By Alessandra LUCKEY, intern
In a decisive election, more citizens of Los Angeles County took to the polls to have their voices heard on the presidential nomination, vacant government positions and important measures on Tuesday than in the previous Presidential Primary.
In 2012, only 21.87% of the registered 4,450,035 voters cast their ballots. This year eligible voters were more politically active with 29.92% of 4,799,548 voters exercising their right according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
Even though 29.92% is higher than the 2012 primary, it is still far below the 2008 primary which had a voter turnout of 55.26%.
The city of Glendale specifically had an important issue for the citizens to vote on: Measure N.
This measure was rejected by 70.93% of the voters, which means that the Utility Users Tax (UUT) will remain intact, according to glendalevotes.org. This tax is levied on the citizens’ monthly residential and commercial energy bills and makes up 15.2% of the city’s total budget.
If Measure N had passed, city services such as the fire department, the police force, and libraries could have been cut.
Scott Ochoa, the city manager of Glendale, said that the city has made a number of cuts and reductions over the last five years. As a result, the only place left to cut was city services.
“Unless you want to impact the level of service that is provided or the scope of service, there isn’t really a whole lot of other places to cut,” Ochoa said.
One of the actions Ochoa and the city of Glendale takes to make sure the residents are happy is the Citizen Satisfaction Survey, which is done every three to four years, and was completed this past spring.
Ochoa was not shocked that Measure N was defeated because of this survey.
“Heading into the entire discussion of Measure N, we had a good understanding about how residents value our services and so I think that as we look at the results of the measure, certainly we are grateful, but we are not surprised, because Glendale residents and businesses expect high quality and they are getting that,” Ochoa said.
Voters can have their voices heard again on Nov. 8 for the general election.