Many ballot propositions either cost voters money or request surrender of voter rights. Measure J will eliminate a voting right, contrary to our best interest. Once we give up a right, it will be tough to win it back.
Do you favor the elimination of majority rule at the ballot box? Measure J eliminates runoffs, thereby preventing us from voting for our second-choice candidate when we disapprove of the front runner.
If five citizens run for a seat, someone could get elected with less than 25 percent of the vote.
Elimination of the runoff provides undeserved job security for mediocre incumbent City Council members. Often, several citizens will challenge a poorly performing politician. In a race with multiple challengers, the incumbent often gets the most votes even though he deserves to lose the election. The runoff enables citizens to pool their votes to get rid of incompetent politicians.
Measure J makes it easier for a special interest to gain influence. If the special interest sponsors multiple candidates, their puppets may gain election without a majority vote. Once the special interest installs four or more friendlies on the council, subsidies rapidly multiply.
The Village I financial disaster was a direct result of too many friendlies favoring a special interest, while no one was protecting the interests of the rest of the community. To bail out the project, $5 million was spent from the general fund in Village I, with millions in other subsidies allowed. Measure J makes adverse events such as the Village I financing debacle more likely to occur.
We voted for term limits and district elections to reduce the risk of special interests gaining control of the council. We cannot afford to allow any special interest to control our city government.
The argument that Measure J will save taxpayers money is misleading and false.
If the proponents really want to save money, why don't they move elections to coincide with state and national elections?
During a four-year term, a Modesto City Council member approves more than $800 million in spending, makes policy decisions, passes and repeals laws, controls rates for water, sewer, garbage and storm drains, and oversees the performance of our local government.
Do you want to chance overlooking the best candidate in order to avoid the relatively insignificant cost of a runoff? One poor policy or expenditure can cost far more than a runoff election. Isn't electing the best candidate most important?
Measures J has been represented as the cure-all for election snafus. With district elections, the number of votes to be counted is now so small that there should be no problem certifying results in time for a runoff?
Why did three current City Council members vote against placing Measure J on the ballot? This should alert us that this proposal favors a special interest or is harmful for other reasons.
Keep elections honest. Please vote "no" on Measure J.
Frohman served on the Modesto City Council from 1999 to 2003.