Eureka Without a Mayor? Yes Please.

In today’s T-S there is an article on A2 called “Mayor’s Role May Be Morphing” by Jesse Faulkner.  In this mis-titled article (Mayor’s Role May Be Eliminated?) it discusses Mayor Frank Jäger’s proposal to eliminate the largely ceremonial position.

I say “Right on Mayor Frank”.  Here are a couple of reasons why…

* It’s largely a ceremonial position.

* The people of Eureka did not even bother to find a competitor to run against Mayor Jager in 2014 demonstrating that it isn’t a high enough priority to even bother with a challenger.

In the article Supervisor Virginia Bass and Councilwoman Marian Brady are both against this proposal.  Not unexpectedly, the former Eureka Mayor Bass found a way to make reinforce her political resume mentioning that she did not take the meager Major’s stipend during her last year as Mayor.

(Aside – this is the wrong answer, if City council members don’t accept salary, this is a sort of reverse means-testing for city leaders.  In this case instead of being eligible for services only if one’s income or wealth is low enough, one would b eligible for leading only if one has enough $$.)

According to the article, former Mayor Peter LaVallee was for the proposal and both Councilmembers Bergel and Arroyo were uncertain.  Natalie Arroyo did, reassuringly, mention that this proposal might be part of an election charter reform within Eureka.  From the T-S…

“Arroyo said she was in favor of election charter reform within the city of Eureka, but had not yet formed an opinion as to whether the position of mayor should be an elected position or not.”

On the other hand tht T-S summarizes Councilwoman Brady’s thoughts as…

“Ward 1 Councilwoman Marian Brady doesn’t think it’s a good idea. If the position of mayor is rotated among council members, she said, there’s a chance that the city will be stuck with a terrible mayor — someone not suited to fulfill the very public and ceremonial aspects of the job. “

The bottom line is we do need to simplify our complex Eureka elections.  The result of these low-paid numerous seats that are decided without primaries and in at-large elections is that few people care enough and as our town feels the continued pinch of economic stress coupled with housing our County’s jail during a time of necessarily reducing incarceration rates.  Elections need to be simpler and each vote more decisive;  in other words our elections should once again be democratic.

Losing the anachronistic mayor position is a good first step.  While doing so please also address the undemocratic at-large voting system.  Muchas gracias!

Conservative Versus Liberal Matters on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

TPP

The above is a screen grab from today’s Drudge Report.  Here is the opinion piece to which it links.

I don’t know why the most liberal president since Carter is such an opaque supporter of this policy.  I don’t understand why he would go to Nike’s campus, of all places, and celebrate Nike’s commitment to add 10,000 jobs to our economy why talking down to allies who understand how we are negotiating away our economic sovereignty.

But the point is, if we are to head in the right direction it is important to understand we need to work harder to spread the good word of liberalism to our friends on the other side of the aisle who still believe if we just continue to tear down regulations and hurdles to trade and a “free” market we’ll reach Ayn Rand‘s or Milton Friedman‘s economic utopia.

Life, markets, community, society, the globe is more complicated than that.  Some of us get it, some would rather keep their heads buried in the sand.  Here are a couple of articles from either side of the TPP divide.  Paul Krugman of the NYT and a joint article from Congressman Paul Ryan (and 2012 Republican VP Candidate) and Presidential hopeful and Senator Ted Cruz.  Both are behind paywalls, but there has to be ways around them – I don’t know how to get around the WSJ one and have no interest.  I subscribe to the NYT.

Trade and Trust by Paul Krugman

Officials have evaded the main concerns about the content of a potential deal; they’ve belittled and dismissed the critics; and they’ve made blithe assurances that turn out not to be true.

Putting Congress in Charge on Trade by Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz

‘Fast track’ authority will give lawmakers more say over agreements that are vital for economic growth.

I know it’s tempting to throw in the towel and say it’s all Repulocrats or Democans, but it’s not.  We have an institutionalized system of two poles, if you don’t like where we are headed and you can see through the Republican’s charade, there is only one choice – get involved and make the Democrats do the right thing.  They can’t while 64% of white men across the nation reflexively vote for conservatives.  It’s up to you, and you can make a difference.

At one point in Krugman’s article he writes simply…

As I see it, the big problem here is one of trust.

This is true not just for “free” vs “regulated” trade, I’m finding it is the commodity on which politics rests.  It’s what politicians and pundits (myself included) trade in and we’re continuing to trust the Milton Friedman conservatives and what is left of the DLC (Bill Clinton) Democrats on trade and the economy to our nations (and I’d argue our globe’s) detriment.

Why North Carolina’s Charlotte Observer’s Editors Are So Liberal…

Asked on Honesty Day…

Please check out this link while considering the author is an editorial page editor from North Carolina.  In Humboldt, a county that votes left of center by 25% don’t we deserve a similar voice from our local media?

Here is one adjustment that could be made.  Instead of

“we believe taxes should be as low as possible while still providing a sound safety net…”

…what about…

“We believe taxes should be exactly where needed to pay for the requirements of a modern society as outlined in these liberal principles.”

…and…

“We believe that extra care is made to look at one’s ability to pay these taxes and wealth as well as income should be taken into account.”

What would the Times-Standard’s honest response be to why their editorial staff is conservative?  Guess we’ll have to wait ’till April 30th 2016 to ask.

Continue reading “Why North Carolina’s Charlotte Observer’s Editors Are So Liberal…”