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Menlo Park fire district shifts elections to even-numbered years

Board members' terms extended one year

As governing boards of many California public agencies have already done, the board of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District has shifted board elections to even-numbered years, when voter turnout tends to be higher.

The shift adds one year to each board member's term, one option available in a voter-participation law passed in 2015.

The terms of board members Peter Carpenter, Rex Ianson and Chuck Bernstein now end in 2018, and those of Virginia Chang Kiraly and Rob Silano now end in 2020.

"It does make sense," Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said, noting that had the board not made the change, the cost of an odd-year election would rise by tens of thousands of dollars.

The San Mateo County Elections Office pays for elections by parceling out its costs to the agencies participating. As more agencies migrate to even-year elections, those retaining odd-year elections are subject to increasingly higher costs.

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Dave Boyce

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