When we look around the country, it’s not hard to find agencies — from municipal governments to the federal government — in financial trouble. Debt continues to balloon with no real solutions in sight.
When it comes to the news, we hear and read the stories, one after another, followed by an untold amount of posts complaining and condemning the politicians for getting us into this mess.
Some say the primary cause of the continuing and ballooning failures are local elections. There were a number of issues on the June 5 ballot, from tax increases to debt (borrowing/bonds) to candidates and more. One would think that there were enough issues to incite enough passion to get folks to act.
But did we act?
No. It’s called apathy, and it's alive and well across the country and here in Half Moon Bay.
This year, two of the five Half Moon Bay City Council seats are open: Marina Fraser and John Muller, two incumbents, will have to reclaim their seats if they want to continue to be on the Council.
Both have announced their intention to run and both have pulled papers and filed those papers, making them both official candidates for the seats.
The same two seats were open in 2007. Nobody other than the incumbents, Fraser and Muller, even bothered to file. The incumbents ran unopposed, a first in Half Moon Bay history.
Was the lack of challengers then due to everyone loving the incumbents and the job they’d done to that point?
Unlike 2007, however, Fraser and Muller are being challenged this year.
Two new faces — John Ullom and Harvey Rareback — have filed to run. Good. Now at least we will get discussion on City issues that campaigning brings. No free rides this time around, and the community benefits.
This is an opportunity to ask everyone who is eligible to vote and not registered, please register and vote. I would ask that those who are already registered to vote ... to vote. I know it is not always easy, but if you are sick of what our politicos have been doing with us and to us, it is incumbent on us to stand up and be counted. It really is about the only way we can hold our elected officials accountable.
By not even voting, let alone being an informed voter, you welcome and embrace the ability and will of the few as they impose their wants on us all.
We can explain some of that with eligibility when it comes to age, citizenship, new to the area and more. But a closer look at the numbers shows it’s not just that:
Out of the 307,702 registered voters in the recent June 5th Primary, we see that only 123,330 (36.52%) people voted. These are official results folks; under 40% turnout for a Presidential Primary election! That means that out of a population of 727,209 Countywide, only 123,330 (17% of the total population) voted. That, in turn, means that 17% of the county’s population determined the outcomes for us all.
This Republic needs the participation of us all, to the best of our ability. I am appealing to those that believe it doesn’t matter, to just look at the facts, think locally and about how many times you’ve heard, The City is going to do what? Or, The City has already done what?
“All politics is local” is an old saying that holds a lot of truth. How we vote nationally, from an individual standpoint, really probably doesn’t matter, but here on the Coast? It matters. Every vote matters. Time and again we’ve seen 10, 20, 30 votes separate passage from failure for candidates and measures.
We are the ones our elected officials place laws on. It is our elected officials that tell us what we can do and what we can’t do. Voting is our time to say what we feel and impose our will.
Please vote. Let’s cure Apathy around here and by doing so, place the folks we want in the positions to help us get what we need. It’s real and your vote counts.