Saturday, April 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Voting cycle question worthy of debate

faison column sig

By
From page A8 | February 17, 2013 | 6 Comments

Solano County Supervisors John Vasquez and Jim Spering have asked Fairfield City Council members to consider moving from odd-year elections to even-year elections, a request that if approved will extend the terms of current council members and could help create a domino effect among the numerous school districts and special district that now have odd-year voting.

The question to consider is: Is odd-year voting an oddity?

Spering and Vasquez point to election trends to help justify their request. Specifically, the pair note that Fairfield had a voter turnout of 24 percent in November 2011, when two City Council seats were filled, compared to a voter turnout in Fairfield of 72 percent in November 2012 when Measure P was on the ballot along with state, congressional and presidential contests.

The rationale is sound and extends beyond Fairfield. Voter turnout countywide for recent presidential elections shows strong overall participation – 77 percent in 2004, 85 percent in 2008 and 73 percent in 2012 – compared to midterm races during the same period – 65 percent in 2006 and 62 percent in 2010. Off-cycle voter participation drops off even more – 57 percent in 2005, 36 percent in 2007, 29 percent in 2009 and 27 percent in 2011.

Fairfield voters had another sales tax measure on the 2005 ballot in Measure E, which was defeated and likely drew voter participation. Local ballot measures two years later – Measure Q on water taxes and fees and Measure R on Rockville Hills Regional Park land use – look to have increased voter participation somewhat that year as well. Those voter turnout spikes still fall far below totals for midterm congressional election years.

Officials with local schools districts, cities and special districts may believe it’s better to have elections in off years so their respective races are not lost on what’s already a crowded ballot. There’s also the notion that it’s easier for candidates to marshal their supporters in odd-year elections, and that those elections are less affected by the partisanship that’s present in even-year elections. I can understand that thinking.

That or similar logic may very well have led Fairfield to switch to odd-year elections starting with the 1987 vote. The city also switched from April to November voting at that time.

At a certain point, however, maintaining such an off-year election cycle may cost more than it’s worth, given that the cost of each election is paid by those governments that have races on the ballot. If Fairfield, Vallejo and Benicia switch to even-year elections, it may cost the remaining governments – mostly schools and special districts – too much to continue odd-year elections.

Maybe that’s a good thing.

An argument can be made that it’s more efficient to have consolidated elections that coincide with the congressional and presidential election calendars. Who doesn’t want more efficient government? Recent history also shows there’s stronger voter participation in those years when compared to odd-year elections.

If Fairfield bites, all current council members and the mayor will see their terms extended by a year to move to an even-year voting cycle.

It’s a good time to consider such a move. Mayor Harry Price won in a landslide in the 2009 election, so adding a year to his current term seems simple. Councilman John Mraz and Councilwoman Catherine Moy won their respective seats in 2009, and the next closest contender that year, Pam Bertani, won a seat in 2011. Councilman Rick Vaccaro also won in 2011, so he also has fresh voter support.

Any candidates who are waiting in the wings for this year’s city elections would be forced to wait one more year. That’s not an overly long wait in the world of local politics, where the lay of the land can shift two or three times in as many months.

The City Council will take up the request Tuesday. It’s a discussion that’s worth having.

Reach Managing Editor Glen Faison at 427-6925 or gfaison@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlenFaison.

This version corrects the spelling of Councilman Rick Vaccaro’s last name.

Glen Faison

Glen Faison

Glen Faison joined the Daily Republic as managing editor in September 2009. He has worked as a reporter and editor for daily and weekly newspapers in the San Joaquin Valley for 20-plus years. His experience includes time as editor of the Golden Eagle, a military paper serving the Lemoore Naval Air Station. He graduated from Fresno State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and bleeds Bulldogs red. He is an avid Washington Redskins fan, and attended the 1988 NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings at RFK Stadium. He married his wife, Jill, in 2005, and has three children: Courtni, Tyler and Hayli.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 6 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • StR...What I want everyone to KnowFebruary 17, 2013 - 12:38 pm

    Speaking of John Vasquez and Jim Spering are they the only county supervisors on the Board of the Solano 360 Fairgrounds project, are they on this board? Who is on the board of the Fairgrounds project, is it these Supervisors and two Vallejo city council people? The 360 Fair grounds project really deserves some good investigative reporting. Much money has already been spent on Consultants that maybe have failed to deliver. Also I thought we were trying to bridge a fiscal gap county wise, why are we pusuing this now? I t seems the decision making process is in the hands of a small circle of people with no real input from the citizenry. Much, much money stands to be spent and wasted. Who is it that really wants this project? Who is really behind this project? A lot of us would appreciate some answers to these questions. Thank You There are also questions about who is benefiting from the sale of lands associated with the new Train Station off of Peabody road. or the possilbe increase?, in value of land close to the location. Also what about the businesses that might be dislocated due to the train station project, that many of us do not want.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • ContinuedFebruary 17, 2013 - 12:43 pm

