Verdes Peninsula unified school districts are asking for parcel taxes to help maintain programs threatened by state budget cuts. The Newhall School District wants a $60-million bond measure to help fix its aging campuses.

Voters in Los Angeles County might need a score card to figure out what elections are being held.

The county registrar-recorder's office will be counting ballots for 19 cities, including Bell Gardens, Hawthorne and South Pasadena. Others, including Calabasas, Glendora and Irwindale, are handling their own tallies.

The county also will tabulate votes from 46 school districts, six community college districts and 10 water districts. Many other cities hold their regularly scheduled elections in the spring.

The county elections website at http://www.lavote.net will be posting results, starting shortly after polls close for the jurisdictions the county is handling. Voters seeking information about others should contact their local city clerk's office.

For a handful of cities and about two dozen school and other districts, elections were canceled when not enough candidates filed to create competition.

Under a provision of state law, those who did want the seats were appointed to them, saving taxpayers the election costs.

In Los Angeles County alone, the cancellations list, which also can be found on the county's website, includes three cities — Artesia, Rolling Hills Estates and Santa Fe Springs — and 29 school districts, as well as several library or other districts.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters who haven't sent mail ballots in can deliver them to a polling place on election day to ensure that they will arrive in time to be counted.

jean.merl@latimes.com

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