Posted by: Lisa Pampuch | May 25, 2010

Primary roundup: Alvarado, Rosen, No on Prop 16

“To vote is like the payment of a debt, a duty never to be neglected, if its performance is possible.” ~ Rutherford B. Hayes

In the race to represent District 1 on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, I voted for Teresa Alvarado.

In her interviews with the Morgan Hill Times and Gilroy Dispatch editorial boards, Alvarado impressed me with her knowledge of and commitment to South County, with her temperament, and with her mastery of the issues facing the county and the state.

Although she lives in San Jose, Alvarado knows South County inside and  out. She’s familiar with the issues that matter to Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy residents, like the balance between preservation of agriculture and open space and property rights. She’s up-to-speed on our long-standing flooding issues that stem from the never-completed PL-566 project. She knows how looming state and county budget cuts will affect South County and will work to minimize their impact. Alvarado understands that when people disagree on an issue, that’s a reflection of differing priorities, and that needn’t prevent them from agreeing on other issues.

And just in case Alvarado isn’t your cup of tea, let me urge you not to give your vote to Forrest Williams. Williams, the long-time San Jose city councilman, has shown himself to be no friend of taxpayers in general and of South County residents in particular.

Here’s what Williams told the Santa Clara County Peace Officers Association recently, when asked to explain his labor relations philosophy: “Number one, the employees are number one for me.” That ought to strike fear in the heart of every taxpayer; after all, aren’t constituents supposed to be elected officials’ top priority? In this economy in which out-of-control public employee compensation packages — especially pensions — threaten to bankrupt communities, I wonder what constituent-serving programs Williams would cut or taxes he’d raise to keep his top priority happy.

In his interview with the Times’ editorial board, Williams defended South County’s shameful under-representation on the Coyote Valley Specific Plan task force; he was not at all concerned, for example, that Gavilan Community College, within whose attendance boundaries Coyote Valley sits, did not have a seat on that task force.

With five candidates in the race, it’s likely that no candidate will get a simple majority, forcing a runoff of the top two finishers in this race. I hope that Teresa Alvarado is among the top two and that Forrest Williams is not.

•••

In the race for Santa Clara County District Attorney, I voted for Jeff Rosen.

Rosen is rightly concerned about the direction the District Attorney’s office has taken under incumbent Dolores Carr’s leadership. In an office where no whiff of ethical misconduct should be tolerated, Carr has made what can be most charitably be termed multiple “missteps.”

Rosen is an experienced prosecutor who knows what it takes to conduct even the most complex trials with integrity and efficiency in pursuit of justice. Among his many endorsements, he’s earned the trust of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, which endorsed him over the incumbent Carr in a stunning reversal of its endorsement in the previous election.

•••

I’m compelled to restate my strong opposition to the heinous Proposition 16. That’s the cynical, dishonest, hypocritical $44 million effort by PG&E to eliminate competition from municipal electric companies, which often provide greener, cheaper and more reliable electricity to their customers than PG&E does.

PG&E hopes to pass, with a simple majority, this constitutional amendment that would require two-third voter approval for municipal authorities to start or expand electric service. PG&E’s using deceptive ads that cynically try to leverage anti-government sentiment to trick voters into making a very attractive option for electric service nearly impossible to implement.

No on Prop 16.

•••

Ever consider running for city council or school board? Several South County seats will appear on the November 2010 ballot; the deadline to file to run is Aug. 6 (Aug. 11 for any seat for which an incumbent does not file to run for re-election). Democracy is best served when we have real races — and that means at least two strong candidates for each seat — that foster vigorous debate about important issues facing our communities.

If you’ve got the time, the temperament and the commitment to run and serve, now’s the time to get serious about making the effort.

“We always want the best man to win an election. Unfortunately, he never runs.” ~ Will Rogers

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  1. […] situation and come to completely different conclusions about the best way to proceed. I’ve often determined that this happens because the two people in question have different priorities. But my “differing […]


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