2018 Midterm Voter Guide

County of San Diego Ballot Measures


Measure A: Clean up county charter


Proposed “Clean” Up Amendments to the San Diego County Charter

Shall the Charter of the County of San Diego be amended for purposes of making “clean-up” amendments including amendments necessary to assure compliance with state and federal laws?



What It Does

This measure will change timelines respecting elections which may be held in filling vacancies on the Board of Supervisors. The changes will bring the timelines into compliance with Federal and State laws setting forth timing requirements for the mailing of military and overseas ballots. This measure will also amend the Charter to recognize the Fire Authority as an organizational unit within the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer.”-- County Counsel

Analysis

Democrats opposed this because of the vague wording in the short ballot description, and the fact of two other measures (B&C) being on the ballot seemingly aimed at maintaining the political status quo. The All-GOP Supervisors know term limits and demographic changes will doom their dominance; the thinking is they’re trying to put some institutional blocks in the way of future boards. On Facebook posts, some claimed it obliged the County of San Diego to follow any order from the Trump administration. A reading of the board minutes and supporting documents does not bear this suspicion out.

 

Who is for it

County Board of Supervisors, San Diego County Republican Party

Funding support

N/A

Who is against it

San Diego County Democratic Party

Funding opposition: N/A


Measure B: Future Redistricting


Proposed Amendment to the County Charter entitled “Preserving Balanced Representation in Unincorporated Areas of San Diego County”

Should the Charter of San Diego County be amended to direct a redistricting commission to maintain the current practice of establishing representative boundaries where at least three Board of Supervisor districts include unincorporated territory, with two of the districts having area predominantly outside incorporated cities, as population will permit?

What it does

Gives rural areas an advantage in at least two future districts after the 2020 census.


Analysis

Incumbent County Supervisors, with no analysis or input from the public, have created a proposal designed to force the redistricting commission to draw gerrymandered County Supervisor district lines after the 2020 census. This amendment favors unincorporated areas more than incorporated cities, without considering whether it would dilute the vote of racial and ethnic minorities, split communities and neighborhoods into pieces, dilute their influence and create disillusionment with local government in those communities, and risks violating state and federal voting rights law.

 

Who is for it

County Board of Supervisors, San Diego County Republican Party

Funding support

N/A

Who is against it

San Diego County Democratic Party, Organized Labor

Funding opposition

N/A



Measure C: Fiscal Practices

Proposed County Charter Amendment Entitled “Protecting Good Government Through Sound Fiscal practices.”

Should the Charter of San Diego County be amended to require pension stabilization funds be used solely for pension-related liabilities and prohibit using long-term obligations to finance current operations or recurring needs?


What it does

Bars the County from transferring or borrowing funds.


Analysis

By limiting the County’s ability to borrow, even for emergency purposes, Measure C could jeopardize crucial services such as emergency response. New restrictions on budgeting mean today’s officials can tie up future funding and increases the risk that health, public safety, protective services for children and seniors and other county priorities could be shuttered to pay back past debts.

The Board of Supervisors has almost $2 billion in cash reserves, but has systematically underfunded vital services.  According to a recent study, the Supervisors’ underinvestment has cost the local economy more than $900 million. They are worst in the country on vital services, costing the economy almost $1 billion.  A state audit found that San Diego County public health nurses are understaffed, which contributed to the hepatitis-A crisis in which 20 people died.  The last thing that the County needs is more restrictions on spending money.

The county retirement system, SDCERA, receives monthly payments from employees as part of their compensation package.  As of June of this year, its assets were at a robust $12.3 billion, an all-time high. The county pension fund is at a healthy 80.5% ratio of funding to liabilities, the second highest in the region, according to the San Diego Taxpayers Educational Foundation.

 

Who is for it

County Board of Supervisors, San Diego County Republican Party

Funding support

N/A

Who is against it

San Diego County Democratic Party, Organized Labor

Funding opposition

N/A


Measure D: General Elections

Initiative Measure Proposing Charter Amendments Requiring All Elections for San Diego County Elective Offices to be Held at a General Election And Requiring Adoption of Local Regulations Relating to Write-In Candidates for County Elective Office.

Shall this initiative measure, proposing county charter amendments requiring all elections for San Diego County elective Offices to be held at a general election and requiring adoption of local regulations relating to write-in candidates for county elective office, be adopted?


What it does

Top two candidates from primary advance to general election. Currently a candidate receiving 50%+1 votes in June is declared winner.


Analysis

Turnout is historically higher in general elections. The amendment applies to races for the Board of Supervisors, district attorney, sheriff, assessor-recorder-clerk, treasurer-tax collector and members of the board of education. Races with just one or two candidates would be decided in the general election. Candidates should be elected when the most people vote. Current Board of Supervisors failed with a legal challenge to keep it off the ballot.

 
 
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Who is for it

San Diego Indivisible Downtown, San Diego County Democratic Party, Service Employee International Union, Yes on D Website

Funding support

San Diego County Building Trades Council, Service Employees International Union Local 221 PAC, United Domestic Workers of America.

Who is against it

San Diego County Republican Party

Funding opposition

N/A

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