Weeks ago, when we published our endorsements for Tuesday's election, we skipped over the race for San Ramon mayor because incumbent Bill Clarkson had no opposition.

Now, at the last moment, parks commissioner Bill Meine has entered the race as a write-in candidate. His top issue: the new, scaled-back civic center project.

He wants it to be bigger and built on a separate parcel rather than on a small corner of the city's existing Central Park. But when we talked to him, it was clear that he never thought much about how the city would pay for that.

We consider the new plan a great improvement on past proposals. Thanks to the leadership of Clarkson and City Manager Greg Rogers, officials have found a way to deliver the long-promised project without saddling future generations with risky debt.

San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson, in Pleasanton, Calif., on Oct. 19, 2011. (Doug Duran/Staff archives)
San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson, in Pleasanton, Calif., on Oct. 19, 2011. (Doug Duran/Staff archives)

San Ramon must not regress to the financially reckless ways of its last mayor, H. Abram Wilson. Clarkson has been a breath of fresh air, sensitive to the needs of the community and the city's fiscal realities.

Even though only Clarkson's name will appear on the ballot, we urge San Ramon residents to be sure to vote for him. He very much deserves another term.

Endorsement recap

San Ramon City Council -- Planning Commissioner Harry Sachs and, reluctantly, incumbent Dave Hudson. The other two candidates were poorly prepared. Moreover, Thomas Von Thury's sole purpose for running is to keep the city a primarily residential community with limited commercial development. That makes no sense in a city that has 8,000 more residents than Walnut Creek.


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Yes on Moraga Measure B (school parcel tax) -- Much better than last year's failed measure. This time, the proposed tax is less, $192, and, significantly, the measure contains a sunset provision. The tax would expire in 2020.

Yes on Antioch Measure C (city sales tax) -- An improvement over the failed 2010 proposal. Back then, the state sales tax was higher and the city hadn't made many tough cuts that later transpired. This time, Measure C seeks a one-half-cent increase for seven years. That would bring the sales tax to 9 percent, matching cities such as Concord, Pittsburg and Richmond.

Yes on San Ramon Measures D and E (moving elections to even-numbered years) -- Local elections don't get the attention they deserve when held in even-numbered years along with state and national elections. But all other Contra Costa jurisdictions now do it, leaving the lone holdout, San Ramon, unable to share election costs.