View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

Frank Ferry: Take time to vote in the 2014 City Council election

Posted: February 28, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 28, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

As most readers know by now, I am in the midst of finishing out my last few weeks as a Santa Clarita City Council member.

After 16 years of service to the community, I am proud of the many accomplishments I’ve had a hand in — from the Youth Grove in Central Park to the Newhall Community Center to the cross-valley connector, among other things.

One of the things I’ve always liked best about local government is that it impacts our day-to-day quality of life.

If you live in city boundaries, the streets and sidewalks you use every day, your local parks, recreation programs, public trails, police and fire services and public libraries are all under the direction of your city government.

If you want to speak with the mayor or any member of the City Council, you can. Santa Clarita City Council members return phone calls, respond to emails, attend special community events, and participate in a variety of programs impacting our residents.

Local government should be about doing the very best job we can for all of our residents. I encourage every resident to vote in the April City Council race, and I hope they do. But the reality is local election turnout in our community is low — usually less than 20 percent of registered voters.

In the 2012 city of Santa Clarita Municipal Election, only 16.9 percent of registered voters actually turned in a ballot by mail or at the polls. A total of 90,714 city residents were registered voters in 2012, yet just 15,390 voters actually exercised their right to vote.

It is my hope the 2014 Municipal Election will set new voter records. With that goal in mind, here’s the short list of what you need to know as we approach Election Day.

The 2014 Municipal Election will be held on Tuesday, April 8. This year, 13 candidates are vying for three seats on the five-member Santa Clarita City Council. Each elected council member will serve a four-year term.

City leaders recognize that most residents are extremely busy, which is why they created the website votesantaclarita.com.

The website includes information about registering to vote, polling locations, precinct maps, deadlines, candidates and more. A sample ballot will be available on the website in March.

Over the last few years, the city has seen the biggest increase in voter turnout from the “Vote by Mail ballot.” The

Vote by Mail ballot is exactly what it sounds like – you vote at home and pop it in the mail.

Vote by Mail ballots should be mailed to the City Clerk’s Office and must be received by the close of polls on April 8 (postmarks will not be counted) to be counted.

However, many residents still enjoy voting in person, and so for them, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Voter assistance will be available at all polling locations.

This year, there are 31 voting precincts for the Municipal Election. If they are unable to make it to their assigned precincts, registered voters can go to any polling place and cast a provisional ballot.

In addition to casting your vote, you can show your support this election season and put democracy to work by volunteering. Students are welcome to volunteer and must be 16 years of age, must have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher, and must attend a training session to work at the polls.

For details about available volunteer opportunities and training, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 661-255-4391.

Please take a moment on April 8, 2014, to share your opinion and make your voice heard — the future of your city depends on it.

For more information regarding the upcoming city of Santa Clarita Municipal Election, visit VoteSantaClarita.com or call the City Clerk’s Office at (661) 255-4391.

Frank Ferry is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at fferry@santa-clarita.com.

 

Comments

Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...