I grabbed a sample ballot for Gwinnett county this morning and looked it over. I was disappointed in the fact that over half of the incumbents are running unopposed. What particularly disappointed me is that out of the twelve county offices that are on the ballot only three have more than one candidate. The district attorney, the sheriff, the superior court clerk, the tax commissioner, district 1 county commissioner and all three school board positions are running unopposed.
This isn’t right. Gwinnett County has nearly 900,000 residents. Surely there are people out there who could run against those running unopposed. The day after the election I’m going to start looking for those people for two years out. I would love for you to help me on this.
For now, just don’t vote in the races where there is only one option.
And while we are talking about elections, there are four proposed amendments to the Georgia constitution on the ballot. While I won’t give recommendations for individual candidates this time around I would like to comment and make recommendations on these amendments.
On Amendment 1.
Provide greater flexibility and state accountability to fix failing schools through increasing community involvement.
This bill allows for the state to take over schools that are failing for three or more years from local school boards. It creates an “opportunity” school district that the schools will be pulled into. Once the schools are back on a sound academic footing they are released back to the local school board.
Who could oppose this idea. Right? There is heavy opposition to it and I can sort of understand this. No one wants control of education taken away from the local community however it can become necessary and this amendment is necessary to allow this to happen when it needs to.
I endorse a “Yes” vote to Amendment 1.
On Amendment 2.
Authorize Penalties for sexual exploitation and assessments on adult entertainment to fund child victims’ services.
The authorizing of penalties for sexual exploitation I’m all for but the assessments on adult entertainment I have trouble with. This sounds more like a porn tax to me. Let the legislature revisit it and tighten things up a bit so we are just penalizing crime and not legal vices.
My recommendation is to vote “No” on Amendment 2 for now.
On Amendment 3.
Reforms and reestablishes the Judicial Qualifications Commission and provides for its composition, governance, and powers.
This piece of shit amendment was pushed through the legislature by a former judge who had to resign because the current Judicial Qualifications Commission did its job and investigated his fondling of women, particularly lawyers who had to deal with him and clerks who worked under him. He resigned and promptly ran for the state legislature and now wants to put the JQC under the control of Georgia politicians.
Don’t just vote “no”, vote “HELL, NO!” on Amendment 3.
On Amendment 4.
Dedicates revenue from existing taxes on fireworks to trauma care, fire services, and public safety.
Seriously, I don’t know a thing more about this than what the ballot reads. I’ve heard one news report about it around six months ago. On the face of it, who can argue with it? The thing is, I don’t know how the money is being spent now. Is this excise tax being spent solely at the discretion of the county commission? I don’t think this is something that we need to put in our constitution regardless of how well-meaning it looks.
Vote “No” on Amendment 4.
And we are also having a vote on a special local option sales tax (SPLOST) for transportation, recreation and other infrastructure. This one isn’t focused enough. Gwinnett has a wonderful park system now and we have plenty of senior service facilities. What we need is more ways to get from one park facility to another, not just more roads. We need more public transit, walking paths, and bike paths. Give me a place to walk or ride my bike to my destinations. Give me a transit center close to my home that will take me into Atlanta. Give me a reason to get out of my car for a change. This SPLOST isn’t going to do that. It will be spent on asphalt.
Vote “No” on the special election.