232014Oct

Measure “T” A No Brainer

John Derby, journalist from the Merced County Times expresses his thoughts of the recent Measure T ballot that had passed anonymously on November.

The City of Merced doesn’t need to spend $11,000 in educating the voters about Measure “T.”
It is a “No Brainer.”
The voters are being asked to split the City into six districts, with roughly half the voters on the north side of town and the other half on the south side.
The courts have been mandating representative government for years, and Merced with its large Hispanic population is underrepresented on the City Council. At present there are no Hispanic leaders on the Council, and it has been that way since Joe Cortez was termed out.
Rick Osorio, another Hispanic leader, was on the Council before him, and served several full terms. Both men served the city well, and contributed a lot to the background of the Council, especially when the subject involved needs of Americans with Hispanic heritage.
These Council members were also independent thinkers, and weighed in on all the other subjects which the Council had to deal with. Not all issues follow ethnic lines.
However, when it comes to where the city spends money on improvements, and such things as policing, the town can be broken up into areas. The South Side of Merced has been underserved in some cases.
We feel this is particularly clear when it comes to schools, and the fact that there is no high school south of the Southern Pacific tracks – though not a decision made by the City Council.
Business development and commercial shopping centers are also rare in South Merced, however, that is a factor determined by those who wish to invest in the city, not really the City Council.
With the breaking up of Merced into districts, there will probably be more Hispanic representation, as well as new Black and Asian Council members. This has got to be good for the community.
We need diversity, and it helps us deal with the problems which our city has.
Will the new districts help solve the Homeless problem?
Will High Speed Rail divide the city even more?
Will new businesses continue to prefer North Merced instead of South Merced?
We welcome the new members of the City Council from the six districts. We have no fear in their ability to run the city well.
If they truly represent the votes of each of their districts, then more power to them.
We are all for grassroots government and we feel that many of the problems of this country are due to the politicians getting away from the grassroots of our country.
Instead of representing the voters who put them there, they have become party pundits.
This has got to stop.

Read the original article on the Merced County Times.