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Monday, July 4, 2022

Election: The scale of the term limits for the Santa Clara Valley Water District is tied to the narrow lead

One of the more controversial measures on the ballot in Santa Clara County also turned out to be one of the closest contests during the June 7 election, with no clear winner nearly a week later.

Measure A, which will expand the number of times Santa Clara Valley Water District board members can stay in office by loosening existing rules, was up 51-49% on Monday.

On election night, the measure led 55-45%, a margin that has narrowed with each update in the count.

By Monday afternoon, 87 per cent of the votes had been counted. But there are still about 36,000 ballots left to count, said Evelyn Mendez, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

They should be included by the end of the week, she said.

“We’re making pretty good progress on them as they come,” Mendez said.

Under state law, ballots received up to one week after Election Day, in this case Tuesday, June 14, must be counted unless they were postmarked by Election Day, which was June 7 this year.

There are several other very close contests in the South Bay, Mendez noted, citing Meijer G., to pay for libraries, classroom upgrades, new heating and air conditioning systems, fire sprinklers and other upgrades to aging schools. A bond measure of $275 million. in Fremont Union High School District.

55% is needed for that measure to pass. It rose 55.57 per cent to 44.43 per cent on Monday afternoon.

He said county election workers are also processing ballots returned from nearby counties, such as people who work in other counties but live in Santa Clara County and near where they work. left his ballot. And they’re verifying the signatures of registered people and processing ballots on Election Day.

In a term limit measure, the board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, a government agency based in San Jose that provides water and flood protection to 2 million people, voted 4-3 earlier this year to spend $3.2 million. decided to do. ballot.

When the district spent $60,000 for the elections, which found that Santa Clara County voters opposed raising the term limit for board members, the board approved the language of the ballot, which was deliberately misleading by critics. .

The language of the ballot did not take into account that in 2010, voters had already voted to limit board members to three to four-year terms. Instead it asked whether they wanted to “limit” board members to serve four “four-year terms”.

It was approved by Water District board members Tony Estremera, who has served 26 years on the board; Dick Santos, who has served 22 years; Gary Kremen, who made 8 serves and John Varela, who made 7 serves. This was opposed by board members Linda Lezotte (12 years old); Nai Sueh (10 years old) and Barbara Keegan (10).

Estremera will be forced out of Santos’ office this year in 2024.

On Monday, Santos said he was watching the results carefully. He said he opposes the deadline in principle, and because of the severe drought, the community needs veterans on the water board.

“I wouldn’t like to see it lose,” Santos said. “We have some very experienced people out there. If it doesn’t pass, people are going to lose. Experience is vital during this extremely severe emergency drought.”

Critics of the measure described it as dishonest and deliberately misleading.

In an unusual move, the San Jose City Council voted 7-3 in April to formally oppose the measure and called on other cities in the area to oppose it as well. The signing of the ballot’s language in opposition was San Jose Mayor Sam Licardo, who called the measure “voluntary dishonesty.” Former county supervisor Blanca Alvarado, Water District board members Lazote and Hsueh, and Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association president Mark Hinckley also signed ballot language in protest.

Signing the language of the ballot in favor of the measure was David Binney, executive director of the Santa Clara and San Benito County Building and Construction Trades Council; Samuel Washington, President of the Silicon Valley Black Chamber of Commerce; Victor Garza, president of the La Raza Round Table Conference in California; and Dennis Murphy, advisor to Sustainable Silicon Valley, a Sunnyvale non-profit organization.

On Monday, Hinkle said he was considering filing a lawsuit if the remedy comes through.

“It was not a term limit. It was term expansion. It was confusing,” Hinkle said. “Currently they are limited to three to four-year terms, and they wanted to extend it to four. And they spent $3.2 million in taxpayer money to put it on the ballot. This is misuse of taxpayers money.”

For the approximately 36,000 ballots to be counted, the “no” side would have to win about 58% of the remaining votes for the “yes” side to pass.

“I like that it’s headed in the right direction,” Hinkle said. “Let’s cross our fingers and toes.”

World Nation News Desk
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