This is an archive of a past election.|
See http://www.smartvoter.org/ca/la/ for current information.
|Los Angeles County, CA||March 6, 2007 Election|
The Lessons of Measure S
By Opanyi K. NasialiCandidate for Council Member; City of Claremont
This information is provided by the candidate
Measure S provided a model for how to achieve consensus in Claremont by bringing together all segments of the community to achieve approval of a bond for open space.On November 7th, Claremont voters decisively voted to preserve Johnson's Pasture. By approving the General Obligation bond by better than a 70% to 30% margin, easily surpassing the 2/3 requirement, the voters have ratified not only the preservation of open space but also the importance of seeking solutions together to achieve a worthwhile community goal. How was this accomplished?
First, a number of previous proponents and opponents of the unsuccessful Assessment District joined together immediately after the assessment district failed to form the Yes on S committee that campaigned for the passage of Measure S. The inclusion of former opponents was crucial because the assessment district had failed decisively 56% to 44%. Without the buy-in of those opponents, Measure S could not have surpassed the two-thirds threshold it needed to win. All put aside their differences and focused on what was good for the community. They may have disagreed earlier on the assessment district financing mechanism, but they were united in the belief that preserving hillside properties as permanent open space is valuable to the community.
Second, the committee appealed to the Claremont Colleges for voluntary dollar contribution equal to what the colleges would have paid into the Assessment District, had it passed. Note that a majority of the college properties would have been exempt under the General Obligation bond financing. In the spirit of co-operation and good will for the benefit of the community, the college presidents unanimously agreed to contribute about $2.5 million over the 30-year bond period. With this contribution, the colleges effectively reduced property owners per capita payments by over 7 percent, thus making the measure passage easier.
Third, all eligible voters had a chance to participate in the decision. The fact that the measure passed with more than the required two-thirds majority shows once again that given factual information, a good plan, and a chance to participate, voters can make well-reasoned decisions. In the assessment district balloting, only property owners were allowed to vote while the rest of eligible voters--namely renters, college students and the retirement home communities--were disenfranchised.
Lastly, the vote reaffirmed the belief that General Obligation bond was the appropriate financing mechanism for buying Johnson's Pasture. The proceeds from the bond will be earmarked exclusively for that purpose. The Yes on S committee emphasized this point. The voters were convinced, and their approval of the measure followed.
The City of Claremont faces still other pressing projects that may require spending a lot of money. These projects include finding a viable solution to the now-inadequate police station and its outdated facilities, providing appropriate youth recreation and sports facilities, dealing with the looming employee pension crisis, and solving the chronic problems caused by the water company's high, unjustified, and unfair rates. These issues and others will require the city's residents and its leaders to work together for solutions. The collaboration of Measure S should be a model for the future.
With the approval of Measure S, Claremont residents have affirmatively chosen to preserve a vanishing resource for the future of the community. It will be an equally large achievement if some of the bridges built in doing so help us better to find solutions to the other challenges we face. Congratulations Claremont!
Position Paper 3
|| Feedback to Candidate
|| This Contest
March 2007 Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter
ca/la Created from information supplied by the candidate: February 16, 2007 13:54
Smart Voter <http://www.smartvoter.org/>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund.
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.
|| Feedback to Candidate
|| This Contest