The results are in. All the hand wringing and expectations regarding the Presidential election taking time to sort out just didn’t happen. No “hanging chads” this year, but I understand good old Florida still hasn’t closed their counting yet (there’s a surprise).
Locally, we had a few surprises. All the measures we saw on our ballots —15 of them — were determined and I, for one, was somewhat surprised with the results of a few.
First, according to smartvoter.org, countywide voter turnout was a paltry 56.5%. Less than half the population of San Mateo County is registered to vote, and of those that are only one out of two bothered to vote. That means that approximately 25% of the population in San Mateo County determined the outcome for us all. Pretty sad, particularly for a Presidential election. Another glaring example of apathy.
Incumbent wins — from national to local incumbents — were easy to find and ruled, despite all the dissatisfaction and complaining. I guess that means that although thoroughly disgusted with government agencies at all levels, our representatives are OK. It’s the "other" guy/gal that needs to go.
In Half Moon City elections, we saw both incumbents for the Half Moon Bay City Council win; both Marina Fraser and John Muller won their seats back. Congratulations to them and congratulations to the two challengers, Harvey Rarback and John Ullom for stepping up and running.
Also in the City election we saw the half-cent, three-year sales tax increase measure, Measure J, pass with 53.9% yes votes and 46.1% no votes. A simple majority was all that was needed for Measure J, which is anticipated to generate roughly $850K per year for its three-year term — the Council got their new revenue stream. Congratulations to them on that. For those unhappy about that, may I say that the good news is that I think downtown parking meters are off the table for now.
So now we know:
- we have continuity on the Council with all five members we had the day before the election for another two years (at least).
- we also have the $10 million award from insurance over the Beachwood property.
- when coupled with the Measure J revenues of roughly $850K per year for 3 years, one would think that Half Moon Bay has now turned the corner of death and is primed and ready to move forward in a positive direction — and all this under Mayor Allan Alifano’s leadership as mayor.
Congratulations to Alifano. I won’t shout it because his head may be hurting a bit this morning from last night’s victories and resulting celebrations, but a hardy congratulations just the same.
I am surprised that so many of the measures and propositions that had their hands reaching further into our pockets with increased taxes passed. Measure J (City of HMB 1/2 cent for 3 years), Measure A (SM County 1/2 cent for 10 years), and Proposition 30 (State tax increase - varying) all passed. It seems voters of Half Moon Bay, San Mateo County and the State of California are willing to sacrifice more. Hope springs eternal.
It is only the day after the election, but already I feel relieved, despite some of the results I didn’t want to see. The election is over. No more nasty ads, no more slick mailers, no more phone calls, no more signs, no more being absolutely smothered with political crap. Now, with that behind us, we need to look forward ... look ahead to what we want to see and where we want to go.
One can only hope that the continued generosity of California voters is rewarded with positive, productive, intelligent, transparent and well thought through expenditures so that when all is said and done, yesterday’s election — that light at the end of the tunnel, isn’t just another headlight from yet another oncoming train.
It is my hope that all government agencies appreciate the position they are in, respect those that provided them that position, and are Windex transparent with the resources they have, will have and use; most specifically locally, which of course impacts us coastsiders most directly. Time will tell.