The ballot measure to reduce the enforcement priority on adult, personal use of marijuana in Santa Monica easily passed in the November 7 voting, with over 65 percent of the voters approving the proposition, Measure Y. But Measure W, which would have repealed stringent restrictions on political contributions to city officials, was defeated by a narrow 53-47 percent vote.
In other local measures, voters approved charter amendments to give the City Manager more authority in personnel matters (Measure U); passed a parcel tax for watershed management by barely the 2/3 majority required (Measure V); and overwhelmingly approved a school bond issue (Measure BB).
The marijuana initiative passed with 15,339 votes, representing 65.26 percent of the votes cast on the measure. It declares that crimes involving adult, personal use of marijuana are the lowest law enforcement priority for the Police Department, but exceptions are provided for minors, marijuana sales, use on public property and driving under the influence.
Measure W was a controversial attempt to repeal the Taxpayer Protection Amendment of 2000 which was adopted by popular vote six years ago. The proposition would have replaced the 2000 measure with restrictions on political contributions to incumbents that were perceived to be less stringent. In very close voting, the measure had 10,588 votes in favor (47.01 percent) and 11,933 votes against (52.99 percent). Mayor Bob Holbrook and Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Shriver both supported Measure W. Ralph Nader came to town to campaign against it.
Measure U carried handily, with 15,823 votes in favor (71.12 percent) and only 6,424 votes against (28.88 percent). Probably the most important provision of this package of charter amendments dealing with personnel matters is the removal of all City departmental directors from civil service, making them “at will” employees and allowing the City Manager to appoint and remove them.
The parcel tax to raise revenue to implement and finance a portion of the City’s Watershed Management Plan (Measure V) required approval of two-thirds of those voting. It barely met that standard, with 16,623 yes votes (66.77 percent) and 8,273 no votes (33.23 percent).
The school bond, Measure BB, required an affirmative vote of 55 percent of those voting and easily passed that threshold, with 19,419 voting yes (67.11 percent) and 9,518 voting no (32.89 percent).