But the title of the article should be "Did Mayor Santos violate public meeting laws with IRV lobbyist?"
San Leandro's incumbent Mayor Santos had alot of help making his decision thanks to an IRV lobbyist who was in his motel room while Santos participated in a City Hall meeting via teleconference. "Santos even had New America's director, Steven Hill, in his hotel room in the nation's capitol as Tuesday night's meeting headed towards two in the morning Eastern time. ...Santos participated in Tuesday's meeting byteleconference from Washington, D.C."
One commenter to the article notes: "But to have RCV's lobbyist at your side during the discussion - that's unheard of."
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Supporters of Ranked Choice Voting from the left-leaning New America Foundation had the ear of both Mayor Tony Santos and Councilman Jim Prola from the beginning. Both gave passionate speeches in favor and seemed relieved by its passing Tuesday night. Santos even had New America's director, Steven Hill, in his hotel room in the nation's capitol as Tuesday night's meeting headed towards two in the morning Eastern time.
CLOSER THAN IT LOOKED The San Leandro City Council's vote to approve RCV starting this November was far closer than the 5-2 tally would suggest. Since Santos participated in Tuesday's meeting by teleconference from Washington, D.C., the council voted alphabetically by roll call instead of electronically as they normally do. Councilwoman Ursula Reed, who most viewed was the swing vote, sided with RCV after questioning whether the city was gravitating towards a revenue-enhancement measure in June or November. Of Course, Reed comes before Souza, alphabetically. Did Souza switch her vote on RCV after Reed's vote had already clinched its passing? Of all the councilmembers, Souza was the most skeptical about the mechanics of RCV in addition to the addition costs to the city. Nonetheless, After coming out on the minority side of the vote, Vice Mayor Joyce Starosciak looked obviously peeved at the outcome of the vote as she sat in Santos' seat while he was out of town. The loss may not sting Starosciak politically, though. She can always maintain she was against RCV for budgetary reasons when or if the city's budget continues to fall on its face.
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