Letter to the Editor-Supporters of Measure S in El Cajon

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Supporters of Measure S

Supporters of Measure S, which will be on the ballot November 8 for El Cajon voters, claim that it will “empower residents” and allow councilmembers to “focus their attention on their own neighborhood.”

 Under that measure, the City would be divided into four districts (with equal population), each represented by a councilmember who must live in that district. Voters can vote for or against only their local councilmember.

Supporters of Measure S

Supporters of Measure S, which will be on the ballot November 8 for El Cajon voters, claim that it will “empower residents” and allow councilmembers to “focus their attention on their own neighborhood.”

 Under that measure, the City would be divided into four districts (with equal population), each represented by a councilmember who must live in that district. Voters can vote for or against only their local councilmember.

That is a significant change from the current “at large” system, under which all voters can vote for the mayor and four councilmembers. (Under Measure S, the mayor would continue to be elected at large.)

Currently, all four councilmembers have equal power over all areas of the city. Under Measure S, those members would continue to have control over all areas, but voters are stripped of their voting power over three of them. That is not empowering.

The City of Chula Vista is now going through the process of converting to district elections. The issue of councilmembers being able to focus on a smaller group may have some validity in that city, which is 52 square miles. El Cajon, however, is only 14.4 square miles, and it is difficult to understand how “covering” a city that size would present a problem.

The districts would be drawn up based on current demographic data. With such a small size, the demographics of El Cajon would constantly change, and invalidate the rationale for the establishment of each district.

Robert B. Clark, El Cajon

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