RIVERBANK — A company in San Bernardino County will run Riverbank's special election in June, City Manager Jill Anderson said Monday.
The city staff chose the company, Gladwell Governmental Services of Lake Arrowhead, after Stanislaus County officials declined last month to conduct the June 4 election, arguing that the city missed the deadline to call it.
The election is necessary to fill a vacancy on the City Council created in the fall when Richard O'Brien won election as mayor in November. He and the three other council members could not agree on an appointment by the February deadline.
Gladwell is among the companies approved by the California secretary of state's office to run elections, which generally are handled by public agencies.
The cost of the services is not known, Anderson said, but it will be within the $57,000 authorized by the council. Some duties, such as printing of ballots, will be carried out by subcontractors yet to be signed, she said.
The candidates in the election are Cal Campbell, Jeremy Fennell and Diana Gonzalez. The term will run to late 2014.
The council tried to fill the seat by appointment, which would have saved the city the special election cost, but it deadlocked 2-2.
O'Brien and Councilwoman Jeanine Tucker favored appointing one of the five unsuccessful council candidates from November, including Campbell. Members Darlene Barber-Martinez and Dotty Nygard preferred opening the process to all registered voters in Riverbank.
The dispute with the county was over the state requirement to call a special election at least 114 days in advance by Feb. 10 for the June 4 vote. County officials said the call for election was in a Feb. 11 council resolution. City officials said the election was called automatically right after the separate deadline to fill the seat by appointment.
The council voted 3-0 on Tuesday, with Tucker absent, to spend an estimated $3,200 on stipends for polling place workers. The city plans to have four such sites and to accept mail ballots.
Also Tuesday, the council voted 3-0 to no longer hold noon meetings once a quarter. All meetings now will start at 6 p.m.
The council has tried the noon meetings for two years to see if more people would turn out, but that did not happen.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2385.