These are my picks for state school board, judicial retention, and ballot questions as part of a continuing series of who I’m voting for this election cycle.
State School Board 10: Dave Crandall
I’ll repeat what I said last time: more tech people in government is good, so I’m happy giving Dave Crandall another four years. I’m also very uncomfortable that his opponent, Nina Marie Welker, is touting her experience as a delegate as a reason to vote for her. Sorry, but you’ll have to do better than that.
Judicial Retention: No to All
The state of Utah has a website where you can evaluate judges based on feedback from jurors and attorneys. In theory, this is supposed to help you make an informed decision about which judges need to stay and which need to go. Personally, I find it rather worthless. Our legal system has all kinds of serious systemic problems in it, and many of those problems often come from a collusion between judges and lawyers. Judges almost always fly through retention elections with a victory rate that’d make any Congressman jealous. Are we really to believe that judges are really this far above reproach? I do not. As a result, I cast a no vote in the off chance that we change up the makeup of the courts and catch the occasional egregious offender.
State Constitutional Amendment A: For
Whenever mineral resources are extracted and removed from the state, the removing business must pay a severance tax. This constitutional amendment would require that a portion of this money be placed in a permanent trust to be invested and create future interest revenues. Given that the severance tax is a one-time revenue source, this seems like a smart fiscal move. I have no problems voting for this amendment.
State Constitutional Amendment B: Against
I have a big problem with making the tax code favor any particular group over another, even if it’s wrapped in good intentions. This constitutional amendment would allow military personnel who are deployed out-of-state for more than 200 days a year to be exempted from paying property taxes. While I’m sure that at least one person will call me an America-hater and insult my mother, I can’t in good conscience support this kind of exemption. Not only would it cause severe financial hardship in the towns closest to military installations, it would imbalance the tax code based on the voluntary choice of profession. I can’t see that this is a net benefit to the community, but rather a hand-0ut of sorts to a specific group. I have to vote against this amendment.
Salt Lake County Proposition 1: Against
Really? Another open space and parks bond already? Look, I like both open space and parks. I don’t have a problem paying for them. I do have a problem with issuing bond after bond after bond for them, inflating the cost to double what it would be if we paid out-of-pocket. I have to vote against this on principle to encourage the county to make me pay more for it now so that I can pay a lot less later. Learn to save up for these things, guys.