    Also funding for the project seems merky. Two different types of bond funding are being discussed? With one method, since Vallejo is bankrupt, the collateral for the bonds is the land itself which would be ceded to the developer, if financial probelems arise? See all of this development is very questionable.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • StR More info on 360February 17, 2013 - 2:30 pm

    Go here...http://www.co.solano.ca.us/ and click on the 360 project.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • StR More info on 360February 17, 2013 - 2:56 pm

    www dot co dot solano dot ca dot us and click on the 360 project. But it takes a lot of time for just an average citizen to wade through all this and really get the big picture of what is going on. It looks to me like we are spending tons of money on a big park? How is this funded? Follow the money. What true economic advantage is this project to Vallejo and Solano County, not just projections, reality as best we can tell? What about costs of upkeep in the future? It seems to me that Vallejo should be very very careful, the city can not afford to make any more mistakes at this point, since it is already in Bankrupcy. We as a county should move very slowly in analyzing our options here.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • StRFebruary 17, 2013 - 4:06 pm

    Here is an idea...Hold the county fair at the Dixon Fairgrounds and just out right sell the current Fair site in Vallejo? Divide the money to help Vallejo out of Bankruptcy and to rebuild Solano County Reserves? Just an idea to look at, maybe not a good one.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Steven KaysFebruary 19, 2013 - 10:31 pm

    Interesting behind the scenes activity on this issue.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano unemployment inches downward

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Transplant recipients talk about their best gifts

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Implementing Common Core: A work in progress

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

Police release name of woman found dead in Fairfield canal

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Spering, Bertani spar over fighting crime

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield council candidates weigh in on crime

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Jury acquits substitute teacher in child abuse case

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

 
Five homes featured on Symphony Home Tour

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Congregation invites public to Easter music, message

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
 
Local woman helps spread Easter joy

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B12 | Gallery

Weather for April 19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B13

 
.

US / World

California farmers to get more water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Teen sentenced in Oakland toddler’s killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

More Latino than white students admitted to UC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
PG&E to be arraigned in fatal pipeline blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Mom and son who died in San Francisco fire ID’d

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
3 alleged gang members convicted of murder

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
From Clinton to Obama, many parallels

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Easter on 4/20, pot holy day; pastors reach out

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Colorado deaths stoke worries about pot edibles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
NASA’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down as planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Atheist national conference aims at Mormon church

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
White House updating online privacy policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

SpaceX making Easter delivery of station supplies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Sudden movement raises alarm in Wyoming slide area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Some countries get Obama, but want his wife, too

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Man who avoided prison is overwhelmed by support

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
In Egypt, a corruption watchdog hit by backlash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Military scales down, modifies Guam buildup plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Captain of sunken SKorean ferry arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Diplomacy doesn’t move insurgents in Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
57-nation OSCE plays key Ukraine monitoring role

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Ukraine crisis: The turning points

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
.

Opinion

Cheers, jeers for the week of April 13-19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
Time to fix a law the courts have mucked up

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

Editorial Cartoons for April 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Here we go again in Sacramento

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History for April 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Seniors, it’s never too late to do something about your health

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes for April 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Prince reaches agreement with music label

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

‘The Boondocks’ back for final ‘offensive’ season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

Stratocaster still a favorite at 60

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
.

Sports

Hertl has impressive playoff debut for Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors and Clippers take dislike to playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Big innings lift Mustangs over Indians

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Ross, Padres beat Cain and Giants 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

A’s come out swinging to beat Astros 11-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors to start O’Neal for Bogut vs. Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Mets trade 1B Ike Davis to Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

TNT’s Sager to miss NBA playoffs due to leukemia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

A’s lefty reliever Doolittle gets 5-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
’40-and-up club’: Ageless Hopkins after more belts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jimenez shoots 65 to lead Greater Gwinnett field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Solano scores in ninth for 2-1 BVC baseball win over Yuba

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Choi leads rain-delayed RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
NBA’s Silver wants age limit change, no rush on others

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA playoffs looking more wide-open than expected

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Source: Grizzlies’ G Calathes suspended for 20 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

5 features an Amazon phone might offer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Judge says American can’t end retiree benefits yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Mazda recalls 109,000 older SUVs for rust problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

Sealwyn Shirley Brucefield Shepherd Malkiewicz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Home Seller 04/19/14

Summerwood features 8 new homes in Suisun

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for April 19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.27 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3