Proponents of Measure B on the November ballot are asking voters to change the county charter and with that to give up voting rights. Simply stated, you are being asked to give up your right to vote for four of the five San Mateo County supervisors who are now elected countywide. If Measure B passes, you will only be able to vote for the district supervisor. Today, we have the best of both worlds in that supervisors must reside in and run from a district, but be accountable to the entire electorate. We need only to look at the experience with district elections in San Francisco and San Jose where parochial interests dominate the politics of decision making. Today, voters and taxpayers in San Mateo County have equal access to all five supervisors — not just their district supervisor.
Proponents of Measure B would like voters to believe that having district-only elections will create more competitive races. The fact of the matter is that with safe seats, supervisors in counties with district elections run virtually unopposed (as is the case with most state legislative and congressional offices).
County voters have twice rejected attempts to change the county charter on this very question. Please make this the third and final failed attempt. You are now represented by all five supervisors with elections held every other year instead of voting for one supervisor every four years. Please don’t give up four votes. Vote "no” on Measure B.
John M. Ward
The letter writer served as a San Mateo County supervisor from 1975 to 1986.