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No on G faced impossible choice

Monterey Herald, Feb. 15, 2010

The top vote-getters in the Carmel Valley town council election have an interesting concept on municipal advisory councils, but their inferred mandate deserves a little perspective.

According to election law, an incorporation is similar to a recall election. A recall always contains two ballot questions. The first is to recall the incumbent candidate, and the second is a slate of candidates to replace him. If the recall is unsuccessful, the election for a successor is meaningless.

There had to be an election of candidates for council in order for Measure G to be on the ballot. This was inherently unfair because it automatically portrayed the "pro town" slate as running a "positive" campaign. The principal members of the No on G campaign were faced with the impossible choice to either dignify the circus that the town council election became, or risk losing influence with voters by staying off the ballot.

Of the pro town slate, only Karin Strasser Kaufman was able to exceed the Yes on G high mark of 47.48 percent. The rest were from one to nine points behind. In my opinion, the only mandate available to them on Nov. 3 would have been a Yes on G vote approaching 60 percent. Participants? Certainly. But mandated leaders? Not quite.

Paul J. Ingram
Carmel Valley

Last Updated: Feb 17, 10

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