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Around Town: Where were the voters?

November 20, 2012

I am always fascinated to “drill down” into the numbers and examine trends after each election and I must say to us: what happened?

Based on the Secretary of State’s Oct. 22 voter registration statistics, we in Apple Valley turned out 47.3 percent of our registered voters between mail-in and vote-in-person results. What happened to the voter enthusiasm we heard about? Out of the 165,133 registered voters in San Bernardino County’s 1st District, only 54 percent cast ballots for supervisor, and countywide about 53.4 percent turnout was the norm. A pleasant finding was that Republicans outnumber Democrats by about 6,100 votes in Apple Valley. The future challenge: “Decline to State” voters in town now number 6,400.

If you’ve had the feeling the “barbarians are at the gate” politically the last few years, you can just look at state voter trends to know you are right. We have circled the wagons, but now it may be time to recruit some new troops to help us hold our fortress of common sense against the hoards of tax-and-spend savages headed our way. So encourage all your crazy right wing tea party NRA-loving whacko friends to retire here — we need them.

Change is good — mostly
I have always embraced change because it shakes up the status quo and in the best of circumstances can help set people and organizations on a new path. Since Art Bishop received slightly more votes than Larry Cusack in the Town Council race, he is likely to be our new mayor come December.

The new council should also be able to move positively into the future without the squabbles and political infighting that dominated the last year.

We’re also set to have a new San Bernardino County Sheriff with strong ties to Apple Valley. John McMahon — or Johnnie Mac, as he’s known to some — was our Apple Valley captain not too long ago, a local product who’s made good. He is proof that occasionally good guys do finish first. There are a lot of financial, social and demographic challenges facing our elected officials and those in public safety as we head into 2013. Thank goodness we still have a few good people to help provide the leadership we need to continue fulfilling the “Better Way of Life” promise.

Now that voters have decided to make our county supervisors a part-time position with commensurate pay it will be interesting to watch how the office is eventually transformed. No longer a “stepping stone” to bigger and better things, it may evolve into an office sought by wealthy political gadflies or retired public employees who can “afford” to take on the post.

What’s coming
California officials unveiled a plan to spend $90 million (no word on where it will come from) in 2013 on marketing to reach eligible participants for our version of Obamacare. Our State Insurance Exchange — which we set up early, of course — has just been renamed “Covered California” and will start enrolling an estimated 2 million new people on Oct. 1, 2013. And you think you wait too long in the doctor’s office now?

In the next few days expect the first “Carbon Credit Auction” under the Global Warming Solutions Act legislation (AB32) that is now kicking in. The result? More pressure on mining, cement and other “heavy” industries to leave our county and take the jobs with them as quickly as possible.

Pat Orr is a local business owner, community volunteer and political junkie.

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