Sunday, April 12, 2009

Week in Review 4/6/09 - 4/12/09

Due to spring break and the Easter Holiday this week was pretty light in regards to council business.

A great deal of my time this week was spent working the phone and email in an attempt to raise private contributions for the Town of Cary’s Climate for Student Success education forum this coming May. A number of folks have committed to help – I thank them dearly.

The Walker Street Extension Project Artist selection panel met again this week to interview our three finalists before making our final selection – which we did. All three artists are very talented and each brought a different perspective in regards to community engagement. After a healthy discussion the panel selected Vicki Scuri to serve as the artist on this project.

On a related note, while funding has been appropriated for the design of the Walker Street extension, construction funding has not been allocated, and in all honesty given the current state of the economy and budget constraints it may be 3-5 years before this project receives funding.

I continue to receive a number of emails pertaining to instant run-off voting (IRV). The majority of which oppose Cary utilizing IRV. While I expected this topic to receive a great deal of debate, the fervor of folks on both sides of the issue has been very surprising to say the least, and the amount of input from special interest groups has been very concerning to me.

The group that concerns me the most is Fairvote. The name of the organization alone throws up red flags – Fairvote. What’s not fair about voting? Every citizen who is registered to vote gets to do just that – vote. If there happens to be a run-off election they get to come back and vote again. What’s not “fair”?

From Fairvote’s website: There is no affirmative protection of the right to vote in the U.S. Constitution. Certain states have implemented restrictive election practices regarding voter registration, identification requirements and the voting status of people with felony convictions. This leads to an election system under which the status of a person's right to vote, even in federal elections, depends on nothing more than the state in which that person lives.

In other words Fairvote supports “automatic” voter registration, and believes that people with no identification and convicted felons should be allowed to vote.

Also from Fairvote’s website: The Municipal Right to Vote Intiative is an innovative approach that local governments can take to support the goal of an equal right to vote for local, state and federal elections. At the local level, governments may be able to allow non-citizens or people with felony convictions to vote for school board or city council.

Allow non-citizens the right to vote??? Are you %#$*& kidding me???? Now how is any of this “fair” to you or me? How is this “fair” to legal citizens? How is this “fair” to those who care enough to register to vote and participate in a transparent and verifiable process? All Fairvote’s initiatives do is empower rabid campaign supporters the ability to grab any Tom, Dick, or Harry off the street and into a voting booth, or the ability to vote multiple times under different names. None of these initiatives will actually increase voter turnout – they will however increase the number of votes cast.

Oh, and for what it's worth they also support eliminating the electoral college - effectively giving California and New York the power to choose this nation's President. Nice.

Support integrity in elections. Support requiring verifiable voter registration. Support identification requirements. And for gosh sakes do not support allowing non-citizens the right to vote.

Well that’s it for this week in review. Thanks for reading and HAPPY EASTER!