Sunday, November 23, 2014

City council election was no mandate

"Is it a mandate?" by Gil Anda
Is it a turkey "mandate"
because you say so? Seriously.
"I no longer live or vote in Pacifica, but I like to keep up with what’s going on there. I also own a property that would be bought for the highway widening, should that ever happen. In the last two Tribune editions I saw a front-page article by Jane Northrup proclaiming that the election was a mandate against the Calera Parkway Project. In a subsequent edition I saw two opinion articles, one by Cynthia Kaufman, the other by Ian Butler, essentially coming to the same conclusion about the last election being a mandate against the widening project.
One of the problems with using the last election as a litmus test against the widening Project is that it wasn’t a ballot measure directly asking voters if they were for, or against the project itself. Instead there were a total of 7 candidates vying for 3 seats on the council. Three candidates expressed opposition to the highway widening, while four did not. When the election results came out, the three candidates in opposition to the widening project gained 8,634 votes, while the remaining four candidates had 9,761. That’s a difference of 1,127 votes and tells an entirely different story."

Note:  The above article was also sent to the Pacifica Tribune as a Letter to the Editor.  The photograph is from Atlantic Veternary Care on the Foodbeast website; choice of photograph from the poster below.

Posted by Kathy Meeh 


Anonymous said...

There's a basic flaw in this method because it compares the vote total of four candidates to three. Flawed, no matter which side uses it. Take a different look.

What if we delete Ms. Dyer from the pool and very arbitrarily divide her 2146 votes among O'Neill, Ruchames and Spano? We'd just barely get a different outcome even in this best case scenario.

Digre 5258
O'Neill 5191
Ruchames 4368
Keener 4346
Spano 4079
Dougherty 2776

The reality is that none of the four losing candidates could command enough votes to win and a voter turnout of 35% should not be overlooked. Perhaps not a mandate, but there was a definite message in the outcome. And, once again, vote-splitting plays a role.

Anonymous said...

One of these people mentioned in the so called mandate is one of the least trustworthy person in town.

Save Sanchez Library said...

Eric Ruchames resigned his seat on the school board and was perceived to be so immensely popular that he'd blow the competition away. He is best known as a zealous advocate of a new library, new library tax and closing Sanchez branch. Mary Ann and Mike O'Neill (who co-campaigned and endorsed Ruchames) must be furious at the results. Instead of a library supporter, they have John Keener, a library opponent. Unless Sue can get him on board with the library, which she seems to support. But I hope Keener remains independent in this regard. Although I did not vote for him, he has my support on opposing 35 million dollar library.

Anonymous said...

"I no longer live or vote in Pacifica..."

Sorry, Gil, this is where I stopped reading.

Anonymous said...

Once again the spin is in. The winners won and the losers lost. That's how an election works.

You don't get to recalculate the votes based on some invented formula that makes the election results be something different than what they are,

In this election, the winners won by wide margins. That's what's called a mandate.

todd bary said...

It should be noted Gil owns a piece of property that would be purchased if the widening is built. In either case he should have either the city, SMCTA or Caltrans buy that property anyway.

The election was a mandate against the Calera Parkway widening proposal. Turn out is as turn out does. Ask anyone who was astonished Bush II won a second term or that the Senate results from states with a fraction of the population California has still enjoy the same number of Senators. Ask anyone who was also astonished Candidate O'Niell beat out Spano or Ruchames.

Kathy Meeh said...

331, yeah you probably stop reading when John Maybury posts articles, comments, blog, column. As you know John Maybury now lives in Moss Beach (so he should also not be voting in Pacifica).

Gil, on the other hand, owns property here, and may be back. Gil was simply doing a disclaimer with regard to the property he and his family owns along the corridor of the proposed highway 1 widening. Then again, 331 Anonymous no identity, does anyone really care whether you stopped reading this article or anything else? Not me for one.

