LONG BEACH (CNS) - Voters will head to the polls in a handful of Southland cities today, choosing city council members and weighing in on various tax measures, while Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia will look to retain his seat.
Garcia is being challenged in his re-election bid by teacher and former social worker James Henry Conn. Garcia, who joined the City Council in 2009 and was elected mayor in 2014, is the city's first Latino mayor, and the city's first openly gay mayor.
Municipal elections are also on tap Tuesday in Arcadia, Avalon, Culver City, El Segundo, Lancaster, Palos Verdes Estates, Sierra Madre, Vernon and Whittier.
Tax measures are also on the ballots in several cities.
Voters in Avalon will weigh in on Measure T, which would impose a $1 tax on every passenger arriving at or departing from Catalina Island -- including those on cruise ships, ferries or airplanes -- with the money being used to fund seismic improvements at Catalina Island Medical Center. According to the city, the proposed tax -- which was placed on the ballot through a petition drive -- would generate about $1.9 million annually. The measure needs approval from two-thirds of voters for approval.
In Culver City, voters will decide Measure A, which would establish municipal tax rates for marijuana businesses in the city. The rates would range from 5 to 8 percent of medical marijuana businesses to 6 to 10 percent for recreational marijuana retailers. Cultivation businesses would be taxed on a square-foot basis. The measure requires a simple majority of votes for approval.
Palos Verdes Estates residents will decide the fate of Measure E, which would impose a parcel tax of $342 a year on every property in the city, plus 20 cents per square foot of building improvements on the properties. The proposed tax would generate about $5 million a year, with the funds earmarked for the city police department. It requires approval of two-thirds of voters.
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