It seems Ken Putnam has retained his seat on the board beating out Charles Beatty by 46 votes. For more, see . I judge it to have been a spirited race based on the spread and on the campaign signs in the front lawns of many of my neighbors. But I have to ask “Why?”
Why did the Crescenta Valley Water District feel it was necessary to pay the county to send all 11,768 of us registered voters a 12-page ballot in order to list just two candidates for one open board seat? It seems an excessive expense for the district to incur at virtually the same instant it is seeking approval to raise our water rates by about 10 percent.
On page 5 of the CVWD's 2011-12 Budget (attached) is a line item for $35,000 for “Election Expense.” Divide $35,000 by the 1,006 people who actually cast votes and the District will have spent just about $35 for each vote.
When compared to its overall budget this year of about $9 million, $35,000 for the election probably doesn’t seem like very much to the CVWD, but to the rest of us–it is real money. To put this in perspective, $35 is about what the average residential customer pays a month for water. This means that as a CVWD customer, next month, you could see the money you pay for water go, instead, to reimburse the district for the vote you cast.
There has got to be a better way! For instance, according to its budget, the CVWD already pays $30,000 for “Printing Expenses.” As a customer, I wouldn’t mind at all if, for the next election, the District simply printed and sent me a mail-in ballot as part of my bill (to be counted later by volunteers) and applied the money it saved to reducing the cost of my water rate increase.
What do you think?