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Palo Alto May Modify City's Election Dates

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Voters in Palo Alto may get to decide whether the city should change its election system in order to save some cash. The city council is considering moving city elections from odd-numbered years to even.

Holding elections on even numbered years, for example 2012 instead of 2011, would put Palo Alto on the same election cycle as state and national elections, thus saving the city about $200,000 every two years. But first, voters would have to approve extending council members’ terms.

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”Four city councilmembers terms would be extended by one year because they would not be up for reelection this year,” said Palo Alto Councilmember Karen Holman, who is in favor of putting the proposal on the November ballot.

But Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt tells KCBS he’s concerned voters may think council members are simply trying to stay in office longer.

”That’s not the motivation, but if the voters have that concern, then I’m not sure it’s worth it,” said Burt.

The city council will consider the idea August 2nd. Meanwhile, the council may also put a firefighter-backed measure on the ballot that would require a public vote to close fire stations.

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