We heard a news report last week of a recent poll that showed that California voters were “disaffected.” You think? That’s not surprising given the $20 billion deficit facing the state as the Legislature heads into what promises to be another brutalizing budget season. Given the gridlock in Sacramento, we can understand why folks would want to duck and cover.
But it is precisely at such moments that voting is most important. Even if it feels like we keep sending the same good-for-nothings to Sacramento and Washington, we do have real choices on the local level.
Here in Plumas County, Chuck Leonhardt and Mike Gardner offer very different leadership styles and approaches to handling the duties of the assessor’s office. Likewise for sheriff candidates Bob Shipp and Greg Hagwood.
The race for District 5 supervisor also offers a contrast in styles between Jon Kennedy, Dick Lundy and Ralph Wittick, not to mention a bit of a generation gap.
Who is better suited to help lead our county during what will probably be a tough four years? During the last several months we’ve done our part by providing you with in-depth coverage of each candidate and their public appearances. Now it’s time for you to decide.
Then there are the propositions. Proposition 13 provides that construction to seismically retrofit buildings will not trigger property tax reassessments. The Legislature unanimously passed the resolution for Proposition 13, and there is no organized opposition to it. It would have negligible effects on county coffers while encouraging property owners to do what is necessary without fear of additional taxes.
Propositions 14 and 15 each purport to offer election reform. The California Chamber of Commerce favors Proposition 14, which would allow the two candidates with the highest number of votes in the primary election, regardless of party affiliation, to move on to the general election.
The League of Women Voters is recommending a Yes vote on Proposition 15, which would establish a voluntary pilot public financing program for the 2014 and 2018 Secretary of State races. Opposition includes the California Manufactures Association and Los Angeles Police Protective League.
Proposition 16 is considered by many to be a thinly veiled power grab by energy giant PG&E. The company has spent nearly $35 million on the initiative, which is endorsed by the California Taxpayers Association and California Chamber of Commerce. A broad swath of interests, including the Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, California State Association of Counties, California Tax Reform Association and California Association of Realtors, opposes it.
So when election day rolls around, remember, your vote will be felt — maybe in your own community more than anywhere else.