The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

October 11, 2012
Sacramento charter commission gets a ballot card of its own
Some supporters of the proposed half-cent sales tax increase in Sacramento were afraid that another measure on the Nov. 6 ballot -- whether to create a city charter commission -- would hurt their chances.

One fear is that the potential cost of the charter review panel might dissuade voters from increasing their own taxes to help restore city services. That may still be a major factor.

But another fear may prove unfounded. 

Backers of the sales tax hike -- Measure U -- believed that voters would have to wade through the charter commission measure, including the list of all 54 candidates who are running for 15 seats in case the panel is created, before getting to the sales tax measure. The thinking was that some voters wouldn't even make it that far on their ballot.

I just received my mail ballot, and it turns out that won't be the case. The charter panel -- Measure M -- and all the candidates are on a separate card. 

And that card comes after the two other city ballot measures, including the sales tax hike. Those appear on a page with the city school district's bond measures and state Propositions 39 and 40.

So it appears more likely that the sales tax increase will be decided on its merits, rather than ballot placement.

And since the charter commission measure comes at the end of the ballot, it's possible that some voters may not get that far and there will be a drop-off in the number of voter on that issue.

As a reminder, The Bee's editorial board recommended votes against both the sales tax and the charter commission

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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