Into the final local votes — a county measure and Costa Mesa offices

Okay, the longer I procrastinate on this thing the more likely it is I’ll be posting about my choices after I actually voted. Er.

First off, the one countywide measure on the ballot this time around — Measure J. It requires voter approval of increases in pension funding for county employees, and this article discusses the pretty salient fact that there’s been no campaign against it. The employee unions aren’t thrilled by it — I don’t blame them at all, frankly — but they’ve concluded there was no way they could beat it, so they didn’t bother. Defeatist perhaps but hey, you have to pick your battles, and this is Orange County, after all. So there ya go — I think I’d have to vote NO on this one but it’ll cruise to victory.

Meantime, turning finally to my own city of residence, Costa Mesa (I’ve been here for over a decade now, much to my surprise). First, there’s four candidates up for two director positions for the Costa Mesa Sanitary District — hey, you want the benefits of city services, that means you look at everything, and Costa Mesa’s own program is part of the plan. At the same time, based on some initial searching beyond the candidate statements, there’s little here for me to go on right now, except that a lot of people are annoyed at James Ferryman for voting for a pay increase for himself and fellow sanitation board members in the county. Still thinking about this one but I’ll probably vote for current member Art Perry as well as challenger Dan Worthington.

Finally, Costa Mesa City Council. I actually spoke at a City Council meeting once many years back, when Dave from my favorite record store Noise Noise Noise protested a city ordinance that was being haphazardly enforced regarding stickers and posters on business windows. Speaking against it was Dave, myself and a member of the local Libertarian Party — a lineup that might not happen again. Meantime out of all the years I’ve been here only one City Council member ever canvassed directly for my vote as part of a series of neighborhood visits — and I admit I remembered that so well that I ended up voting for her. Can’t go wrong with the personal touch, after all — as Obama’s campaign has made clear this year, for instance.

But otherwise the City Council generally trundles along without me — little surprise as to why, since I’m not a property holder here, I don’t have kids going to local schools, I’m not a businessman here…otherwise I might have a greater stake in things. However, one thing I had noticed over the years was a pretty nasty bit of anti-Latino nativism that hasn’t been pretty, something the question of illegal immigration further exacerbated.

Meantime, the other week I was introduced to A Bubbling Cauldron, a local blog recommended by the OC Weekly a few weeks back as being the best political blog in the county, with a focus on Costa Mesa city politics in particular. But before I got around to reviewing it in detail the other day, I sat down and reviewed the candidates via their statements and other associations. I recognized a few names in particular in the endorsements for some that were immediate red flags due to the issues I’d noted, and I wasn’t pleased to see them back again. So after some thought, I settled on a slate of three candidates — Katrina Foley, William Sneen and Jim Righeimer. This wasn’t a case of perfection in all instances, I should note, but they seemed like the most sensible candidates of the bunch, allowing for where we were at.

Then a few days later I finally dug into A Bubbling Cauldron more thoroughly — and yesterday he linked to a lengthy letter he had had published in the local paper explaining who he was endorsing and why. As it turns out: Foley, Sneen, Righeimer. Still, after reviewing his letter and finding out a bit more about another candidate, Christopher Bunyan, who hadn’t provided an initial statement in the sample ballot, I decided he might be better in comparison to Righeimer, so I’ll probably vote him as well as Sneen and Foley.

I definitely know I’m *not* voting for Gary Monahan or Eric Bever, though.

And with that, my trundle through the ballot’s done.

Roll on tomorrow!

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One heck of a sunset

You know, I’m thinking I’m glad I got the iPhone just for the kind of photos I can randomly take with it.

Into the final local votes — looking at judges and school districts

Okay…I don’t know about you but I’m tired.

WAY tired. I suspect we all are, and would like nothing better than to sleep. In lieu of that, though, there’s a batch of local races I’m looking at, and I admit I feel a bit down because of waiting for so long.

As they say, all politics is local, but it’s also true that I tend to look at the broader picture — international, national, state — rather than truly local. Costa Mesa is kind of a good city for that, for better or worse — affluent enough in enough spots to make you feel like everything’s going reasonably well. It’s easy to cocoon oneself away as a result, which isn’t always a good thing, however good the impulse might be. Similarly with larger county issues and positions as well, even though the problems are more overt and noticeable there just because of the size of the place.

So with that in mind, these final thoughts and decisions are driven by general judgments rather than in-depth reflections. (This will be the first of two or three collective posts.) Maybe next time I’ll work from the bottom of the ballot up!

First, there’s two main candidates for the Judge of the Superior Court here in OC, Office. 12 — Debra Carrillo, a deputy DA, and Kermit Marsh, a Westminster city council member. Unsurprisingly, what we’ve essentially got here is a battle between a generally libertarian candidate, Carrillo, versus an old-school GOP type in the form of Marsh. Over at the Orange Juice Blog, Art Pedroza comments on some of the bizarre infighting at work, noting that the Libertarian Party has endorsed Marsh, for no very good reason from the sound of it. In looking that over, I note that apparently Marsh supports Prop 8 while Carrillo, in line with the Libertarian Party, opposes it. If that’s the kind of thing to expect from both of them then no question of it on my end — CARRILLO gets my vote.

Meanwhile I also get to vote on three different positions for the Coast Community College District, which covers three local community colleges. For Trustee Area 2, the choice is between Jerry Patterson, whose brief statement in the voter guide I got struck me as a reasonable series of accomplishments to tout, and one Joseph Dovinh, who has his own list of activities but also says things like “We should all be very, very wary of influence from communist countries– especially as it pertains to the field of education.” Uh? I’m with this blog entry I found on that front, but I think I’ll vote PATTERSON here.

For Trustee Area 3, the choices are Armando R. Ruiz, Don “Coach Doc” Apodaca and Lorraine Prinsky. Ruiz, to put it mildly, is not exactly doing himself any favors lately (for more, read here, here and here), while Apodaca has decided to throw his support behind Prinsky. And Prinsky herself? Well, based on this back and forth (read through the comments as well), she’s pretty easily got my vote. PRINSKY.

That leaves Trustee Area 4, with Mary L. Hornbuckle, Charlotte Pirch and David L. Boyd in the mix. Frankly I can’t make heads or tails of this one — there’s some rumblings about Hornbuckle accidentally (?) being linked to Ruiz due to the mailer talked about in the Prinsky link just above, while Pirch supposedly got questioned over where she got her degree, and from what I can tell Boyd’s a bit of a cipher. I think I’ll err on the side of caution and go NO VOTE here.

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