I've been a resident of Bakersfield's Ward 1 since 1952, voting there after turning 18. There's been much discussion about the cost of holding a special election to fill the vacant City Council seat, which has been estimated at $100,000. Most Ward 1 residents present at a community meeting last month supported gathering petition signatures to request a special election.
Article III, Section 16, of the Bakersfield City Charter addresses the filling of City Council vacancies. It states that if a vacancy occurs more than six months prior to the date of the next general election, a petition requesting a special election may be filed with the council within four weeks after the vacancy occurs. If the petition is valid, the council must call a special election to be held not less than 90 days or more than 180 days following the certification of the petition.
I would hope no Bakersfield residents would try to prevent the people of Ward 1 from choosing their own representative because of the cost to hold the election.
What price would you set for citizens to have their right to vote and elect their representative? Throughout this country's history, many have given their property, blood and life so that all citizens would have the right to vote and choose their own representatives. The right to vote is priceless. That's my thought about the estimated cost to hold a special election to fill the Ward 1 seat.
Dean has declared his intent to run for the Ward 1 seat in the event of a special election. -- Editor