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Our View: Local, state and national issues take stage Tuesday

Our View
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Polls will open in about 48 hours, so if you haven’t voted yet with a mail-in ballot, there’s still time to bone up on the candidates, propositions and measures that are repeatedly seeking your vote through a barrage of radio, TV and newspaper ads. Don’t let your busy life and the overwhelming midterm ballot stop you from exercising your right to vote. The rubber of democracy meets the road of politics at the ballot box. On the local front, three key issues are Auburn city governance, park and recreation leadership and elementary school finances, and the Journal offers the following endorsements: Auburn City Council: Incumbents Kevin Hanley and Bridget Powers, as well as challenger Bob Snyder, offer the best mix of leadership, passion and action for the city. Hanley stands out for his ideas, his follow-through on priorities and his forthrightness on fiscal conservatism. He is focused on government efficiency and doesn’t get bogged down in rhetoric. And when he feels Auburn needs to step up, as he did with Project Canyon Safe, he doesn’t wait for others. He moves quickly to galvanize support and get action under way. Powers is action-oriented as well, and is an enthusiastic supporter in marketing Auburn to residents and the outside world. She’s well connected, wants to see Auburn’s economy diversify, and views the Auburn Airport as a critical component for jobs and city tax proceeds. Snyder made a strong impact as a council member from 2004-2008, then took a couple of years off to work on other community issues and projects. He has renewed zeal for making a positive difference, and his attention to the city’s balance sheet will serve the council well. Auburn Recreation District: Incumbent Scott Holbrook and longtime youth sports advocate Chris Asbury are the best qualified candidates for the ARD board of directors. Holbrook is passionate about providing recreation opportunities to all area citizens, blending his business background with a fervor for fun. He works well with ARD’s executive director and staff, and sees ARD’s role not just as a provider of fields and programs, but as an organization that’s part of the community fabric. Asbury’s fresh perspective and attention to youth sports are truly needed on the board at this time. His longtime leadership for Auburn Youth Soccer and his common-sense approach to ARD’s financial challenges will help the district in the coming years. Measure L: No one enjoys additional taxes, but this $59 per parcel tax provides Auburn Union School District with bridge funding to get through the worst state recession in memory, and provide local children a chance at a basic elementary education most adults have enjoyed. The measure, which requires two-thirds approval, would generate about $800,000 annually for core science, math, reading and writing programs, and help the district retain qualified teachers. In addition to ending in five years, the measure requires an independent oversight committee, and provides cash-strapped senior citizens with an opportunity to opt out of the tax. With these protective conditions in place, vote “yes” on Measure L. In addition to the local measures, nine weighty state propositions hold down the ballot on matters ranging from marijuana legalization to redistricting to funding state parks through an $18 annual vehicle license fee. Assembly, Senate and Congressional races abound, as does the gubernatorial battle between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman. Nationally, all eyes will be on the House and Senate tote boards. A conservative resurgence at the polls could provide President Barack Obama with a Republican Congress for the final two years of his term. None of this will happen without you, the voter. So take a stand, exercise your right and vote on Tuesday.