Election research links. What are Coastside political issues at stake?

Letter
posted by Lee McKusick
Mon, May 28, 2012
1 comment
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The Tuesday June 5th, 2012 election has seven candidates for the Board of Supervisors 4th District.

The Coastside is less than 2% of the population of the county (using 12,000 as the population of the Coastside, 720,000 as the population of San Mateo County).

The upcoming County level political decision that will upset the quality of life on the Coastside is the matter of "consolidating municipal service districts". 

So, since we are a very tiny fraction of the electorate, it is extremely important to avoid voting for any of the candidates who are explicitly in support of consolidating municipal service districts.

I am not going to argue the points here.

Best short newspaper summary of the 4th district candidates I have found:

http://www.mercurynews.com/elections/ci_20720811/seven-candidates-compete-open-seat-san-mateo-county

Out of those seven, I pick Carlos Romero for my vote. The positive reason for picking Carlos Romero is he recognizes the proposed new San Mateo County Jail construction project as an idea worth reconsidering.

The Jail construction project is an idea I disapprove of.  The jail is a pre-arranged real estate deal to get rid of a hard to move industrial property. The jail is a construction project.  The American crime wave peaked back in the 20th century. Slowly and surely moderate numbers of people will be released from prison as drug punishment is scaled back.  California jail expenditures have passed certain classes of California educational expenditures; which means the punishment business is now too big.

As a midcoaster, I found I could not vote for any of the candidates for supervisor from any of the three districts. The two running unopposed in their districts have already made (or gone along with) too many decisions or sat on their hands on too many pressing matters (yes, even relative newcomer Pine) damaging to the coastside and other unincorporated areas of San Mateo County. In the competitive district, every candidate favors a deal-breaker (such as the consolidation sledgehammer) or is so glib, trite, and vague as to be without substance one can latch onto.

I’m surprised at the lack of discussion on our local Measure S, the Cabrillo District bond measure. Does no one remember how some of the last bond money (less than half of what would be in the S bond) was misspent and how the availability of the bond money for middle school improvement got us all into a decade of disastrous fighting over the North Wavecrest site? Does no one remember how that last bond measure was sold to voters, with almost exactly the same sob story about needed repairs to buildings and the like?

The lesson from that previous mistake, which I voted for at the time, is that any measure that does not precisely specify where the money will be spent cannot be trusted in this district. The supposed oversight is a joke. Bonds should always be closely examined, anyway, because the interest makes anything they are spent on extremely expensive; but leaving millions of dollars up to the discretion of the kinds of politicized and developer-serving people who have dominated our schools boards for several decades now is senseless. There must be better ways to make thousands of dollars worth of building repairs than setting up an account with tens of millions. No on S was an easy vote for me. A much better written measure might turn that around, and that could be accomplished without approving the current crap-shoot.

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