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Isleton City Council violates California election law by not filling vacant council seat

According to Sacramento County, a grand jury found the "Isleton City Council violated state law, and ignored voter concerns by failing to properly fill a council."

ISLETON, Calif — Due to not filling a council seat following the passing of one of its members, a Sacramento County Grand Jury investigation has found that the Isleton City Council violated state law.

Isleton City Council Member Barbara Dockery passed away on Apr. 23, 2021. A report about the situation states, "government Code section 36512(b) requires that a vacancy on a city council be filled by either appointment or by calling for a Special Election within 60 days from the date of the vacancy."

According to a press release, during a June 2021 meeting council members learned that the cost to hold a mail-in ballot special election would be $32,000 

"Council members learned that the cost to hold a mail-in ballot special election would be $32,000," the release said. "While several applicants applied to fill the vacancy, the remaining council members stated publicly that they did not want to pay for a special election nor, did they wish to appoint anyone to the position. "

The grand jury found this action violated State of California law and ignored voter concerns.

“The Council essentially voted unanimously to break the law,” said Sacramento County Grand Jury Foreperson Deanna Hanson. “They did not adequately explore options available to them to remedy the situation. This is a disservice to the residents of Isleton who are not fully being represented in government decisions and actions.” 

The Sacramento County Grand Jury recommends the city council appoint a person to the position by June 30, 2022, or hold a Special Election if the seat isn't filled by then. The grand jury is requesting a response to its finding from the city council within 60 days.

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