Historical Elections

    Today (April 10, 2015)  Leticia Garcia announced she is running for the 7th Ward Council seat. Jim Mulvihill is the current 7th Ward Council Member. He was first elected in the recall election on November 5, 2013.

    Previously, on Friday, March 27, 2015, City Attorney Gary Saenz announced he is running for re-election for City Attorney. He was first elected in the recall election on November 5, 2013.

    The other elections on November 3, 2015 are:

    • Ward 3 Council
    • Ward 5 Council
    • Ward 6 Council
    • Ward 7 Council
    • City Treasurer
    • City Clerk

    John Valdivia is the 3rd Ward Council Member.  He was first elected on November 8, 2011. His website does not currently have any information about whether he is running for re-election.

    Henry Nickel is the 5th Ward Council Member. He was first elected on February 4, 2014 in the Special Election to fill the vacant seat left on the resignation of Chas Kelley, consolidated with the General Municipal Election. I haven’t seen an announcement, but his website, http://henrynickel.nationbuilder.com has an image that says “Re-Elect Henry Nickel for City Council Ward Five,” so it would be safe to say he is running again.

    Rikke Van Johnson is the 6th Ward Council Member. He was first elected at the Primary Municipal Election, November 4, 2003.  His website remains from his campaign for Mayor in 2013. There is no information about whether he is running for re-election.

    David C. Kennedy is the City Treasurer. He was first elected in the March 5, 1991 at the Primary Municipal Election. His campaign activities are minimal, if any. His first election, he ran against Southern Pacific conductor Wolfram Schlicht and former Family Services Agency supervisor William A. McKinnon. He ran unopposed in 1995 and 1999.  He handily beat David R. Oberhelman on November 4, 2003. He again ran unopposed in 2007 and 2011.

    Georgeann “Gigi” Hanna is the City Clerk. She was first elected on February 7, 2012 in the General Municipal Election. She has not announced a re-election campaign as of this date.

    As discussed before, before, and before, the San Bernardino Police Department, by council action and by action of the voters to amend the Charter of the City of San Bernardino in 1937 and 1939, expanded as the City came out of the Great Depression into the early World War II period.

    The Mayor and Common Council again put another police-related Charter revision on the ballot on November 3, 1942, a special municipal election consolidated with a California general election.

    There were a total of seven propositions for the City of San Bernardino (competing for attention with California and County propositions and measures).  They were labeled Propositions 20 through 26, and three passed, and four failed.

    Since the focus is on the expansion of the San Bernardino Police Department and the run-up to the addition of section 186 to the Charter of the City of San Bernardino in 1955, the item of interest was the second of seven, Proposition 21.

    Proposition 21 (1942) also known as Proposed Charter Amendment No. Two

    That Section 181 of the City Charter of the City of San Bernardino be amended to read as follows, to-wit:

    “Section 181. The Police Department shall consist of a Chief of Police, and such officers and other policeman as the Mayor and Common Council may from time to time determine.”

    The voters approved it by 62.96 percent:

    Proposition No. 21: (Police) Yes        5,326
    No 3,133
    Total 8,459

    The 1942 amendments are very close to today’s section 181, last passed in the 2004 (operative 2006) Charter:

    Section 181. Police Department – Membership. The Police Department shall consist of a Chief of Police, and as many ranking officers, police officers and other employees as the Mayor and Common Council may from time to time determine.



    Yesterday, I wrote about the campaign and election to set minimum wages for San Bernardino Police Officers in the form of section 181-A.

    The opponents, who, other than Councilman Timothy Sheehan were not named contemporaneously in the San Bernardino Daily Sun, said that the moves would be costly, particularly in light of earlier promises to hire more police officers to meet the growing needs of the growing city.

    According to a budget proposal detailed in the San Bernardino Daily Sun on July 15th  under the line item “Police department Charter Amendment,” an increase for the next fiscal year (1939-1940) attributable to the amendment was $11,188.89.  San Bernardino Daily Sun, July 15, 1939, Page 11.

    When the City passed the budget on July 18th, the total increase was roughly $75,000 over the 1938-1939 budget.  The Police Department’s estimated expenditures in 1938-1939 were $66,930.01.  The FY 1939-40 amount budgeted was $83,916.39. That figure doesn’t include the traffic division, which was also impacted by 1939’s Charter Amendment No. 1, but it also involved hiring three new officers. A charter amendment in 1937 allowed the City to hire more officers. The traffic division’s budget increased from $16,998.51 to $19,115.30.

    The total 1939-1940 budget was $615,810.88, a 14 percent increase over 1938-39’s $540,614.22.  How did the City propose to pay for the increase?  Through a tax increase from 18 cents to 21 cents.  San Bernardino Daily Sun, July 19, 1939, Page 11.

    If you recall from yesterday, the union advertisement said there was plenty of money in the traffic court fund to pay for the increases.  The budget presented in the newspaper only gave expenditures, and not revenues.  While there was a tax increase, the amount directly attributable to the charter amendment, assuming no tax increase was needed to pass a budget equal to FY 1938-1939, would be $11,188.89 (charter salary increase)/$75,196.66 (budget increase) = 14.88%.  So, of the 3 cents (presumably property) tax increase, 4/10ths of a cent was attributable to the Charter Amendment.

