Bren Lehr, City Clerk Administrator conducts and administers municipal elections that are generally consolidated with the County Elections Department. For current and past election information, please visit the Santa Cruz County Elections Department website.


Registering to vote is easier then ever. Clicking on one of the below buttons will redirect you to the Secretary of State online voter registration website. 


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Resolution No. NS-29,112 of the City Council of the City of Santa Cruz Ordering an Election, Requesting County Elections to Conduct the Election, and Requesting Consolidation of the Presidential General Election in the City of Santa Cruz on November 8, 2016. [adopted June 28, 2016]

Resolution No. NS-29,113 of the City Council of the City of Santa Cruz Calling an Election to be Held on November 8, 2016 at the Statewide Presidential General Election in the City of Santa Cruz for a Ballot Measure Submission of a Proposed Charter Amendment to Section 604 (Timing of Selection of Mayor and Vice Mayor). [adopted June 28, 2016]

Resolution No. NS-29,114 of the City Council of the City of Santa Cruz Calling an Election to be held on November 8, 2016 at the Statewide Presidential General Election in the City of Santa Cruz for a Ballot Measure Submission of a Proposed Charter Amendment to Section 1429 (Water System Inalienability). [adopted June 28, 2016]

Resolution No. NS-29,128 of the City Council of the City of Santa Cruz calling an election to be held on November 8, 2016 at the statewide presidential general election in the City of Santa Cruz for a ballot measure submission of whether an ordinance revising the Cannabis Business Tax should be adopted. [adopted August 9, 2016]


Ballot Measure G - Proposed Charter Amendment to Section 604 (Timing of Selection of Mayor and Vice Mayor)
City Attorney Impartial Analysis
Argument For

Ballot Measure H - Proposed Charter Amendment to Section 1429 (Water System Inalienability)
City Attorney Impartial Analysis
Argument For

Ballot Measure I - Whether an Ordinance Revising the Cannabis Business Tax Should be Adopted
City Attorney Impartial Analysis
Finance Director Fiscal Analysis
Argument For
Argument Against 
Rebuttal to Argument Against



The Candidate Nomination Period for the November 8, 2016 Presidential General election is July 18 - August 12, 2016.

Please contact Bren at 831-420-5038 for more information. Section 602 (Qualifications) of the City Charter states "A person shall be eligible to be nominated for, or to hold office as a member of the Council, only if such person is a registered qualified voter of this City, and shall have been for at least thirty (30) days next preceding nomination or appointment, a resident of the City of Santa Cruz, or of territory annexed thereto."

Additional information on the election process can be found by clicking on the link to the Candidate Information FAQ.

List of 2016 City Council Candidates Names (in the order they will appear on the ballot): 

City Council Candidate Contact Information

Prospective candidates who wish to run for City Councilmember in the upcoming November 8, 2016 election MUST do the following prior to campaigning (or can submit forms during the Nomination Period):

  1. File an FPPC Form 501. Prospective candidates can file their FPPC Form 501 anytime between now and the Nomination Period.
  2. After filing an FPPC Form 501, should a candidate begin to campaign and raise funds he/or she must also file an originally signed FPPC Form 410 with the Secretary of State (copy of the form to be submitted to Bren in the Clerk's office) within 10 days of receiving $2,000.  

Instructions for both forms are on the first page of each form. Please read the instructions carefully and thoroughly, and contact Bren should you have questions. Prospective candidates can mail or drop off their FPPC forms at City of Santa Cruz, 809 Center Street, Rm 9, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.

Statement of Write-in Candidacy & Nomination Period is September 12 - October 25, 2016

During this period write-in candidates must file their Statement of Write-in Candidacy and Nomination Papers with the City official.



Candidates who wish to pull election papers (original forms must be filed in the Office of the City Clerk during the Nomination Period - Candidate handbooks will not be released until first date of Nomination Period) must file the following documents to qualify as a City Council Candidate:
  • Nomination Paper (must have no less than 20 signatures of valid registered voters)
  • Ballot Designation Worksheet
  • Candidate Statement Agreement & Checklist
  • Internet Permission
  • Statement of Financial Worth (optional to file)
  • Code of Fair Political Practice (optional to file)
  • CalTrans Agreement Letter RE: Political Sign Display
  • Voluntary Expenditure and Mandatory Contribution Limitations Agreement
  • FPPC Form 700 (Statement of Economic Interests) 
Please contact Bren at (831) 420-5038 or email her at blehr@cityofsantacruz.com with questions or to set an appointment to discuss the election process. 


