With an eerie sense of déjà vu, we are once again preparing for a special election to fill the vacant County Council seat for District 4. Our County Council representative, Don Praisner, died 30 January 2009 after undergoing surgery for colon cancer. Council member Praisner won a special election less than a year ago to fill the remainder of his wife’s term after her death following heart surgery.
In a statement written before he entered surgery, Praisner urged his colleagues to appoint someone to fill his term and thereby save $1.3 million dollars in special election costs. However, that would have required new legislation and the term would probably have expired before such legislation could be enacted.
The Council has nine members, all elected at the same time for four-year terms. The terms of the present Council, elected November 2006, began at noon on 4 December 2006 and will continue until noon on the first Monday in December 2010. Five members of the Council are elected by the voters of their respective council districts. Four members are elected at-large by all the voters of the County.
In recent years, the District 4 representative has often been the swing vote when the Council is split 4-4 on a given issue. Our votes, therefore, have the potential to affect county-wide issues. However, the Council districts are quite large. We are the southernmost tip of District 4, like a little peninsula extending into District 5. From here, District 4 goes north all the way to the County line and west as far as Redland.
Therefore, it’s just as important for the candidates to get to know us as it is for us to get to know the candidates. Whoever wins the election, we need them to be familiar with our community and our issues. That’s why I hope as many of you as possible will attend our April Candidate’s Forum on the 8th. We had a great turnout last time and it made a strong impression.
I understand that the 8th is also the first night of Passover. Unfortunately, this is our regular civic association night. We get our seasonal use permit for the Rec center only for the second Wednesday of the month. We are not allowed to pick and choose individual dates. That means in any given year we might have unavoidable conflicts with various religious holidays. It’s unfortunate that with such a tight election time line (the primary is 21 April), we really only have this one shot at hosting a forum.
There are ten candidates running: 6 Democrats, 3 Republicans, and one Green Party. For a list of the candidates and their contact information, go to http://tinyurl.com/ dfq857. From this page (http://tinyurl.com/cen23k) you can find information on polling places and absentee ballots as well as download a sample ballot. [Note: Neither of these URLs are now active.] ■
© 2009 NFCCA [Source: https://nfcca.org/news/nn200904b.html]