As we look ahead to November’s elections, Mill Valley Patch is devoted to bringing you the information you need about every race in town. In some ways it's a light election, with no or board of trustees seats up for election.
But there's also a doozy of a school district parcel tax election, as well as the race to fill the big shoes of the retiring Rep. Lynn Woolsey and represent Marin and much of the North Bay in the 2nd District in U.S. Congress.
Here's our start on the candidates and issues we'll be covering as November draws near. Bookmark this page for updates.
Faced with ongoing state budget cuts, booming enrollment and stagnant property tax revenue, the Mill Valley School District is facing a sizable budget deficit that is projected to worsen over the next three years. In an effort to avoid teacher layoffs and an increase to the teacher-student ratio, the district is seeking a new $196 parcel tax in addition to the current $731 tax. The tax is on the Nov. 6 docket as a ballot measure, and requires two-thirds approval to pass. A group called Protect Mill Valley Schools has formed to advocate for the parcel tax. Click the above link for our coverage of the parcel tax and the district's budget issues over the past 18 months, and check back often for updates.
Jared Huffman: The San Rafael Democrat will be running against Dan Roberts for of the U.S. House of Representatives. Huffman came in first place in the June 5 primary and his top issues he'd like to pursue if elected are job creation and economic growth, healthcare reform and education.
Dan Roberts: A Republican from Tiburon, Roberts won second place in the primary and will be going up against Huffman for Woolsey's seat. Roberts' key issues are cutting federal spending to balance the budget and less federal government involvement.
Michael Allen: This Democrat won the top spot for a seat in the 10th District in the California State Assembly. Allen recently moved to San Rafael when his district, which included Napa County as well as parts of Sonoma and Solano counties, was split by a state commission. His top issues he's like to pursue if he is elected are solving California's budget deficit, creating great public schools, supporting higher education and protecting the environment.
Marc Levine: The San Rafael City Council member and Democrat won the second spot in the June 5 election for the Assembly. Levine joined the San Rafael City Council in 2009 and has voted on several hot button issues including , the and . The main issues he would like to focus on if elected are fixing the budget, creating job opportunities, the environment, education and reducing the influence of special interests in Sacramento.
Proposition 28: This proposition, which passed with 61 percent of the vote in the primary, reduces the total amount of time a person may serve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years. It allows a person to serve a total of 12 years either in the Assembly, the Senate or a combination of both and applies only to legislators first elected after the measure is passed. Some say that the current term limit law places a barrier to change in the government's representative body, while others say Prop 28 is the work of special interests to trick voters into weakening term limits.
Strawberry Recreation District - The five-member board that manages the district's recreation community center, athletic facilities and parks has three seats open this fall, including two long-term seats and one short-term spot.
Marin Healthcare District - Two seats for the board that oversees the nonprofit entity that owns Marin General Hospital are up for election in the fall.
Marin Municipal Water District - Though Mill Valley's primary representative on the MMWD board, Cynthia Koehler, was re-elected in November 2011, two more seats are open this fall, including that of District 5, which includes Strawberry. Larry Russell represents District 5, which also includes parts of Larkspur and Corte Madera, Tiburon, Belvedere, Sausalito and Marin City. The seat for District 2, which is currently represented by Armando Quintero and includes much of San Rafael, is also up for election in the fall.