Jul 5 – Jul 18

City Clerk Administrator publishes Notice of Election in a newspaper of general circulation to include date and polling hours of the election, any offices to be filled and any measure(s) to be voted on, including a synopsis of each measure. 

Jul 18 – Aug 12


Or extended to:

Aug 13* – Aug 17

Filing period for Nomination Period (ends by 5:00 p.m. on Aug 12)

Extension of Nomination Period (if nomination papers for eligible incumbent officers for re-election are not filed) (ends by 5:00 p.m. on August 17)

*City offices are closed Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14. The next filing date is Monday, August 15 unless an appointment is made in advance. 

Aug 1

Semi-Annual Campaign Statement (Form 460)

Covering January 1 (or date 501 is filed) through June 30, 2016 due by 5:00 p.m. 

Aug 10 – Nov 8

24-hour Contribution Reports Due – during the 90 days preceding an election and including Election Day, contributions totally in aggregate of $1,000 or more must be reported within 24 hours on FPPC Form 496 and FPPC Form 497

Aug 18 by 11am

Randomized Alphabet Drawing – Secretary of State to determine order of candidate names on ballot.

Sept 12 – Oct 25

Statement of Write-in Candidacy and Nomination Papers Due. 

Sept 15

54-day Walking Lists Prepared (Contact County Elections to Purchase). 

Sept 29

First Pre-Election Statement (Form 460) – January 1 through 9/24/16 (or start date of first contribution received). 

Oct 11

Last Day to Register to Vote to Ensure Receipt of Sample Ballot and 29-Day Walking Lists Prepared (Contact County Elections to Purchase). 

Aug 10 – Nov 8

Late Contribution/Independent Expenditure Reports Due

(Form 496) – Must be filed by fax, guaranteed overnight delivery or personal delivery within 24 hours of $1,000 or more contribution within 90-days preceding the election.

Oct 27

Second Pre-Election Statement and Supplemental Independent Expenditure Report (Form 460) – 9/25/16 through 10/22/16.

Nov 4

Third Pre-Election Statement and Supplemental Independent Expenditure Report (Form 460) – 10/23/16 through 11/1/16.

Nov 8

Election Day – Polls Open from 7 am to 8 pm.

Jan 31, 2017

Semi-Annual Statement (Form 460) – 11/2/16 through 12/31/16.


Candidates who agree to abide by the City of Santa Cruz’s voluntary campaign finance reform spending limits receive a free statement on the City's website. City Council candidate statements are posted by the City in the form submitted by the candidate without editing, proofreading, or spell-checking by City staff. The opinions and statements set forth are those of the candidates to whom they are attributed and do not reflect the City’s official positions on issues addressed in the statement. The candidate’s statement is not a City endorsement of any candidate’s candidacy. The information is submitted to the voters by the City as a service to assist voters and for informational purposes only, and the statement is not intended to, and does not, exempt any candidate or statement author from civil or criminal liability for any false, slanderous, or libelous statements set forth on the City’s website.


The elective officers of this City shall be seven councilmembers who shall constitute the Council. They shall be elected from the City at large as provided in ARTICLE VII for a term of four years and until their successors have been elected and qualified. The Council shall be the legislative body of this City, each of the members of which, including the Mayor, shall have the right to vote upon all questions before it. No member of the Council shall be eligible for re-election for two years (i.e. one general election cycle) after the expiration of the second consecutive full term for which such person was elected. (Amended 3-6-79; 11-2-2004 [Measure M])

24-hour Contribution Reports

During the 90 days immediately preceding an election and including Election Day, the following contributions that total in the aggregate of $1,000 or more must be reported within 24 hours.
  • Form 496: File if independent expenditures of $1,000 or more are made;
  • Form 497: File if a contribution of $1,000 or more in the aggregate is received from a single source;
  • Form 497: File if a contribution of $1,000 or more in the aggregate is made to a candidate or measure being voted upon November 8, 2016, or to a political party committee;
  • The recipient of a non-monetary contribution of $1,000 or more must file a Form 497 report within 48 hours from the time the contribution is received.

Forms can be filed in the office of the City Clerk at 809 Center Street, Room 9, Attention: Bren Lehr, City Clerk Administrator.



