The Cost of WeHo’s June Special Election Will Likely Be Well North of $30 a Vote

It looks as if the June special election to fill the City Council seat vacated by Jeffrey Prang will cost West Hollywood $155,000. That would work out to about $30 a vote in the (unlikely) event that as many voters turn out for that off-cycle election as did in the 2013 City Council election. Which means the cost per voter is likely to be very much more.

Jeff Prang
Jeffrey Prang

Given that the June 2 election will come close on the heels of the March 3 election, in which 12 candidates are running for three seats, political observers believe voters won’t be paying attention and that turnout will be worse than West Hollywood’s already dismal record of voter participation. In the 2013 City Council election only 5,303 (20 percent) of the city’s 26,394 registered voters cast ballots.

The $155,000 estimate comes from the City Clerk’s office, which asked the Council last night to approve an appropriation of that amount. Most of that money will go to Martin and Chapman Co. and City Clerk Management Services, with which the city is contracting for help in carrying out the election. During general municipal elections, the City of Los Angeles reimburses West Hollywood for about 40 percent of the costs of the election because WeHo includes on its ballot candidates for the L.A. Unified School District and the L.A. Community College District. This time West Hollywood will have to shoulder the costs by itself.

The City Council voted in December to hold a special election rather than appoint someone to fill the remainder of Prang’s term. Prang was elected in November of last year as L.A. County Assessor. But he didn’t claim victory until 21 days after the Nov. 4 election because votes continued to be counted and the race was close. For that reason his seat couldn’t be included on the March 3 West Hollywood City Council ballot.

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Teresa Waxer
Teresa Waxer
5 years ago

I don’t understand why W.Hlywd spent $155,000 rather than just keep Heilman on until 2017 as a seasoned pro. I just finished the March election – new to W. Hlywd – went to 2 debates. Got too many phone calls but no notices about debates – found out accidentally when a campaigner told me about it AFTER I ASKED. There is no reason a simple notice of VOTE FOR 4, not 3 on the ballot could have been printed! It is crazy. If this is what the experienced council did before the new people came on – then something is… Read more »

Guy Privaton (@guyprivaton)

Democrats who endorse big government spending had better not be the ones complaining about tax money well spent so democracy can happen!?

For those commenting on voter turnout: Suggest solutions!

Riley
Riley
5 years ago

Worth every penny to NOT have Heilman appoint Lindsey again.

Randy Matthews
5 years ago

The city is working on increasing voter turnout for the March election. Can they not do the same here? I think its important to raise public awareness that there will even be a June election.

Rudolf Martin
Rudolf Martin
5 years ago

I doubt we will get even get the usual 20% of registered voters to bother this time.

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
5 years ago

The city decided to spend millions on their toy parking garage behind city hall, so $155k is chump change isn’t it? Can one of the developers foot the bill?

Manny
Manny
5 years ago

We’ll see, but the $155,000 special election in June might amount to an expensive “appointment” by a minuscule gaggle of voters from Facebook.

In any event…..the voting residents and the non-voting residents will get who they deserve.

mike dunn
mike dunn
5 years ago

OPINION: Jeffery Prang Leaves with a Reputation for Putting Residents and Neighborhoods First

Well in this case he said “Screw You.” He was so afraid of loosing his seat on the Council in a close County Assessor race. It was apparent he had won but true to form it caught him off guard like so many times during debates on the Council when he acted like a deer caught in a car’s headlight when asked about his opinion.