Let’s talk about some of the local races in Tuesday’s election.
In the contest for Los Angeles County Sheriff, the debates are over, the jury is in, and it appears Jim McDonnell will be our next sheriff without much opposition. With McDonnell in, that means his opponent retired Undersheriff Paul Tanaka is out, hopefully along with the culture of violence in our jails which he helped to cultivate.
In Congress, US Reps. Adam Schiff, a Democrat who formerly represented Pasadena and is now based in Burbank, and Judy Chu, a former Assembly member and mayor of Monterey Park who began serving in Congress in 2009, have done outstanding work for their constituents over the past two years and deserve to be re-elected.
In the Assembly, former Pasadena Councilman Chris Holden has been in office only two years and it already appears this seat could be his indefinitely. In the primary, write-in Republican candidate Nathaniel Tsai captured just more than 1 percent of the votes cast — and Tsai was the second top vote-getter among five candidates.
Other big races for local voters involve Los Angeles County Measures A and P.
In the case of Measure P, in 1992 and 1996, voters approved annual assessments to “develop, acquire, improve, restore and maintain parks, recreational, cultural and community facilities around the county.” The 1992 assessment raises approximately $52 million per year and expires on June 30. The 1996 assessment raises approximately $28 million per year and expires on June 30, 2019. According to Ballotpedia.com, Measure P is intended to replace the funding provided by the expiring 1992 and 1996 assessments. If approved by the required two-thirds majority, Measure P would levy a special tax of $23 per parcel, which would be in effect for 30 years beginning on July 1.
Vote Yes on Measure P, also known as the Safe Neighborhood Parks, Gang Prevention, Youth/Senior Recreation, Beaches/Wildlife Protection Measure.
For anyone still on the fence over Measure A, another tax extension, this one to keep Altadena’s two libraries open, we found a few people to help convince voters of the value of investing in libraries.
“Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library,” once said Lady Bird Johnson. “The only entrance requirement is interest.”
Industrialist Andrew Carnegie may have been a ruthless businessman, but he devoted much of his fortune to the construction of libraries. “There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the free public library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration,” Carnegie remarked.
If passed, Measure A would provide $735,000 to the library every year at a cost of roughly $40 per household. If Measure A doesn’t pass, officials say the Bob Lucas library could close, and hours at the main library would be reduced to four days a week. The first parcel tax on residential and business properties passed in 1994 with 85 percent of support from voters. This current tax also needs a “super majority,” or two-thirds of the vote to win, making it imperative that every qualified voter casts a ballot.
If anyone is still against this tax, perhaps scientist Carl Sagan can help convince them otherwise.
“The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species,” Sagan once said. “I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture, and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.”
STATE BALLOT PROPOSITIONS:
PROPOSITION 1 — Provides a comprehensive water plan at a time when we most desperately need one with the help of $7.12 billion in state general obligation bonds. YES
PROPOSITION 2 — Requires the annual transfer of general fund revenues to a budget stabilization account, with half of that money going to pay off debt, which is expected to result in long-term savings. YES
PROPOSITION 45 —Holds insurance companies accountable by requiring public hearings over proposed rate hikes and gives the state Insurance Commissioner power to reject excessive increases. YES
PROPOSITION 46 —This holds doctors accountable for medical errors through drug and alcohol testing. It also raises the cap of $250,000 in penalties that a doctor can face for medical negligence. YES
PROPOSITION 47 —Prevents the state from locking up low-level offenders and increases focus on capturing dangerous criminals. YES
PROPOSITION 48 — Opponents say this does not create new jobs, or protect the environment, or stop pollution or traffic growth. What it does is allow Vegas-style gambling. NO
For more on Measure A, visit altadenaalliance.org. For more on Measures A and P and other county and state ballot measures, visit ballotpedia.com, and for great quotes on a variety of topics, including libraries, visit quotegarden.com.