Grand Jury: Supervisors should fill vacancies with elections

By on Wed, June 24, 2009

The county civil grand jury has just issued a report chastising the Board of Supervisor for filling Jerry Hill’s old seat by appointing his replacement, rather than holding an election [pdf].

Democracy was suspended by the San Mateo Board of Supervisors in December 2008, due to an economic downturn. On November 4, 2008, a San Mateo County Supervisor for District 2 was elected to the California State Assembly. There were two years left on the Supervisor’s term. Three of the four supervisors decide that an estimated $1.6 million during the economically troubled time was too much to spend on an election and, therefore, made an appointment to fill the vacated seat. 

Noting that "Since 1980, in San Mateo County, incumbents seeking reelection have been reelected 100% of the time", the Grand jury recommends that open seats should be filled by election, or if the seat will be up for election in less than a year, appointment of a provisional member prohibited from running for that seat in the next election.