Most of us are used to voting in even-numbered years when our ballots have candidates for president, U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, state Senate, state Assembly, board of supervisors, mayor, city council, school board, and the list goes on.
But in odd-numbered years, the first Tuesday in November is also available for a general election, typically for those cities that hold city council elections in odd-numbered years (like San Ramon), and for local ballot measures.
Antioch registered voters should have received a sample ballot in the mail last week. In it they will find that there is only one item on the Nov. 5 ballot for them to cast their vote -- Measure C.
Measure C was placed on the ballot by the Antioch City Council and asks the voters if they will approve a city one-half percent sales tax that would go to the city's general fund. That would raise the total sales tax in Antioch from 8.5 percent to 9 percent.
Since this is not a "special tax" for a designated purpose, it only requires a 50 percent plus one "yes" vote to be approved and can be used for any purpose by the city council.
A campaign committee in favor of Measure C has been formed and FPPC papers filed with the Secretary of State's office and the Antioch City Clerk. That committee will be required to submit campaign finance reports to the City Clerk that will be available for public review.
During the two-week before the Nov. 5 election, that committee will also have to report within 24 hours any contributions or expenditures over $1,000 to the City Clerk's office.
In the sample ballot registered voters received they will find an argument in favor of Measure C and an argument against Measure C. The city council did not approve the submission of rebuttal arguments. I encourage everyone to read those arguments to make their decision as to whether they will vote "yes" or "no" to Measure C.
If you are signed up to receive a permanent mail-in ballot, you should be receiving it shortly.
If you find that you are going to be out-of-town on Nov. 5, then you can request a mail-in ballot by completing the form included with your sample ballot and mailing it to the County Elections Office; or go online to www.cocovote.us to request a mail-in ballot. You can request to be a permanent mail-in ballot voter or just for the Nov. 5 election.
Approximately four to two weeks before the election, you will receive an official ballot. Return your ballot in the envelope enclosed. Be sure to sign and write your address on the return envelope. Without your signature the ballot cannot be counted. Returning instructions will be enclosed.
For those supporting or opposing Measure C, it is important that you know where campaign signs can and cannot be placed in accordance with the Antioch Municipal Code.
Essentially, campaign signs can only be placed on private property with permission of the property owner.
Campaign signs cannot be placed on light poles, telephone poles, traffic signs or anywhere in the city right-of-way (which includes sidewalks or any city property such as trails or fences on city property).
Improperly posted signs will be removed and held at the city's Public Works Department.
This is an important election for the city of Antioch and its residents. It will cost the city in excess of $200,000 to conduct this election, so please take the time to read the materials in your Sample Ballot and participate in the election process.
Arne Simonsen is the Antioch City Clerk. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org