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August 27, 2011 - Measuring What Matters Most

I was intrigued by several components of the Ukiah Police Dept. Strategic Plan "Measuring What Matters Most".

It's a long term plan for 2010-2015 that seeks incremental improvements with no promise of a quick fix.

An initial community community survey asked "How safe do you feel within the City of Ukiah?" (an actual goal or need) rather than asking about taxes, costs, or salaries (possible methods of achieving goals or needs).

The plan's goals are

  1. Reduce crime and the fear of crime
  2. Improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods
  3. Enhance community and police partnerships
  4. Develop personnel
  5. Continued Accountability

I spoke briefly with Chief Dewey who said that crime is down despite financial cutbacks and fewer officers. You can download a pdf file from the Ukiah website. This plan is an example of the type of problem-solving I'd like to see throughout government - a system that applies principles similar to those on "methods" page. I'm hoping that a silver lining of the current economic situation will be an increased willingness by voters and elected representatives to seriously explore unfamiliar options.

May 24, 2011 - California's First "Top-Two" Election Results

Under this new election system all candidates from all parties run in the same primary election and voters can vote for a candidate from any party. The two candidates with the highest vote counts in the primary election advance to a runoff even if they're both from the same party. Write-in votes are ignored, and candidates who are members of small parties must declare they have no party preference. A legal challenge to these last two provisions is in progress.

36th Congressional District Special Primary Election, May 17, 2011

Complete election results and voter registration statistics

17 candidates (6 Republican, 5 Democrat, 3 No Party Preference, 1 Libertarian, 1 Peace and Freedom, 1 Write In)

18% voter turnout

56% voted for a Democrat candidate.

41% voted for a Republican candidate.

5/3 ratio of registered Democrats to registered Republicans in the district.

Top-Two winners: Democrat Janice Hahn (25%), Republican Craig Huey (22%)
53% of the voters wanted someone else.

March 22, 2011 - First Meeting

We had our first group meeting March 22. Read a pdf file of the meeting notes.