A Salute To Those Who Ran And Won
... And Also Those Who Ran And Lost

By  John Derby
Times Publisher

November 10, 2016

For the record, this was the most difficult election we have covered in our 56 years in reporting. Too many people running, in too many races, and too many measures on the ballot. It may have saved money for the government, however, it wasn't so great for Democracy.

From the start, there were too many people in the GOP presidential primary, and too many primary elections. Yet as Californians, with the most populas state in the union, we were relegated to almost last place in the voting.

Where is the fairness and Democracy in this?

We did not even get to vote on the best candidate for office in a winner take all state. We, the voters, were the losers. Few voters we have met feel that the best candidates were chosen for president.

There should be a national primary in which all candidates are chosen by all voters, not a select few.

Now bring this down to the local level. Try as we might, we were unable to interview every single candidate who ran for local office. Our staff of reporters and editors is just too small to cover the size of this election. It would have taken double the number of reporters and even then we would not have been able to cover all the candidates nights and public forums.

On top of this, the county is wrestling with issues which are very critical to its future, such as the release of water from its rivers, and the measure on financing road improvements.

We must admit we did not fully understand the impact of all the measures on the ballot. Some of the ballot measures were written in double talk, meaning if you voted “Yes” it meant “No”.

There should be a requirement that a measure or proposition must be written in such a way as to not confuse the voter.

Finally, we personally salute all those who ran and won, and those who ran and lost. This is the heartbeat of Democracy and it is not easy. One has to put themselves up before the public and ask for a vote of approval.

Then the candidate has to ask for donations to help cover their expenses, and they need to have signs printed and placed in yards, and advertisements placed in the local newspapers, as well as radio and T.V.

Candidates must get out in the public and be seen at meetings and heard at candidates nights.

Then the local newspaper endorses the candidates whom they feel will be best for office. The local newspaper has no crystal ball, but we often find multiple candidates running for the same office who are qualified and talented and would be great representatives for our residents. We see this in the races for school board, city council and mayor.

In the end, it is up to the voters, and some of them don’t even make the effort to cast their vote.

We salute all of this year's candidates for their courage and efforts in help making this Democracy work.

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or (209) 358-5311

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