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Editorial: Our election reflections

The 2020 general election was one for the books -- in so many ways, a fitting reflection of the unexpected and unprecedented nature of this year.

At the local level in the Tri-Valley, the election results certified at the beginning of this month brought a unique mix of change and continuity, depending on where (and how) you look ...

Four cities have new mayors. That was totally expected (due to incumbent term limits), as was the fact each mayoral winner was an experienced council member. What was interesting is that the contests weren't particularly close in the end, even the races where multiple council members were facing off. Karla Brown (Pleasanton), Bob Woerner (Livermore), Melissa Hernandez (Dublin) and Dave Hudson (San Ramon) all won by comfortable margins.

Danville, which doesn't have a directly elected mayor, did achieve two significant milestones: Senior Advisory Commissioner Dave Fong became the first person of Chinese-American heritage and the first person of color ever elected to the Town Council, and councilmembers Newell Arnerich and Renee Morgan retained their seats to continue the streak that no incumbent has ever lost a re-election bid in Danville.

All four Tri-Valley school boards have at least one new member after Nov. 3, including three districts with an incumbent losing -- Greg Marvel (SRVUSD), Chuck Rogge (LVJUSD) and Jamie Yee (PUSD). Steve Maher (PUSD) and Gabi Blackman (DUSD) were the only incumbents to win re-election.

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Speaking of Blackman, she had the most impressive victory, by margin, for any Tri-Valley candidate in a two-person race: She retained her DUSD Trustee Area 4 seat with a whopping 71.85% of the vote.

New Councilwoman Sherry Hu made history in Dublin by receiving the most individual votes (12,355) on record for a Dublin City Council election. She separated herself, by an astonishing amount, in a crowded nine-candidate ballot for two council seats. In fact, she nearly doubled the vote total of the runner-up, new Councilman Michael McCorriston.

All four incumbent Democrats won re-election, quite convincingly, to the state and federal legislative positions representing the Tri-Valley. That probably didn't come as much of a surprise -- unless you listened to certain commenters on our Town Square going into the election.

And a little insider's insight: Interacting with the two counties' election offices, from a press perspective, was like day and night. The Contra Costa County Elections Division, led by Registrar of Voters Debi Cooper and assistant registrar Scott Konopasek, always responded quickly and engaged with our reporters' questions. Alameda County Registrar of Voters Tim Dupuis and his office, not so much. Emails and follow-ups were often unanswered, as were voicemails -- with just basic questions about the process or code interpretations during the general election cycle. A noticeable, disappointing outlier among their very responsive peers in other county departments.

Now some stats that stood out:

72 votes. That was the margin of the closest election in the Tri-Valley, San Ramon City Council District 1. With the lead going back and forth as the tallies were updated, incumbent Scott Perkins ultimately won a fifth term with 4,687 votes to narrowly defeat lone challenger Luz Gómez (4,615).

50.09%. By the skin of its teeth, Alameda County's half-cent sales tax increase (Measure W) passed; 50.09% Yes to 49.91% No. The tight contest saw Measure W's Election Night lead actually slip away at one point in the following days, but the Yes side regained the advantage in the ensuing days and never looked back. Contra Costa County also had a new half-cent sales tax on its ballot, and it passed much more easily -- 58.45% Yes; 41.55% No.

0.41%. The difference in percentage points between ACFD's $90 million fire facilities bond measure on the November ballot (Measure X) compared to when the identical proposal was on the primary ballot in March (Measure D). But that made all the difference this second time around. Measure X received 66.78% support, narrowly above the 66.6667% threshold needed to pass; in March, the $90 million proposal failed with 66.37% Yes (just 95 votes at the time).

But perhaps the most significant (and commendable) numbers of all: voter participation. Contra Costa County reported 84.09% of registered voters cast a ballot in the election; Alameda County also posted an impressive voter turnout at 81.28%. Both extraordinarily high numbers. Citizen participation is crucial for an effective democracy. Well done, Tri-Valley.

