Under our election rules, the top vote-getters win city council elections. Anyone can run, with little money. You must garner the most — not a majority — of the votes, and you'll have to campaign hard to get them. And you don't run against anyone. You run for a seat. It's more civil that way.
But were you to run under Prop A, you’d be a challenger. You’d go head to head against a specific member, making divisive hand-to-hand political combat a certainty. To oust a bad apple, you'd have to garner a majority of the votes. Getting more votes than the bad apple wouldn't do it; you’d have to win a run-off. Right now, top vote-getters win; bad apples exit stage left — end scene.
By design, Prop A creates an almost insurmountable “barrier to entry,” virtually guaranteeing incumbents keep their seats. Big-money donors would fill the incumbents' coffers (surely tempting incumbents to do their bidding). New candidates facing formidable war chests would be discouraged from even trying. So much for diversity.
It's a naked, obscene power grab. So why did our council (Olson dissented) put it on the ballot? For their convenience. Prop A would stave off opponents, eventually obviating the need for incumbents to ever campaign. Recently elected "outsiders" and candidates from limited means would scavenge for small donations from the voters they hope to serve, to even stand a chance against well-heeled elites. Make it rough on those pesky outsiders. Maybe they'll give up and go away!
Prop A is great, so goes the argument, because now incumbents must hit the streets, get to know voters, address our concerns: campaign and stuff. Having to walk among the common folk, earning our votes to win your seat? "No thanks!" Our incumbents don't like them apples. Too inconvenient.
But alas, campaigns are the fruits of our democracy, and I'll gladly take those apples any day.
Give the establishment's "Prop A" a big fat NAY on Election Day.
Leigh Logan, Waxahachie