Vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day, June 7. They may also be turned in on Election Day to any polling place, or (for Santa Clara County residents) at Palo Alto City Hall or the Mitchell Park Library during normal business hours between now and Election Day. In addition, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the next two weekends, ballots may be given to election officials stationed at the Mayfield Soccer Complex at El Camino Real and Page Mill Road.
Here are our recommendations:
State Assembly (24th District)
Vicki Veenker (Dem)
Of the eight candidates in the race, Palo Alto resident Vicki Veenker offers an opportunity to send a woman to the Legislature who brings a unique blend of experience as a respected Silicon Valley intellectual property attorney and a public interest law advocate for the poor and disenfranchised through the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.
(Read "Editorial: Vicki Veenker for Assembly published on May 13.)
State Senate (13th District)
Jerry Hill (Dem)(i)
United States Congress (18th District)
Anna Eshoo (Dem)(i)
Board of Supervisors (District 5)
Joe Simitian (i)
State Proposition 50 (Suspension of Legislators)
This measure would amend the state Constitution to give the Legislature the ability to suspend a member without pay or benefits on a two-thirds vote. It was placed on the ballot by the Legislature to enable an action short of expulsion when a member is charged with a crime. Currently, salary and benefits continue during a suspension.
Bay Area Measure AA (Parcel tax for Bay restoration)
This measure would raise $25 million a year for the next 20 years by imposing a parcel tax of $12 per year on the owners of every commercial and residential property in the nine Bay Area counties. The money would fund shoreline, marsh and wetland restoration, flood control measures and improved public access around the Bay. It requires a two-thirds vote to pass. Both business and environmental groups are supporting it.
County Measure A (Extension of parks fund)
Santa Clara County Measure A would increase the amount that is set aside each year from property-tax collections for the county park fund and extend the program from 2021 to 2032. It is not a tax, but a requirement that a portion of taxes collected be allocated to park acquisition, operations, maintenance and improvement. The increase is from 1.425 to 1.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The measure only requires a majority vote to pass.
Ravenswood School District Measure H (School bond measure)
Voters in the Ravenswood City School District are being asked to approve a $26 million bond measure to fund capital improvements at the district's eight schools in East Palo Alto and portions of eastern Menlo Park. Measure H requires a 55 percent majority to pass. With $100 million in what the district's master plan calls critically needed repairs, this bond measure will only scratch the surface in meeting the district's long-deferred maintenance needs. New roofs, heating, ventilation, electrical, plumbing and fire safety systems are among the improvements to be made in order to get the facilities up to an acceptable condition. The projected tax rate is $30 per $100,000 of assessed value, meaning that a property assessed at $700,000 would pay $210 annually. Measure H's only flaw is that it isn't asking for enough given the needs.