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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I Heart Salt Lake Voting

The cool thing about being a liberal in Salt Lake City, as opposed to other areas in Utah, is that my votes actually mean something from time to time. This year, all four of my votes were on the winning side:

Becker beat Buhler in the Mayoral race
This one didn't surprise me at all, since Becker had a pretty good lead even in the primary. I think Becker will be a pretty good mayor, at least until the inevitable political corruption sinks in. And mostly I'm just glad not to have a republican Mormon running this city. (Although, as far as republican Mormons go, Buhler seemed pretty moderate and probably would have been alright.) No offense to any republican Mormons out there, but this city needs a little division of power -- someone to counterbalance all the Mormon influence around here.

Garrett slayed Saxton for City Council
Honestly, I only figured out that these two were running for the same race a couple days ago. I knew I liked Garrett, but I didn't know who his opponent was. When I found out, I figured Garrett might have a bit of a struggle in ousting an incumbent, but then again, Garrett was a much more visible candidate in this election, and often that's all it takes. I think the deal was sealed for me after Garrett released a pamphlet pointing out, among other things, that Saxton took a loan/grant from the city for her business -- somewhere around $400,000 -- and then voted to change the laws that allowed her to do so. How hypocritical is that? So I'm thinking a change of pace is called for, and I'm pleased Garrett won.

Referendum 1 -- School Vouchers -- goes back to the drawing board
I feel really encouraged by the outcome of this issue. If you follow my blog, you'll know that I was undecided about which way to vote a few months ago, but after some investigation and consideration, I decided that this would be a bad way to spend our tax dollars on education. The money wouldn't increase spending on education, only redirect the source of money already going to private schools. If we instead put that money into public schools, that would be showing more support for education. Voucher supporters posit that this was about more choice for kids, but it's not like the choice
to send your kids to private school hasn't always been there. And getting an extra $3,000 dollars still wouldn't make private school any more accessible for low income families. It's just a rebate for the wealthy who already send their kids to private schools. So I'm really glad this one was shot down -- and by a large margin too! Way to go, Salt Lake!

Proposition 1 -- New Safety Building, etc. -- was very barely beaten
Apparently the City Safety Building (cops & fire) is in complete and utter disrepair (how it got to that point it the first place is a valid concern). So they wanted some $100,000,000 to build a few new buildings, and of course they tacked on a few extras for good measure. I didn't look too hard at this one, but I voted against it because there are plenty of vacant buildings that the Police and Fire people can move into downtown. A new building is not necessary. I'm all for them improving their circumstances, but to me, the proposal was just too greedy. Also, apparently this tax was to be levied only on homeowners, and so some people who also benefit from fire and police services (e.g. businesses) would not be footing any of the bill. Neither would renters. I don't think that's particularly fair. I would vote for a bill that provided better accommodations for a reasonable price and that was paid for fairly. The concept is good, but the means need work, and that's why I'm glad this one did not prevail.

Way to go SLC!




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