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Rules and Regulations for Candidates

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City Clerk


Council Composition and Salary

Five Council members are elected at-large for overlapping, four-year terms. The election is non-partisan, and is held in November of even numbered years. Once seated, Council members themselves elect the Mayor and Vice Mayor for a term of one year. Meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of each month beginning at 6:45 p.m. usually lasting until 11:00 p.m. Council members typically spend 20-40 hours each week on their responsibilities. 

City Council Ordinance 06-1985 set Council member salaries at $730.24 per month.  Members also receive medical, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits, and may qualify for Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) benefits.

Council members must be registered voters within City limits. Residents of unincorporated County pockets do not qualify. Please note that postal and school boundaries are different than City boundaries.


All candidates are given the State’s Code of Fair Campaign Ethics and may voluntarily choose to sign that form and file it with the City Clerk. Violations of this form are reported to the Fair Political Practices Commission at 1.800.561.1861.

Filing Obligations

Candidates and seated Council members file a number of mandatory and voluntary documents. They include but are not limited to the following:

  • The Candidate Statement that is printed in the Voter’s Information Pamphlet (voluntary).
  • A Statement of Economic Interest, in which the candidate discloses personal financial information that may create a potential conflict of interest (mandatory).
  • Several Campaign Disclosure Statements, which disclose funding sources and how the funds were spent (mandatory).

These are public records and are posted on the City’s web site or may be purchased from the City Clerk for 10 cents per page.

Note: If a candidate raises or spends $2,000 or more, that candidate officially qualifies as a controlled committee, and therefore must file a Form 410, Statement of Organization and identify a treasurer. Although the candidate may serve as his or her own treasurer, it is strongly recommended that the candidate select another person to serve in that function, preferably someone with experience in basic accounting. The candidate and treasurer filing obligations continue on a semi-annual basis until the candidate leaves the Council or terminates the committee. Fines may be imposed for non-compliance.

Cupertino has no campaign contribution limit but does have a voluntary expenditure limit.
2018 Voluntary Expenditure Limit Resolution for campaign funds

Sign Regulations

Each year the City of Cupertino receives many complaints about signs that are improperly posted or which are posted in such numbers as to create an eyesore. In response to these complaints, the City Council has adopted sign regulations. All individuals who are involved with posting and removing temporary political signs should follow these guidelines. You may contact the Cupertino Code Enforcement Office at 408.777.3182 for further information.

Size of temporary political signs

  • No more than two sides
  • No larger than four square feet per side

Location (Private Property)

  • Signs are allowed on private property everywhere in the city with the written or oral consent of the property owner or other person entitled to possession.

Location (Public Property and Public Right-of-way)

  • Political signs are not allowed on public property or in the public right-of-way in non-residential districts.
  • Signs must not be attached to public property, such as sidewalks, fences, walls, public playground equipment, street lamp posts, traffic lights, telephone poles, utility cabinets, hydrants, trees, buildings, etc.
  • Political signs are allowed in the public right of way only in the park strip in residential areas with authorization from the immediately adjacent property owner or resident as defined by Municipal Code section 19.104.240 and 19.104.250. Signs placed without authorization may be removed by the immediately adjacent property owner or resident and disposed of without any notice.
  • All parts of the sign shall be set back a minimum of 18 inches from the face of the curb or from the edge of the street, bicycle or vehicle travel lane.

Removal of Signs:

  • Signs must be removed no later than 5 days after Election Day

How To Begin 

Review the main elections information page.
Additional information is in the 2018 Candidate Handbook

Note: If you raise or spend $2,000 or more, your filing obligations have been triggered and you should contact the City Clerk’s Office or the Fair Political Practices Commission for information on opening a campaign committee.  

City Clerk's Office

City Clerk Grace Schmidt, CMC
Deputy City Clerk Kirsten Squarcia 
10300 Torre Avenue
Cupertino, California 95014

Election-related Links