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HOW TO RUN FOR CITY COUNCIL [UPDATED]
Our guide to the forms required to run for office in 29 Palms
Update July 5: The City has posted an elections page. The nomination period opens July 18, and the deadline to submit papers and signatures is August 11 and may be extended to August 17 “if an incumbent fails to file nomination papers by the August 11 deadline.”
Note: This is the 2nd installment in a series of a series of articles, “Running for Council”, demystifying the process of running for City Council. Council seats in districts 3, 4 and 5 are up for election in November 2022 with nomination papers due in early August. Read the first article in the series, an interview with Council member Steven Bilderain.
Thinking of running for City Council? Getting ready to knock on doors, hang out at the farmer’s market, speak to service clubs and work on your Facebook page and Instagram account? In addition to the public aspects of campaigning for office, there’s a series of documents that all candidates are required to file with the City Clerk. In the interest of encouraging everyday citizens to run for office, we’re offering potential candidates a heads up on what to expect.
Multiple candidates running for City Council are a sign of an engaged Twentynine Palms and a vibrant democracy. Much is at stake. There are three Council seats on the ballot and three Planning Commission seats appointed after the election. These seats constitute majorities in both bodies. This is YOUR chance to take an active role in the future of your city.
The districts up for election in 2022 are 3, 4 and 5. These seats are currently held by Council member Daniel Mintz (3), Mayor Pro Tem McArthur Wright (5) and Mayor Karmolette O’Gilvie (4). Some district boundaries were updated this year so be sure to double check your district. The City has yet to upload a legible map so 29 Palms Neighbors has offered to help potential candidates ascertain what district they reside in.
Keep in mind that this is a general guide only and that requirements and filing dates for 2022 may change. We highly recommend contacting the City Clerk Cindy Villescas for an appointment if you are planning to run. The Clerk with provide you with the documents for 2022 and make the time to review the requirements with you. The following information is based on conversations with prior candidates as well as a copy of the 2020 Candidate’s Handbook prepared by City Clerk Villescas.
Basics to know before you run:
Your first question might be “Who’s eligible?” In order to run for Council you must meet the following requirements:
Citizen of the United States
Registered voter and resident of Twentynine Palms
18 years or older
Resident of the district in which you plan to run
City Council members are paid $465 per month. They also have the option of participating in the City benefit package. Regular meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month and additional meetings may be held as needed. The term of office is four years.
Required Candidacy Materials
Declaration of Candidacy
The required from on which the candidate declares what office they are running for, how their name appears on the ballot and whether or not they want a short three word description to follow their name.
Candidates need to collect at least 20-30 signatures of registered voters residing in the district in which they are running to support their candidacy. These signatures must collected using forms supplied to the candidate by the City Clerk. Once turned in, the signatures are compared with voter registration lists to determine validity. It is likely that some of the collected signatures will be deemed invalid. Some people think they’ve registered to vote, but haven’t, others have moved and failed to update their address and in some cases, signatures simply don’t match. Therefore, it’s always best to collect more than the minimum number of signatures required.
Candidate Intention Statement (Form 501, Fair Political Practices Commission, FPPC)
Outlines rules for soliciting and receiving donations and for expending personal funds in support of your candidacy. Required to be filed prior to soliciting any contributions or spending any funds.
Statement of Economic Interest (FPPC Form 700)
Generally candidates are required to declare investments, interests in real property, and business positions held on the date of filing the declaration of candidacy. In addition, certain types of income received in the year prior to filing the declaration of candidacy must be reported. This declaration of personal financial interests is necessary to insure candidates are acting the public’s interest and not their own. Going through this process also serves as a reminder of potential conflicts of interest. The City Clerk will review the exact reporting requirements with you.
Candidate Statement Form and Candidate Statement
The written statement supplied by the candidate that is printed in the Voter Information Guide and the form that accompanies it. Candidate statements for local office are 200 words or less and must follow strict content guidelines. Statements are limited to the candidate’s own background, qualifications and platform. The candidate is prohibited from mentioning other candidates in their statement. Candidates are required to cover the costs of printing and translating their statement, usually around $150. Candidate statements are optional.
Overall, City Council candidates can expect to pay approximately $200 - $400 in filing fees and associated costs. This in addition to expenditures on materials promoting their candidacy.
If you do decide to run, be sure to contact 29 Palms Neighbors, we are working to recruit great residents to represent the community.