Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Poor voter turnout in SLT

Well, the stats are in: Less than 53% of eligible voters in South Lake Tahoe actually bothered to vote. This is a sad commentary on citizen involvement. Are so many people just fed up with the mistakes of the past that they don't bother anymore? Do we now have a new demographic that is too self-absorbed, lazy or "busy" to familiarize themselves with the issues and vote? In any case, a very small majority made the decisions for the entire city. If you didn't vote, don't even THINK of complaining about the outcome if it's not to your liking!


  1. Hi Tom~ Thanks for setting this up!!
    This is a big frustration of mine also. I live in the county, as do a number of year round residents, and am not able to vote in city elections. I have a business, feel like I am fairly active in the community ( I could always do more) pay business tax and license and do not have a say in the direction of leadership in our town. I wonder if there was a way to include county residents in city elections? would there be a better % of turnout?
    I have spoken to a few about this idea and there are a lot of strings attached to combining county rights and city elections... so is there a better solution? I think of all the neighborhoods off Pioneer Trail between Sierra House school and Meyers and there are a lot of full time residents in just those areas.
    Thanks again for setting up this blog and I look forward to checking in regularly!! Take care, Teresa Bertrand

  2. Thanks for weighing in Theresa,

    To be sure, the whole city / county resident voting issue has long been a serious topic of discussion. The question of if the city should annex adjacent county neighborhoods has legitimate pro and con arguments. The topics of snow removal and road maintenance come up frequently with debates on which jurisdiction does a better job. The county usually gets more 'yes' votes on that. With the new leadership, a renewed sense of purpose and a jolt of urgency, I believe that the city will be making a better case for itself. Both entities need to eliminate duplication and are working more closely together it seems.

    I'm inclined to think that there is little likelihood of the city of SLT annexing county neighborhoods OR dissolving and being absorbed back into the county. One thought is that if you have a business address or child in school in the city limits but a physical address in the county, you can vote on city issues.

    Perhaps someone has thought this issue through very thoroughly and would add their insights to this discussion.

    Thanks again for writing. Tom

  3. Democracy is a participation sport. I liked the way Obama thanked (only) the Americans who VOTED :)