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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Schipske Calls for Electeds Who Abandon Their Office for Another to Defray Costs of Special Elections

Schipske to Introduce Agenda Item Calling For “Performance Bonds” Being Posted If Sitting Elected Wants to Run for Other Office and Causes a Special Election
– Says we need to look at every way to save taxpayers’ money

Long Beach, CA – Running for higher public office has become a way of life for many Long Beach elected officials due to term limits, with the result that the taxpayers are left paying for “special elections” to fill out the remainder of the term in office. Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske wants to put a stop to this costly practice or at least make elected officials think twice before abandoning their office for another.

“That’s why I am introducing an agenda item that would require the elected official to post a ‘performance bond’ or purchase some type of insurance that would then be used to offset the costs of a special election caused by that elected official not finishing their term in office,” explains Schipske, noting that since 2006, the City has had to conduct several costly special elections because council members left office either for personal reasons to serve in a higher office.

“Listen, I have felt the urge to run for higher office while sitting on City Council, especially due to redistricting, but I thought about how my constituents would feel having just re-elected me and then having to pay for a special election if I left. That didn’t seem right.”

Under the terms of Schipske’s agenda item, Long Beach elected officials would have to post a “performance bond” or acquire some type of insurance that would pay for the costs of a special election caused by the elected official not “performing his or her official duties”.

“This may not be a perfect solution to reducing these city expenditures, but we really have to do something that sends the message that you need to finish what you were elected to do and that the taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay the costs of a special election because you wanted to serve elsewhere.”

Schipske also feels that the Council should adopt a policy that city paid travel should not be authorized for any elected official who is an official candidate (i.e. filed their intent or set up a campaign account fo fundraising) for another office or who is serving their last year of their term in office.

“Makes no sense for taxpayers to be footing the bill for travel while an elected is campaigning for a higher office or serving their last year. If my colleagues really believe this city has financial problems they will support this item.”
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