352, this election was a mandate for another DIRTY CAMPAIGN by NIMBIES, but the total numbers votes for 4 city council candidates still favors the sane who were not fooled again. Fortunately the city council mandate is still with the progress majority 3 votes, vs. the minority anti-progress 2 votes.

Todd (if Todd Bray) 435, NO MANDATE. By your own definition, in fact there were 1,259 or 4.84% more people who voted for those you deem to favor pro-highway widening, here.

Hutch said...

Great letter Gil. You are right on.

Anonymous said...

I no longer live on Planet Earth, but I like to keep up with what's going on down there; when the new council begins meeting in January, John Keener's votes won't count.

Instead, the City of Pacifica will poll Ruchames, Spano, and Dyer on each motion and their opinions will supersede Keener's votes. It'll be a little time consuming to do this, but it's the right thing to do because even though those three lost by a landslide, they really won if you imagine a universe parallel to our own but totally opposite in every way.

Anonymous said...

One of the problems with using the last election as a litmus test against the widening Project is that it wasn’t a ballot measure directly asking voters if they were for, or against the project itself.

Dear Gil,

You don't live here anymore, so maybe you're unaware of some very basic issues surrounding the parliamentary process to date:

Since Pacifica's City Council won't allow a public vote on the project itself, won't allow a public discussion on the project, this election was the next best thing.

Sorry Fix Pacifica, time to face up to reality; no one wants this dumb highway and without the necessary public support, your fever-dream of a Vallemar Airport runway is toast.

And Gil, it might amaze you, but Fix Pacifica claims that putting the highway to a vote is undemocratic. No. No, I don't get it either.

Anonymous said...

2/3 of those against the widening WON.

3/4 of those for the widening LOST.

This indicates deep support for the Caltrans widening plan for the following reasons:


Anonymous said...

WTF is with this bizarre insistence that the losers got more votes so they were the winners?

Who came up with this? The same dude how said 99% of Pacifican's support the widening and that "Buses don't work?"

What the hell... I'm not so much astounded by how you manage to come up with such unadulterated crap, so much as I'm blown away that you post it -- POST IT! -- for everyone to see.

It's the digital equivalent of a dunce cap. Good going everyone. High fives, and meet you at the bar at Nick's.

Anonymous said...

"331, yeah you probably stop reading when John Maybury posts articles, comments, blog, column."

3:31 here, Kathy. I don't read Maybury. Some of us can make up our own minds without being told by anybody what's best for us.

So now what?

Anonymous said...

700 Council can decide to handle the highway issue any way the majority chooses or according to whatever behind closed arrangement can be hatched between the CM and dominant council member/s. Council cannot stop a frustrated public from using the referendum process at any point. It exists for just these types of situations.

Anonymous said...

After all the uproar about Spano and BJGate, it looks like it made no difference. He was a solid 5th in absentee votes and fifth in election day votes. The mess was contained on the blogs and never made it to the Trib's wider audience where it might impact election day voters, but that 5th place absentee total tells you what the voters felt about Mr. Spano.

Anonymous said...

If that supposed 3-vote majority is ever faced with actually making a decision to move forward with the Caltrans plan, they won't do it. All it takes is for one of them to look out on a sea of angry faces and realize they are about to commit political suicide. Then that 3-vote majority disappears. The widening will never happen.

Anonymous said...


I stopped reading when you, the self declared property czar told an owner of property, what to do with his property.

You and your nimbys, nobees, hippies and supporters of a barefoot and bankrupt Pacifica need to stfu.

Anonymous said...

553 And you woke up so nasty? It's a beautiful, sunny and crisp day. Go fishing, enjoy a trail.

Anonymous said...


It's puff puff pass.

todd bray said...

It's time to leave these bitter self deluded Fixxers to their own seething temper tantrum. But I am loving their BS roundhousing.

Anonymous said...

Bray, remember your blood pressure.

Take 2 aspirins and call me in the am.