Campaigns & Elections

Campaigns & Elections

Races to Watch—Santa Clara Edition: County’s Measure A Would Increase Sales Tax

Voters in Santa Clara County will decide the fate of a county-wide measure this November that would raise the sales tax by one-eighth-cent in order to generate nearly $500 million in revenue over 10 years. The county’s current sales tax rate is 8.375 percent and Measure A would raise the rate to 8.5 percent. Consider the following sales tax rates of other counties in the region: San Francisco, 8.5 percent; Alameda and Los Angeles counties, 8.75 percent; San Mateo County, 8.25 percent (8.75 percent if half-cent sales tax passes Nov. 6); and Santa Cruz, 8 percent.

San Mateo Supervisor Urges Support for Measure B; Switches County to District Elections

San Mateo County is the only county in the state that elects its board of supervisors in countywide elections, but that could change this November when voters decide the fate of a ballot measure on at-large versus district elections. It isn’t the first time that voters in the county have voted on the issue, but supervisors agreed the county should revisit the issue, and a lawsuit likely motivated the decision.

Supervisor Dave Pine has come out strongly in favor of the proposal, Measure B. He wrote an op-ed urging support for the measure, an excerpt of which can be read here:

Indecision 2012: 237 Local Revenue Measures Seek Approval for Taxes, Bonds or Fees

Voters have a lot of reading up to do as November draws near because not only are there 10 statewide ballot measures this year but also 350 local measures, including 237 seeking bonds, taxes or fees. The vast number of local tax increases is certainly another sign of the fiscal distress of the state’s local governments.

8 or 12 Years? San Joaquin County Voters Could Extend Term Limits under Measure D

An opponent of a ballot measure that would extend term limits in San Joaquin County has commented that if two terms are good enough for George Washington, the president of the United States and the governor, then it should be good enough for county supervisors. This November voters in the county will decide whether to allow supervisors to serve for three terms (instead of two) for a total of 12 years.

Measure T: Unlikely Opponents Line Up Against Open Space Measure in Yuba County

A Yuba County ballot measure that aims to preserve open space won’t be able to count on the support of the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau, as the organization favors the status quo over changing policy to require a majority vote of the people (until 2030) to change the land-use designation of any property located in the county's "Natural Resources Land Use Element." Supervisor Hal Stocker is the major backer of Measure T, but likely supporters have lined up against the proposal, partly due to the limitations it could impose on small-property owners and the costs of having voters decide such matter

Privatizing Public-Sector Work Could Get Easier in Fresno County Under Measure O

Voters this November will determine whether or not to make it easier for Fresno County Supervisors to privatize public-sector work. It currently takes four votes to approve such privatization, but under Measure O, the vote threshold would be reduced to three. There hasn’t been much in the way of campaigning for the measure, which was introduced by Supervisor Debbie Poochigian. Measure O has been described as “flying under the radar” by the Fresno Bee and supporters, like Poochigian, argue it will allow the county to cuts costs and downsize.

Riverside County Registrar of Voters Handles Allegations of Republican Voter Fraud

In 31 of California’s 58 counties, Republicans have the advantage when it comes to voter registration, but a recent report from the Secretary of State indicates that there has been a decline in Republican registrations statewide. In the run-up to the November election, both parties are busily working to register voters, but Riverside County’s registrar of voters has been left to wade into the middle of allegations of voter fraud.

The Politics of Garbage: Governor Signs Bill Undermining Solano County Initiative

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma has garbage companies in her district that want to use Solano County as their dumping ground, despite opposition from local residents in the county. Ma pushed forward legislation through the “gut-and-amend” process that basically overturns a Solano County ballot initiative that attempted to limit the amount of garbage coming into the county’s landfills. In an update, Governor Brown has now signed AB 845 into law.

Races to Watch—San Mateo County Edition: Two Candidates Face Off; Vote on At-Large Elections

San Mateo County is our next installment of “Races to Watch.” Voters will only be deciding who will serve District 4 and the race has been whittled down to two candidates after the June primary, as Warren Slocum and Shelly Masur received the most votes and November is the runoff. Slocum has had a long career in county government, serving as an assessor-county-clerk recorder and elections chief, while Masur has served on the Redwood City Elementary School Board for several years.

Ballot Language Disputed in San Joaquin County for Proposal to Extend Term Limits

If voters approve Measure D in San Joaquin County this November, then extended terms limits would apply to current supervisors and rules would be clarified to indicate that the extended limits are not just for consecutive terms. The ballot measure states that a supervisor would be limited to three terms “during his or her lifetime.” Voters in the county approved a two-term limit back in 1998 but a majority of supervisors have been in favor of extending the limit to three terms rather than two and recently directed staff to draft a ballot measure on the matter.

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