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Our View: Voters ? Take the time to find out

Our View
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What is Measure A and why should you care?
Measure A is what voters will see on their ballots this month and in June when they head to the polls.
Phrases such as “charter city,” “local control,” and “abuse of power” will jump out of the ballot statements for those who care to read them.
While there are certainly impassioned groups on both sides of the Measure A debate, how far does that passion and knowledge of something that could change Auburn’s government blue print extend into the residents it will ultimately impact?
Whether you are familiar, knowledgeable or clueless about Measure A, if you are a voter in Auburn city limits, it’s important and crucial for you to find out more.
Measure A is a ballot measure to change the city of Auburn from a general law city to a charter city.
A charter city status, according to its supporters, would allow Auburn to write specific ordinances versus using ones mandated by the state; accept bids for projects that come at a cost lower than the state prevailing wage at the same time keeping council member compensation, election rules and others under state law.
Opponents counter that there are too many loopholes in Auburn’s charter that will open the door for abuse of power; cite a still pending court case outcome regarding prevailing wage and point to costs of more lawsuits as reasons not to vote for Auburn to be a charter city.
One way voters can find out for themselves is to attend a debate hosted by The League of Women Voters of Placer County Thursday evening. Representatives from the pro and con sides to the measure will be there.
Can’t make it that night?
League members will write answers to the questions and the Journal will post them online following the debate.
Voters can also request a copy of the charter at city hall.
Call up opponents and proponents. Many are well known local figures whose phone numbers and/or emails are in the phone book or online.
The Journal has published multiple stories tracking the charter’s development and the battle over its value. Most recently we printed a guide to Measure A that further explained the key points that both sides highlight in the ballot statement voters receive. You can read it online or pick up a copy at the Journal.
One big reason voters should take the time to learn about Measure A is the fall-out from Measure B.
In March, 68 percent of voters in the Newcastle Fire Protection District passed Measure B, which levies a $146.46 annual fire parcel tax. The tax can increase up to 3 percent each year. The money will be used to upgrade the district’s dilapidated station, give firefighters a pay higher than minimum wage and pay for other operating costs.
But soon after the measure passed, and residents saw plans for the new station, it didn’t sit well with some of them. There’s a potential recall effort underway and the fate of that is yet to be known.
The lesson learned here is get to know your ballot measure before you check yes or no.
There’s no easy return policy for buyer’s remorse when it comes to local government.
Voters need to read up on Measure A, in addition to the other measures and candidates on this June’s ballot, get on the phone and make some calls, and attend public debates or events where they can learn more.
It’s time worth taking out of your day to help mold the future of your community.

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Charter city forum
What:
Debate on Measure A, ballot measure to make Auburn a charter city
When: 7 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday
Where: State Theater, Downtown Auburn
For more: Submit questions you want answered to voterservice@lwvplacercounty.org. The Journal will publish the questions and answers online following the debate.

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Read more about the charter
The Journal has written several stories about Measure A. To read a guide, find “Key points of Measure A argument clarified” at auburnjournal.com.