The changing of the guard occurred for each city council and school board across the Tri-Valley last week and this, including oath-of-office ceremonies for the Pleasanton City Council and PUSD Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

Congratulations to all of the winners in the Tri-Valley, and we look forward to watching your decision-making and public engagement in your term ahead.

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Editorial: Our election reflections

by /

Uploaded: Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 3:04 pm

The 2020 general election was one for the books -- in so many ways, a fitting reflection of the unexpected and unprecedented nature of this year.

At the local level in the Tri-Valley, the election results certified at the beginning of this month brought a unique mix of change and continuity, depending on where (and how) you look ...

Four cities have new mayors. That was totally expected (due to incumbent term limits), as was the fact each mayoral winner was an experienced council member. What was interesting is that the contests weren't particularly close in the end, even the races where multiple council members were facing off. Karla Brown (Pleasanton), Bob Woerner (Livermore), Melissa Hernandez (Dublin) and Dave Hudson (San Ramon) all won by comfortable margins.

Danville, which doesn't have a directly elected mayor, did achieve two significant milestones: Senior Advisory Commissioner Dave Fong became the first person of Chinese-American heritage and the first person of color ever elected to the Town Council, and councilmembers Newell Arnerich and Renee Morgan retained their seats to continue the streak that no incumbent has ever lost a re-election bid in Danville.

All four Tri-Valley school boards have at least one new member after Nov. 3, including three districts with an incumbent losing -- Greg Marvel (SRVUSD), Chuck Rogge (LVJUSD) and Jamie Yee (PUSD). Steve Maher (PUSD) and Gabi Blackman (DUSD) were the only incumbents to win re-election.

Speaking of Blackman, she had the most impressive victory, by margin, for any Tri-Valley candidate in a two-person race: She retained her DUSD Trustee Area 4 seat with a whopping 71.85% of the vote.

New Councilwoman Sherry Hu made history in Dublin by receiving the most individual votes (12,355) on record for a Dublin City Council election. She separated herself, by an astonishing amount, in a crowded nine-candidate ballot for two council seats. In fact, she nearly doubled the vote total of the runner-up, new Councilman Michael McCorriston.

All four incumbent Democrats won re-election, quite convincingly, to the state and federal legislative positions representing the Tri-Valley. That probably didn't come as much of a surprise -- unless you listened to certain commenters on our Town Square going into the election.

And a little insider's insight: Interacting with the two counties' election offices, from a press perspective, was like day and night. The Contra Costa County Elections Division, led by Registrar of Voters Debi Cooper and assistant registrar Scott Konopasek, always responded quickly and engaged with our reporters' questions. Alameda County Registrar of Voters Tim Dupuis and his office, not so much. Emails and follow-ups were often unanswered, as were voicemails -- with just basic questions about the process or code interpretations during the general election cycle. A noticeable, disappointing outlier among their very responsive peers in other county departments.

Now some stats that stood out:

72 votes. That was the margin of the closest election in the Tri-Valley, San Ramon City Council District 1. With the lead going back and forth as the tallies were updated, incumbent Scott Perkins ultimately won a fifth term with 4,687 votes to narrowly defeat lone challenger Luz Gómez (4,615).

50.09%. By the skin of its teeth, Alameda County's half-cent sales tax increase (Measure W) passed; 50.09% Yes to 49.91% No. The tight contest saw Measure W's Election Night lead actually slip away at one point in the following days, but the Yes side regained the advantage in the ensuing days and never looked back. Contra Costa County also had a new half-cent sales tax on its ballot, and it passed much more easily -- 58.45% Yes; 41.55% No.

0.41%. The difference in percentage points between ACFD's $90 million fire facilities bond measure on the November ballot (Measure X) compared to when the identical proposal was on the primary ballot in March (Measure D). But that made all the difference this second time around. Measure X received 66.78% support, narrowly above the 66.6667% threshold needed to pass; in March, the $90 million proposal failed with 66.37% Yes (just 95 votes at the time).

But perhaps the most significant (and commendable) numbers of all: voter participation. Contra Costa County reported 84.09% of registered voters cast a ballot in the election; Alameda County also posted an impressive voter turnout at 81.28%. Both extraordinarily high numbers. Citizen participation is crucial for an effective democracy. Well done, Tri-Valley.

