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by JUDY HODGSON
Pay attention, readers. I know
it's not nearly as exciting as last month's dump-the-governor
trip to the polls, but there's an election next week. A seat
on your local school board or community services district may
be up for grabs.
Since it is impossible for the
Journal to cover all the individual races throughout the
county, we concentrated our efforts on one that has an impact
on the greatest number of people -- the Humboldt Bay Harbor,
Conservation and Recreation District where two seats are open.
And we included a sampling of the more interesting school and
service district races.
Having served on the Fieldbrook
Elementary School Board many years ago, I am always very appreciative
of those willing to run. I recall many an evening meeting plodding
through first and second readings of policies with nary a parent
in the audience, only to face a packed house the next month because
we dared to adjust the starting time of kindergarten.
It is unfortunate that these
good-hearted people have to pay for the privilege of running.
I'm not talking about customary lawn signs and coffee klatches,
but the high cost of printing a basic candidate's statement in
the voter guide mailed to voters prior to the election. Running
for a seat on the harbor district this go-round can cost more
than $1,100 just to introduce yourself. Small and weirdly overlapping
districts are also spendy. There is one precinct in the Arcata
Bottom where a mere 50 potential voters with a unique ballot
will choose board members for Pacific Union Elementary School
and Northern Humboldt Union High School District, and the Manila
Community Services District. Elections chief Lindsey McWilliams
says the 28 different ballots needed for this election will push
the cost far beyond the $160,000 the county was forced to spend
on last month's recall.
McWilliams also said voter turnout
next week is expected to be only around 35 percent, down substantially
from last month's 62 percent.
Wouldn't it be nice if those
numbers were reversed?
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