Term Expiration

Eligible for another
4-year Term

Mayor Cynthia Mathews

December 2016

Yes in 2016

V. Mayor Cynthia Chase

December 2018

Yes in 2018

Micah Posner

December 2016

Yes in 2016

Pamela Comstock

December 2016

Yes in 2016

Richelle Noroyan

December 2018

Yes in 2018

David Terrazas

December 2018


Don Lane

December 2016




Guide to Writing Arguments, Rebuttals, and Analyses for Local Measures [PDF] 

  • Proponents who wish to place a measure on the 2016 ballot must refer to the above guidelines and contact Bren Lehr, City Clerk Administrator at 831-420-5038 with questions;
  • Petition signatures must be submitted to the City Clerk Administrator by no later than 180 days after public notification of petition circulation;
  • Adoption of an ordinance requires petition signatures of no less than 10% of valid registered voters, and Charter Amendments require petition signatures of no less than 15% of valid registered voters.


  • AUGUST 19: Deadline to file arguments, Analyses for Measures (Elections Code Sections 9160, 9313)
    • Arguments for or against any local measure called for the November 2016 election are due by 5:00 p.m.
    • City Attorney to submit analysis for City measures
    • Arguments and analyses are public after the 5:00 p.m. deadline
  • AUGUST 20 - 29: 10-day Public Inspection for Arguments and Analyses (Elections Code Section 9190)
    • 10-day public inspection of arguments filed by August 18. During the 10-calendar-day public examination period provided by this section, any voter of the jurisdiction in which the election is being held, or the city elections official, himself or herself, may seek a writ of mandate or an injunction requiring any or all of the materials to be amended or deleted. The writ of mandate or injunction request shall be filed no later than the end of the 10-calendar-day public examination period.
  • AUGUST 26: Deadline for Filing Rebuttals to Measures (Elections Code Sections 9167, 9317)
    • On this date Rebuttal Arguments are due by 5:00 p.m.
    • Rebuttals are public after the 5:00 p.m. deadline
  • AUGUST 27 - SEPTEMBER 6: 10-day Public Inspection for Rebuttals
    • Documents will be on public display at the Office of the City Clerk, 809 Center Street, Room 9, Santa Cruz

  • FPPC Webinars and Live Workshops - The FPPC will be presenting webinars and live workshops in Sacramento for candidates and treasurers. Topics include initial campaign activities, contribution and expenditure rules, reporting requirements, and post-election tasks. If you are the filing officer for campaign statements, candidates or a treasurer you are encouraged to take advantage of these training opportunities.

    View a list of upcoming training events and register for a webinar or workshop at the link above. Note that there are also upcoming webinars regarding the campaign filing officer duties. Please check the FPPC website regularly as training opportunities are continually being added.

  • FPPC Candidate ToolkitNews Release - February 26, 2015: SACRAMENTO – Today the FPPC is launching an online toolkit that provides step-by-step instructions to prospective candidates on how to comply with various rules and laws involved in running for office. This online toolkit condenses several instructional manuals already available from the FPPC into a comprehensive, easy-to-use format. 

    “We want to encourage people to participate in the political process,” said Jodi Remke, Chair of the FPPC. “This one site, one stop toolkit is our latest effort to streamline the process to promote public involvement and improve compliance.” 

    Every year, candidates without extensive campaign experience or a specialized attorney look to the FPPC for guidance on how to comply with the Political Reform Act when conducting their campaigns for public office. The online toolkit provides easy to understand information, including links to the required disclosure forms, filing deadlines, regulations, and frequently asked questions. 

    "The FPPC has created an excellent, comprehensive and user-friendly resource that will help would-be candidates overcome potential barriers to running for office and understand the rules of the road” said Kim Alexander, President and Founder of California Voter Foundation. 

    “California’s campaign reporting and ethics laws are critical to making sure we run fair and open elections,” said Matt Cate, Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties.  “Having all the forms, information and directions in one place will make it easier for local government candidates to comply. The toolkit is also a great resource for the County Clerks and Registrars of Voters who run elections in each of our 58 counties.” 

    Chris McKenzie, executive director, League of California Cities, added, “The new FPPC online toolkit will be a great resource for citizens who want to run for local office. Having election information and requirements in one place will make the process of running for office more easily accessible for people who want to serve their communities in an elected capacity.” 

    “In 2014, the Commission received more than 22,000 requests for advice, underscoring that most public officials strive to stay within the bounds of the law,” said Chair Remke.  “That’s why we’ve taken steps to improve and expand our educational outreach efforts.” 

    The online toolkit follows the recent addition of the FPPC’s “Top Ten List” of top donors to statewide ballot campaigns.  Both are designed to further the FPPC’s goal of making things easier for the officials to do and easier for the public to see. 

    The toolkit can be accessed at FPPC Candidate Toolkit - Getting Started.