The City of Novato has changed the way that City Councilmembers are elected with the adoption of Ordinance 1650. Previously, all five Councilmembers we elected at-large, meaning that all registered voters who reside in Novato had the opportunity to vote for all five City Council
Under the new district-based election system, all five Councilmembers will be elected by district. Councilmembers will be required to live in the district that they represent and will be elected only by the registered voters of that district. All five Councilmembers will continue to participate and vote on citywide matters regardless of what district they represent.
On November 5, 2019, the following individuals were elected to the first local district elections for districts 1, 3, and 5:
District 1 - Susan Wernick
District 3 - Eric Lucan
District 5 - Amy Peele
District Elections for districts 2 and 4 will not occur until 2022.
Both Mayor Denise Athas and Mayor Pro Tem Pat Eklund were elected in 2017 as at-large Councilmembers. It so happens that Mayor Athas resides in District 2 and Mayor Pro Tem Eklund resides in District 4. Therefore, each district is occupied by a Councilmember.
What's My District?
Check out the interactive map tool below to see which district you live in and which councilmember represents you. Novato District Map (PDF)
In February 2019, the City received a letter from an attorney, alleging racially-polarized voting in Novato. Pursuant to California Elections Code section 10010, a city can avoid even the filing of a lawsuit if, within 45 days of receiving a demand letter, it adopts a resolution of intention to move to district-based elections and, within 90 days thereafter, it adopts a district map for use in future elections. Although the City in no way concedes the allegations in the demand letter, and in order to avoid the high cost and burden of needless litigation, on March 12, 2019, the City Council adopted a resolution outlining its intention to transition from at-large to district-based elections, including specific steps the City would undertake to facilitate the transition, and an estimated timeframe for doing so. On May 21, 2019, the City Council adopted Ordinance 1650, which created the new district-based election system. A copy of the adopted map is provided with the ordinance.
All five Councilmembers will be elected by district. Councilmembers will be required to live in the district that they represent and will be elected only by the registered voters of that district. All five Councilmembers will continue to participate and vote on citywide matters regardless of what district they represent.