The changing of the guard occurred for each city council and school board across the Tri-Valley last week and this, including oath-of-office ceremonies for the Pleasanton City Council and PUSD Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

Congratulations to all of the winners in the Tri-Valley, and we look forward to watching your decision-making and public engagement in your term ahead.

Comments

MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 19, 2020 at 9:21 am
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Dec 19, 2020 at 9:21 am

"All four incumbent Democrats won re-election, quite convincingly, to the state and federal legislative positions representing the Tri-Valley. That probably didn't come as much of a surprise -- unless you listened to certain commenters on our Town Square going into the election."

It didn't come as much of a surprise that the Pleasanton Weekly found a way of endorsing all of them for reelection - while dismissing their challengers as "not viable". Some of us do not want more of the one party rule/legislative stranglehold in the state as the so called "solution" going forward - or being repeatedly told that Trump is to blame for everything going wrong in our nation.


James Michael
Registered user
Val Vista
on Dec 19, 2020 at 10:42 am
James Michael, Val Vista
Registered user
on Dec 19, 2020 at 10:42 am

Smart that you didn't reflect on Swalwell by name.


Rishabh Raj
Registered user
Las Positas
on Dec 20, 2020 at 2:31 pm
Rishabh Raj, Las Positas
Registered user
on Dec 20, 2020 at 2:31 pm

@MichaelB

It's not just that the challengers were "not viable" in terms of their chances of winning. It's also the fact that they would be far worse legislators and officials on virtually every single issue.

And if you're so tired of one party rule in this state, why not move somewhere else to a more competitive state? I'm sure things are better there than they are here in California, as it is CLEARLY the worst state in the nation.


James Michael
Registered user
Val Vista
on Dec 20, 2020 at 4:30 pm
James Michael, Val Vista
Registered user
on Dec 20, 2020 at 4:30 pm

"...why not move somewhere else..."

And how many times have we heard that before, Raj?


Rich Buckley
Registered user
Livermore
on Dec 20, 2020 at 7:21 pm
Rich Buckley, Livermore
Registered user
on Dec 20, 2020 at 7:21 pm

12/20/2020 Simon Parkes On US Elections- Top Secret ?

Multiple Routes To Save The Republic of The United States

Web Link

3:25 —- The strategy was to draw out the other side
4:50 —- The Supreme Court hear the case under Article 3
Barr now available as a witness
6:50 —- Military Tribunals have been authorized to hear Treason Cases
10:55— NSA has been supportive of POTUS proving many vital
intercepts
18:50— BLM & Antifa has been infiltrated by military special ops.
Funding has been intercepted
20:00— Navy in force on both coasts. 82nd Airborne will be available
to say hello to Deep Underground Bases and rouge players.
24:00— Expect some interesting and uncomfortable speech making.

THINGS TO EXPECT
Government backing off lockdown
Banking System Reforms
Social Media becoming more open and transparent


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 21, 2020 at 4:08 pm
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Dec 21, 2020 at 4:08 pm

"It's not just that the challengers were "not viable" in terms of their chances of winning. It's also the fact that they would be far worse legislators and officials on virtually every single issue. "


It's far worse with the status quo. One party gets its way on everything, there is no debate, and there are no consequences for legislative actions/failures. On every single issue it's nearly the same. The state somehow does not regulate/spend enough, everyone is a "victim" of something, income/wealth is "collectively" owned, and whatever people (including those here illegally) need/want becomes a "right". There's a reason why more people/businesses are leaving the state. They can't afford it, the traffic is bad, and the quality of life has gone down because irresponsible/ lawless behavior is tolerated.

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely"

Lord Acton


Rich Buckley
Registered user
Livermore
on Dec 24, 2020 at 3:17 pm
Rich Buckley, Livermore
Registered user
on Dec 24, 2020 at 3:17 pm

12/24/2020 Saving our Constitutional Republic
Web Link
38 States will support preserving our Constitutional Republic.


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