Newark council votes to switch elections to even-number years

The Newark City Council has voted to hold elections in even-number years, which will save Newark about $115,000 per election.

Newark has held elections in odd-number years since 1981. Council members voted Thursday to make the change after Livermore and Emeryville recently switched to even-number years, leaving Newark as the last city in the county to cast a ballot in odd years.

Next, the city will submit the change to Alameda County supervisors, who are expected to approve it.

If approved, each council member’s term will get an extra year. Terms for Mayor Alan Nagy, Vice Mayor Ana Apodaca and Councilman Bob Marshall will expire in late 2014, instead of 2013. Likewise, the terms for council members Sucy Collazo and Luis Freitas will expire in 2016, rather than 2015.

The biggest reason for the switch was the cost savings, Nagy said.

“It’s hard to justify spending that kind of money given the financial condition we’re in,” he said. “It’s important we save where we can.”

Chris DeBenedetti