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What's at Stake for Manhattan Beach on Election Day?

Mar 04, 2024 09:02PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

The Joslyn Center in Manhattan Beach is one of the city's in-person voting centers.

What's at stake for Manhattan Beach on this Election Day? On Tuesday, Manhattan Beach voters will weigh in on statewide and local races - including the school parcel tax renewal known as Measure MB.

Although many voters have already submitted ballots by mail and in person, Tuesday, March 5 is the official by which voters must cast their ballots.

Significant items in front of Manhattan Beach voters include:

Measure MB: Measure MB is a local parcel tax renewal measure. A "yes" vote on Measure MB would extend the current parcel tax at the current fixed rate of $225 per parcel for six additional years to benefit Manhattan Beach public schools.

The original Measure MB, a locally controlled funding source for Manhattan Beach schools, was passed in 2018 with 68.32 percent of the vote. The funding generated by Measure MB has yielded approximately $2.5 million per year, sustaining more than 20 teaching and staff positions, as well as essential programs. The parcel tax will automatically expire in June 2024.

Measure MB comes at the heels of an earlier attempt to renew the parcel tax that would have raised $1,095 per year, per parcel over 12 years. That effort, known as Measure A, was soundly defeated in June 2022. However, many Measure A opponents had said that they would support a renewal of the property tax at the current rate. This year's Measure MB has garnered broad support from both supporters and opponents of Measure A.

Measure MB will need ⅔ or 66.7% of the vote to pass. If passed, the current exemption for homeowners ages 65 and over will automatically be extended.

L.A. County Supervisor: This election marks the first time that Manhattan Beach residents will have a chance to vote up or down on L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell. (Janice Hahn was elected to be the supervisor representing Manhattan Beach in 2020, but redistricting in December 2021 moved Manhattan Beach from Hahn's 4th District into Holly Mitchell's 2nd District.) Mitchell faces challenges from Clint D. Carlton, Daphne D. Bradford, and Katrina Williams. If a candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, he or she will win the election outright (or otherwise the top two candidates face a runoff in November).

L.A. County District Attorney: Possibly you've heard of George Gascón? Well, if you've been in hibernation for the last several years, Gascón is the controversial L.A. County District Attorney who is seeking another term after four years during which he held off two recall attempts. The Manhattan Beach City Council approved a "vote of no confidence" in Gascón in 2021, and endorsed the recall effort in 2022. 

Gascón's challengers include Debra Archuleta, Jeff Chemerinsky, Jonathan Hatami, Nathan Hochman, Dan Kapelovitz, Lloyd “Bobcat” Masson, John McKinney, David Milton, Craig Mitchell, Maria Ramirez, and Eric Siddall. Unless a candidate gets 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face off in November.

Steve Napolitano: Manhattan Beach residents will have a chance to vote on City Council member (and six-time mayor) Steve Napolitano, who is running for L.A. Superior Court Judge, Seat 39. Napolitano's challengers include George A. Turner Jr., Jacob Lee, and Ronda Dixon.

If Napolitano won, would he have to step down from council? Napolitano told MB News that if he were lucky enough to win outright in Tuesday's election, it would be a question of when he'd be sworn in and how long training would take before he would decide if he needed to step down.  "Depending on what my assignment was, it's possible I could do both, but unlikely given that judges are not supposed to show any type of bias and being on council may show that at some point as that's what council is about - making choices," he said.

However, Napolitano noted that since there are four candidates running for the seat, it is more likely that the election will go to a runoff in November. "If I was lucky enough to make it past the primary and then win the general election in November, my being sworn in as judge would take place concurrently with stepping down from council due to term limits," he said.

Proposition 1: This statewide measure, championed by Gov. Newsom, proposes authorizing a nearly $6.4 billion bond for mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities, and would shift about $140 million in existing tax revenue used by counties for mental health services to a state agency. Locally, the widely respected Manhattan Beach-based homelessness nonprofit MB SAFE, which normally does not take positions on political issues, has taken a stand against the measure. MB SAFE contends that existing local programs, including outreach services, homeless drop-in centers, and wellness programs run by peer-support groups would be impacted; and that local oversight and accountability would be watered down, instead giving more authority to the governor and the state.

Where to Vote in Manhattan Beach

There are four locations to cast your vote or drop off your ballot in Manhattan Beach:

Voting in person (or dropping off ballots):
  • Joslyn Community Center Auditorium - Ocean Banquet Hall – 1601 N. Valley Drive.
  • Manhattan Heights Community Center - Mt. Whitney Banquet Hall – 1600 Manhattan Beach Blvd.

Vote-By-Mail Drop Boxes:

  • South side of the Manhattan Beach Art Center near the parking lot - 1560 Manhattan Beach Blvd
  • Manhattan Beach Library North Entrance – 1320 Highland Ave.

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