Campaigning for the March municipal elections for incumbents in two cities in Los Angeles Counties have officially ended, even before folks head to the polls.
City councils in both cities voted to cancel the March 5 elections.
In the city of Lakewood, incumbents Steve Croft, Diane DuBois and Todd Rogers will be reappointed.
In a statement, DuBois said, “I’m happy and flattered that no one chose to run against my colleagues and me. I like to think that it means our fellow residents feel that we’re doing a good job for them. “
No election in the city means a savings of up to $100,000 and as cash strapped as municipalities are right now, that’s some welcome news.
Canceling the local election because no one decided to run against the incumbents has only happened twice in the city’s history.
Similarly in Paramount, incumbents Peggy Lemons and Gene Daniels will keep their council seats. Council members say the huge savings of about $74,000 was a big factor in deciding to call off the elections.
Easy wins for all five elected, but very concerning considering how dissatisfied many local citizens are with their municipalities.
If folks are looking for a better government, why aren’t they doing anything about it? It would appear citizens are okay with the status quo.
“With how fed up people say that they are with government, the lack of people willing to throw their hat in the ring to run for local office maybe is not surprising but is definitely alarming,” said Caroline Bruister, program director at California Forward.
If you ask any of the incumbents, as DuBois stated above, they feel the lack of challengers directly relates to how satisfied folks are with their work.
“Democracy works when voters have a voice and the ability to hold their leaders accountable. When the only option is the status quo, that is concerning for the electorate,” said Bruister.
How do we get people to pay more attention? Candidates need to answer the call and step up. The more Californians are engaged, the faster we can fix our cities and therefore the state.