minority rules

Measure E, which would have added a parcel tax ($91 per parcel) for Redwood City property owners with revenues directed to city schools, failed at the ballot box this week.  It required a 2/3 majority to pass, and had only 62% in favor.  There were about 10,000 votes cast in this election, roughly 30% 23% of the registered voters in Redwood City.  Another 400 “yes” votes would have changed the outcome.

So, a reasonable measure that would have brought needed relief to Redwood City’s challenged schools failed even though it was favored by a nearly 2-1 margin.  The super-majority requirement for tax related measures has to change.  Bring on the Constitutional Convention.


  1. CA State Sen. Joe Simitian has a senate constitutional amendment floating through various committees that would reduce the majority requirement from 2/3’s to 55%. It’s SCA 6 on the 2009-10 legislative calendar: http://www.senatorsimitian.com/legislation/entry/sca_0006_school_district_parcel_taxes/

    The case for a Constitutional Convention is helped along by the fun fact that Simitian has been proposing this reasonable idea in various forms since at least 2004.

    1. Good for Sen. Simitian – on these matters, Mellowcat and he are of one mind. But Mellowcat must express concern for his missed vote on S.B. 250 this week – the “pet killer” bill. It passed by one vote, and he wasn’t around (or abstained). Now it goes to the Assembly. Lookin’ at you, Ira Ruskin.

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