In addition to choosing the next president of the United States, Contra Costa County voters will be weighing in on crowded city council races — where hot-button issues like police reform and affordable housing are shaping candidates’ platforms — and a host of sales tax proposals touted by supporters as crucial to maintaining government services through an economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s a look at some of the notable races and ballot measures:
Sales Tax Increases
All county voters will see Measure X on the ballot, which proposes to increase the county sales tax half a cent to generate an estimated $81 million a year.
If approved, Measure X would raise the sales tax rate across the county to at least 9.75% and up to 10.25%, depending on current rates in its cities, for 20 years.
Proponents of the measure say the money is needed to help pay for public safety, early childhood education and other services, but because it’s a general tax the money could be spent any way the Board of Supervisors sees fit.
San Pablo, Concord and Orinda voters also will be asked to extend or increase sales taxes in their cities. Like the county’s Measure X, the cities’ measures need just a simple majority of votes to pass.
Antioch races and growth boundary measure
A very different measure is on the ballot in Antioch, where Measure T would set the city’s growth boundary and leave any adjustments up to voters. If approved, the net effect of the measure would be to reduce the number of homes allowed within a four-square-mile zone in southeast Antioch known as the Sand Creek Focus Area.
Besides Measure T, Antioch has elections for every council seat, the mayor’s seat, the treasurer and the city clerk. The city has switched from at-large to district elections for city council. As a result, District 1 and 4 seats will be two-year terms this year and then four-year terms starting in 2022, while the mayor and District 2 and 3 seats will be four-year terms starting this year.
Current mayor Sean Wright will try to defend his seat against Councilman Lamar Thorpe and contender Julio Jesse Mendez.
In District 1, Councilwoman Joy Motts is facing challengers in Tamisha Walker, a nonprofit director and activist, and Manuel Louis Soliz, Jr. In District 2, retired police lieutenant Mike Barbanica is running against former councilman Tony Tiscareno.
In a crowded District 3 race, Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock faces Marie Arce, Nichole Gardner and Antwon Webster. And in District 4, Councilwoman Monica Wilson faces Sandra White and Alex Astorga
Meanwhile, appointed City Treasurer Jim Davis is being challenged by finance accounting technician Lauren Posada.
Richmond district elections
Richmond also is holding district elections for the first time, with three seats up in districts 1, 5 and 6. With the backing of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, Councilman Willis is seeking the District 1 seat against Eleanor Thompson, a commissioner for the parks and recreation department who founded a youth-focused nonprofit nearly 30 years ago.
Former Richmond mayor Gayle McLaughlin — among …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment