Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - November 5, 2010

Editorial: Palo Altans opt for even-year city elections

Abandoning a century-old tradition, Palo Alto voters overwhelmingly opted for even-year elections in Tuesday's election.

The move is expected to both increase voter participation and save money compared to odd-year elections. It will also add a year to council members whose terms are due to expire in 2011, when the change takes effect.

Some opponents of the change cited tradition and the opportunity to explore local candidates and issues that a separate city election in odd years allows, not competing for space, time, attention, workers or funds with regional, state or national elections in even years.

But the 77 percent approval of the change — initiated by Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss — shows that voters are ready to go for the change.

And we believe that Palo Alto voters, with the plethora of communications now available that was unimaginable a century ago, won't lose sight of the local issues and candidates in the larger even-years arena of politics and democracy.

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