Can you provide a summary of pros and cons from the Palmdale decision to go to trial? Can we apply those to our community?

CVRA cases are highly fact- and jurisdiction-specific, so applying the result in one jurisdiction to another is very difficult. San Rafael has far different demographics and electoral history, and there were a number of unique aspects to the Palmdale case. This is especially the case as there is no Court of Appeal decision (on the merits) in Palmdale that would be binding on any lower court. Staff has developed a preliminary list of the pros and cons of transitioning to district-based elections as requested by Mr. Shenkman, which is included in the staff report for the December 4, 2017 City Council meeting. The City of Palmdale incurred expenses of approximately $4.5 million litigating its case through trial and appeals.  The high cost of litigation is the primary lesson of the Palmdale case and the argument for making the change during the statutorily allowed time period.

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