Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dick Spotswood Calls out Marinwood CSD and other agencies for Voting to Extend their Terms

From Dick Spotswood's  Column in  the Marin IJ  April 19, 2017

..Almost every elected public body in Marin has been grappling with ramifications of SB 415. That legislation moves election dates for almost every California municipality, school district and special-purpose agency to even-numbered years. This electoral shift must be accomplished by 2022.
The idea is that voter participation increases and costs decrease when local elections are combined with state and national balloting.
There are multiple ways of orchestrating the change. The least democratic method is extending current terms of elected officials an extra year.
That’s what most Marin school, water, fire protection, community service and sanitary districts have done. The most democratic and fair method toward approaching the switch is what should be called “the Novato plan.”
While he emphasizes the result was collaborative, the idea was first shared with me by Novato Councilman Eric Lucan shortly after SB 415 was signed into law.
In Novato, no current terms are extended due to the mandated change. Instead, the next two elections will be held on schedule this November and in 2019 when all council candidates will, one-time-only, run for five-year terms. Voters are fully involved and no incumbent is given an extra year due to a once-in-a-life time fluke.
The “Novato Plan” should be the statewide template for cities and agencies that haven’t yet made their decision on how to comply with the new even-year rule.

My comments following the article:

Jefferson said it best.

Dick Spotswood is absolutely correct in pointing out how SB415 gave the power of elected officials to STEAL THE VOTE from voters and give themselves another year in office WITHOUT VOTERS APPROVAL or prior notice. He points out that politicians had the option of fulfilling 4 year terms and holding a special 5 year election but virtually all public boards quietly extended their current terms. The Board of Supervisors buried their approval of these UNETHICAL BREACH OF VOTER TRUST in a consent agenda on March 21, 2017. In my community of Marinwood, the board held a special session at 6 pm on Tuesday to approve their term extension figuring no one would notice but I was there to video it. The corrupt board voted unanimously to EXTEND THEIR TERMS. This is totally UN DEMOCRATIC and should be challenged in court everywhere these shenanigans are tried. Incidentally, the next meeting, the Marinwood CSD board voted UNANIMOUSLY TO RAISE TAXES and PAY RAISES FOR THE STAFF. We get the government we deserve.

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