On Tuesday, March 7, Valley Glen voters will choose their next mayor, three new community college trustees and to decide if the sale of marijuana should be criminalized within the city of Los Angeles.
By D.R.Harward, staff writer
The most contested local position up for grabs is easily that for the mayor of Los Angeles with 11 out of 28 declared candidates appearing on the ballot.
The incumbent mayor’s warchest, exceeding $3 million according to the LA Ethics Commission, is over seven times larger than of all the other candidates combined. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s best financed opponent, political insider Mitchell Schwartz, has framed his campaign around the possibility that Garcetti may decide to run for higher office in 2018 as reported by the LA Times.
Garcetti is joined in the overwhelming-advantage category by incumbent city officials; City Attorney Michael Feuer and City Controller Ron Galperin, both being the only names on the ballot for their respective offices.
Voters will be asked to fill three seats on the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees. The most widely contested race is for seat number two, with four candidates and no incumbent. Vying for favor are Thomas J. Norman, Sergio Vargas, Steven Veres and Steve Goldstein. Dallas Denise Fowler is challenging incumbent Ernest H. Moreno for seat number four and Gabriel Buelna is trying to unseat Nancy Pearlman for seat six.
Valley Glen voters will also find five proposals vying for approval, of which three seek to increase sales taxes.
Measure H is a county-wide proposal to increase sales tax by 25 percent for 10 years to fund homelessness abatement projects.
Measure M is an official city sponsored marijuana money grab that also seeks to re-criminalize its’ sale by nearly anyone not already running a dispensary. It would impose a new tax of up to 20 percent beginning in 2018.
Measure N is a competing marijuana tax proposal that would create a new bureaucracy called the Los Angeles Department of Marijuana Regulation that will issue permits only to dispensaries that have been in operation since 2007. Measure N also imposes a city sales tax of up to 8 percent and re-criminalizes marijuana sales by non-permitted entities. This measure will impose fines of $10,000 per day on an activity that is otherwise legal in the state.
Measure S seeks to temporarily curtail the City of Los Angeles from giving zoning variances to commercial real estate developers, unless the project consists of 100 percent affordable housing. This citizen-initiated ordinance would be in effect for only two years.
On Tuesday, March 7 the polls will open at 7 a.m. and will stay open till 8 p.m.. All registered voters are invited to cast their ballot at any official polling place; an I.D. is not required.