Every election produces a few surprises, some welcome results and some disappointments. Tuesday’s election came through on all counts.
With the outcome of MeasureX – the 1 percent sales tax increase for Modesto – up in the air, we share thoughts on some of the races where the outcome appears certain.
First, we want to commend all those who ran for office. It is not easy. It is time-consuming and physically and mentally exhausting. There are plenty of people on the sidelines taking potshots at candidates, but most of them have never had the courage or commitment to run themselves.
Second, we applaud the candidates and supporters who were out Wednesday taking down election signs. That task is supposed to be done within 10 days, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be done immediately. There are no runoffs. The election is over.
Once the vote count is complete, hopefully by Friday, and the results certified, the new officeholders will be sworn in and take their seats. That ceremonial stuff takes place in December. In January, the real work begins. Three governing bodies face the biggest challenges:
The Denair school board, with two new members, still faces daunting financial challenges that depend in large part on successful negotiations with the teachers’ union.
As we’ve reported numerous times, the MID board faces huge decisions about water costs, groundwater overcharge, distribution system improvements and keeping electricity costs as low as possible.
Finally, the outcome of MeasureX will determine whether the council has millions in new revenue to spend or whether it needs to make some serious cuts and then come back to voters with a smaller, leaner tax proposal.
Despite these critical issues, only about one in five registered voters bothered to cast a ballot in Tuesday’s election. That’s disappointing because it suggests that citizens are not engaged in important conversations about their community.