We cannot let apathy win, no matter how jaded many might feel about politics. We currently have a few local items on the ballot, which bring us a clearer cause and effect with our local administrations, which should help our resolve to vote. Because our vote really does make a difference. And because voting is our right, and with that, our responsibility.
On our ballot we find two incumbents running unopposed; Mayor Richard Garbarino and Councilwoman Karyl Matsumoto. So we know how this is going to end and wonder, does our vote really matter? Yes, it does. While your vote won’t change the outcome, it will allow you to participate in giving a thumbs up or down to each candidate. More important, by voting you have exercised your right and your responsibility.
Also on our ballet is the 1/2 cent sales tax Measure W which will bring in $7M annually to our City- and is ours to keep, there is no giving this to the state or other government entities. There has been rhetoric floating around implying that without this Measure approved we will no longer have City services, or that we will not be able to keep them at current standards, that is simply not true. Our Mayor gave our City glowing reviews this past year: we are fiscally sound, Police and Fire have great response times, our City Council recently signed off on the street re-paving project, our Parks and Recreation do an amazing job offering diverse programs with something for everyone, and our Library Services do the very best with what they have.
But can we do better? Sure. Will $7M a year help. Most definitely. We know our Police Station has needed a major remodel for years – actually a tear down and rebuild would make the most sense, if you’ve walked through there lately you’ll most likely agree.
Our Orange Avenue Library is bursting at the seams and for those of use who use this valuable resource – well you know how much our community would benefit from a completely new Library. We really need to give Kudos to our Director of Library Services, Valerie Sommer, for being able to bring together the very best with the small spaces, and budget, she has to work with. Can you imagine having a state of the art Library here in South City?
Our Parks and Recreation Director, Sharon Ranals, also does so much with so little, and we know how much that Department could benefit from extra cash flow to work needed projects. How many of us are tired of hearing we have no money to invest in our playing fields? This $7M annually may just be what gives us the edge in bringing this to reality – our kids, and adults, deserve better fields!
The arguments against Measure W seem to have centered on a few key issues: 30 years is too long, lack of confidence on how this $ will be spent by future administrations, yet others are simply done with paying higher taxes. All of these arguments have merit. We see our National Debt continue to rise which will fall on the shoulders of our kids, do we want to add more burden with 1/2 cent sales tax in our home City? We watch the mishandling of Measure J, the School Bond monies, shake our heads and wait for accountability while wondering ‘We voted in the School Board, just as we do our City Council, who can say with certainty that Measure W funds will flow any better?’ For most of us the 1/2 cent tax will be painless, we would hardly notice paying this and it is exempt from groceries (unprocessed food), real estate transactions, and services.
The reality is our City is financially strong today as we see a boom growing all around us. Measure W offers us a way to secure funding for additional projects that are sorely needed – like that new police station that is so over due! The longevity of this measure will ensure funding if, and when, we have another economic downturn. Life happens, ups and downs, and we must be prepared.
The most important issue with this election is that we exercise our right, and responsibility to vote. Do not let apathy suck you in. We see such despair around the world with failing governments, with refugees risking everything to find a home that offers a democracy, that which we can too easily take for granted. We owe it to those who came before us to fight for our right to vote. To our mothers, grandmothers for pushing through the Suffrage movement fighting for Women’s Right to Vote. And we owe it to this next generation, to show them that yes, even with it’s imperfections, our Country – and our City, are worth that few extra minutes to mark and mail our ballot.
Voting, our right and our responsibility. Below is information provided by the City of South San Francisco on how and where to vote in this San Mateo County first ever all mail ballot election. And yes, you can still vote in person! More information on the Candidates and Measure W and ballot issues CLICK HERE
From City of South San Francisco
- In the “Voters” box in the middle of the screen, there is a link titled: “Check My Registration/Access My Election Materials/View My Voter Information Pamphlet”
- After clicking this link, voters will be asked to enter identifying information
- A list of items relevant to their ballot will then appear, including the date the ballot was sent to the voter and the date the voted ballot was received by the Elections Office
- San Mateo County Elections Division
- Office of the Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
All City or Town Halls in San Mateo County have a ballot box available for dropping off your voted ballot during their regular business hours
- Municipal Services Building, Atrium, 33 Arroyo Drive
- South San Francisco City Hall, Foyer, 400 Grand Avenue, enter on Miller Avenue