Continuing our series of posts (here and here) on what will be the most contentious measure on Anaheim’s June ballot – Measure D – we present the “Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure D (which changes the mayor’s term from four to two years):
REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE D
Vote “NO” on Measure D.
An overwhelming majority, over 70% of Anaheim, has already decided the mayor should have four years to speak for the people.
So who’s wasting our time with a question to which we already know the answer?
Their best argument is that two years is how they do things in the fine cities of Orange and Irvine. They say it increases accountability.
Well, accountability means something. Accountability means getting things done. It means taking four years to focus on the needs of residents from all corners of Anaheim. It means making sure that the city is running well.
So what do the special interest lobbyists really want?
They want a mayor who’s too busy campaigning and hosting fundraisers to keep an eye on the city. They want to make it easier to give away your tax dollars to their wealthy friends. They don’t want accountability to you, the taxpayer.
They want the mayor to be accountable to them, not you the taxpayer. That’s just wrong.
Let’s not give them any more power. Let’s get to work repairing our streets, keeping our communities safe, and our parks clean. Let’s promote fiscal responsibility and a transparent open government.
Say “NO” to the special interests trying to rob Anaheim residents of their hard-earned tax dollars.
Vote “NO” on Measure D. We need a mayor with four years to do the job.
Mayor of Anaheim
Anaheim City School District Board Member Trustee
Anaheim Canyon Community Coalition
Orange County Historic Commission
“The voters already decided this issue” in 1994 isn’t a strong argument, especially when you consider that all the signers are in favor of single-member districts. The voters decided that issue in 1964 when they approved the city charter – and with it the at-large council election system these signers want to replace. Voters also decided they wanted a four-member city council, and the signers of this rebuttal want to change that, as well.
If they’re going to adopt the “voters have already decided” principle as an ersatz Brezhnev Doctrine for municipal elections, then consistency demands they abandon their quest toss out at-large council elections.
The signers tell us that “accountability means getting things done;” that it means “taking four years to focus on the needs of residents from all corners of Anaheim.” Actually, accountability doesn’t mean any of those things. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it means “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions” and that willingness exists independently of whether a mayor faces the voters every four or two years.
Then there’s the “it’s the special interests who are behind this” argument. Who are these “special interests”? The signers never say, and instead leave it to the imagination of voters.
Although they are apparently unable to tell us who these “special interests” are, the signers seem o know precisely what they want:
“They want a mayor who’s too busy campaigning and hosting fundraisers to keep an eye on the city. They want to make it easier to give away your tax dollars to their wealthy friends. They don’t want accountability to you, the taxpayer.
I suppose the only reason the “special interests weren’t also accused of wanting to flouridate the water supply or to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids was the 300-word limit on ballot argument length.
The more one thinks about these arguments, the more absurd they become. Imagine the mind-boggling frequency with which a mayor would have to hold fundraisers and “campaign” in order to be unable to “keep an eye on the city” (as if the mayor were a more a nightwatchman than an elected policymaker). Does anyone honestly — honestly — think that would happen with a two-year mayoral term?
Does anyone honestly think a two-year term would ;lead to a mayor being so totally engrossed in fundraising and campaigning that he or she would suddenly look up and exclaim, “Good Lord! I’ve been so busy campaign that I didn’t notice these greedy special interests giving away tax dollars to their friends! What have I done?”
“They want the mayor to be accountable to them, not you the taxpayer.”
The signers actually argue that requiring the mayor to face the voters more frequently somehow makes the mayor less accountable.
The signers then go on to tell us there is s direct correlation between the length of a mayoral term and whether or not roads are repaired, parks are cleaned and government is fiscally responsible.
This rebuttal argument is tub-thumping that doesn’t work on the level of logic, factuality or common sense.The question is whether it will work politically with voters? Will they believe this is all a diabolical plot by mysterious special interests bent on hauling away the city treasury in order to deny the good people of Anaheim clean parks and well-paved roads?