    The questions not answered so far are would the San Bernardino Police Department faced attrition if they had not received raises, would they have been able to recruit qualified candidates for the new positions, and whether, without the charter amendment, they would have received raises through collective bargaining versus putting minimums in the Charter.

    The City of San Bernardino was created by the California Legislature as special charter City on its first go around in 1854.  It was dissolved by the Legislature in 1863. It was reincorporated in 1869, and again on May 15, 1886 as a City of the Fifth Class. It remained so until 1905 when a charter was adopted.

    After an aborted attempt to hold a freeholder election on December 15, 1903 (scuttled by the Board of Trustees), the City called a special Municipal Election on July 30, 1904.  Here are the unofficial results, as reported by the San Bernardino Daily Sun, August 2, 1904.

    To give context to these numbers, registration was approximately 2000, turnout was 415 (approximately 20 percent)  and the population in the 1900 decennial census was 6,150, and the 1910 population was 12,779.

    The potential freeholders campaigned as slates.  Here are the results winners in bold:

    Candidate                     1st Ward   2nd Ward 3rd Ward 4th Ward 5th Ward    Total

    R. Hammond 8 19 20 5 21 73
    Henry Price 7 19 19 7 21 73
    S.P. Waite 7 28 20 8 17 80
    W.R. McNeil 4 19 8 10 12 53
    P.J. Chase 7 22 19 6 20 74
    J.B. Wilffey 7 20 19 8 19 73
    Lewis Slater 7 25 20 12 19 83
    C.E. Walker 8 29 22 8 19 86
    G.A. Atwood 7 28 9 13 15 72
    Horace C. Rolfe 38 104 40 46 44 272
    A.M. Ham 19 75 17 31 27 169
    W.S. Hooper 38 93 34 44 39 248
    F.W. Gregg 23 71 24 29 24 171
    John Andreson, Sr. 45 100 39 40 42 266
    F.B. Daley 39 81 39 31 35 225
    R.F. Garner 15 57 14 31 20 137
    Oscar Newburg 15 60 15 26 22 138
    E.J. Gilbert 9 42 10 26 19 106
    L.D. Houghton 37 76 38 28 29 208
    I.R. Brunn 39 67 32 21 32 191
    George M. Cooley 27 92 27 37 40 223
    Hiram M. Barton 32 110 38 46 44 270
    Geo. E. Mills 10 34 29 15 28 116
    W.M. Parker 28 80 32 32 31 203
    John H. Morgan 10 19 8 7 10 54
    James Murray 41 61 33 17 25 177
    D.A. Grovesnor 22 33 34 14 22 125
    J.J. Hanford 43 84 37 29 41 234
    M.L. Cook 37 75 29 35 34 210
    R.A. McClanahan 15 35 21 13 28 112
    Joseph Ingersoll 42 75 37 27 35 216
    A.G. Kendall 43 99 40 42 49 273
    J. W. Cattick 38 81 37 32 40 228
    Total 63 142 70 64 76 415

    Also receiving votes were the following who were not nominated, but people voted for anyway: 1st Ward: John G. Eikleman 1 , 2nd Ward: J.A. Cole, Byron Waters, J.W. Waters, Black, Dunn, Joseph Cadd, Morris Katz, Jo. Brown, J.B. Phillips, J.S. Bright, P.B. Hockaday, Joseph E. Rich (1 vote each), E.E. Katz (3 votes),; 3rd Ward: Louis Wollf, G.F. Woods, (1 each); 4th Ward: Henry Goodcell, B.F. Conaway, W.S. Boggs, G.W. Miller (1 vote each); 5th Ward: Seth Marshall, Howard Surr, J.M. Hurley, D. McGandier and Mark B. Shaw (1 each).





    Spoiler Alert!

    I finally tracked down the results of the March 7, 1987 City Attorney Primary Municipal Election between then-incumbent City Attorney Ralph H. Prince and then-challenger James F. “Jim” Penman:


    19870307 Primary Municipal Election Jim Penman 9,933 Source Staff Report
    Ralph H. Prince 4,246

    From the San Francisco Call March 17, 1913


    Aspirants for San Bernardino Offices Beaten by Illegal Petitions

    SAN BERNARDINO. March 16.— Four of the five candidates for mayor and six of, the 13 candidates for other Important offices are disqualified as the result of the discovery that the wrong figures were taken as the basis for the number of signatures required to get their names on the ballot for the election April 14.

    The situation is declared to be unprecedented in the history of municipal elections in California.

    The primary had been eliminated and candidates were to go on the general election ballot by Independent petition.

    J. W. Catick is the only candidate for the mayoralty who is qualified by having a sufficient number of names on his nominating petition. Mayor J. S. Bright, Thomas Holmes, W. E. Irving and L. William Gurr, the others, are out of the race.

    The city is in a political turmoil as a result of the wholesale disqualifications, and attorneys representing the candidates who had an insufficient number of names on their petitions admitted tonight that there was no chance for the correction of the mistakes. The campaign already had furnished much excitement because of the probability of a winning fight by Gurr, the socialist candidate for mayor in a five cornered fight.

    Here’s a spoiler alert: J.W. Catick won.

    From the Los Angeles Herald, January 2, 1908:


    Special to The Herald. SAN BERNARDINO, Jan. 1.—D. H. Wixom won in the election for councilman in the first ward yesterday over Milton E. Hecht by a vote of 95 to 44. The election was quiet. All saloons in the city were closed during the voting hours.