Change in Election Cycle Gives Gardena Officeholders Extra Year

Mayor Tasha Cerda and Mayor Pro Tem Rodney Tanaka at this year’s Day of Remembrance program at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

By J.K. YAMAMOTO, Rafu Staff Writer

GARDENA — An ordinance of the Gardena City Council has moved the date of the city’s general municipal election from the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of odd-numbered years to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of even-numbered years beginning in 2020.

As a result of this change, which went into effect at the beginning of this year, current elected city officeholders will have their terms extended by 12 months.

Mayor Tasha Cerda, Mayor Pro Tem Rodney Tanaka and Councilmember Art Kaskanian, who were elected in 2017, will face re-election in 2022, as will City Treasurer Ingrid Tsukiyama and City Clerk Mina Semenza. Councilmembers Dan Medina and Mark Henderson will now serve until 2020.

“Basically we had three different options so that we could come in line with the rest of the voting,” Tanaka explained. “ … Because we don’t have to have our own election [on a separate date], it saves us about $10,000 to $15,000 and then it brings us in line with the major elections. The mayor, myself and Councilman Kaskanian actually gained another year in office. Instead of four years, we’re doing five. Councilman Medina and Councilman Henderson get another year …