McGoldrick's consolidated election schedule proposal rejected
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick pleads with Supervisors at yesterday's
Board of Supervisors meeting to support his consolidated election
schedule charter amendment proposal that would combine local elections
with State and Federal elections.
By Elizabeth Pfeffer
July 26, 2006
The Board of Supervisors rejected in a 6-5 vote a charter amendment
to restrict local elections to even-numbered years yesterday,
keeping the proposal off the November ballot and out of the hands
It was an idea that had been stewing with progressive Supervisor
Jake McGoldrick for three years, finally emerging as legislation
this summer - to coincide local elections with gubernatorial and
presidential elections which have a proven greater civic interest.
"Rather than decry the fact that people don't come out to
vote, what this analysis has sought to do is find out when people
do vote and say 'that's when we should have these offices up for
election," McGoldrick said.
In point of fact, twenty percent more voters showed for gubernatorial
or presidential elections than San Francisco municipal elections
over the past 40 years, according to findings by the Legislative
"Democratic participation is at the heart of this,"
However, opponents failed to see the proposal as a democratic
impetus, but rather an under researched, botched attempt to hit
the nail on the head.
"This measure really is a band aid approach to a significant
problem that's structural," Supervisor Chris Daly contended.
"It has more to do with local government not being relevant
to the lives of every day people in San Francisco than it does
when the elections are queued."
Supervisor Chris Daly
As the only supervisor who spoke out in support of the ill-fated
charter amendment, Fiona Ma noted that it would not only help
voter fatigue, but save $26 million over 10 years, as estimated
by the Office of Elections.
Instead of moving the mountain we should go to the mountain,
McGoldrick told the board.
Frustrated after the defeat, he had no plans to pursue the issue
with new legislation.
"This is something that I think shouldn't die," Supervisor
Tom Ammiano said before voting against the measure. "But
I really do want to thank Supervisor McGoldrick for all the hard
work and enthusiasm that he's exhibited."