October 7, 2009 > Newark City Council Elections
Newark City Council Elections
By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Meenu Gupta
Registered voters in Newark will have the opportunity to vote for the position of Mayor, two City Council members and Measure L at the general municipal election on Tuesday, November 3. David Smith is re-running for Mayor and Nadja Adolf, Ana Apodaca and Alan Nagy are running for two council seats. The Mayor's term of office is two years; City Council members serve a four-year term. Apodaca and Nagy are incumbents. Adolf is making her first bid for an elected position.
The polls will open on November 3 at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m. Election results will be posted on the Alameda County registrar of Voters website after polls close on election night.
"Newark is at a fiscal crossroads right now and this is the time where experienced, seasoned leadership will be increasingly important. We can be really proud of our accomplishments as a community and although the path ahead has many challenges, they can be met if we continue to work together to make Newark one of California's finest cities," said Mayor Smith.
At the election forum, hosted by the League of Women Voters in Council Chambers last week, the candidates voiced their plans for and opinions about using the federal stimulus money that Newark receives, their visions for Area 4 development, affordable housing, toxic sites that need to be cleaned and about gang activity in the City.
"My plan for Newark's future is to rebuild the city's economy and sustain our community for future generations. It's vital we keep our residents safe by ensuring rapid response times for fire, police and emergency services. It's of the utmost importance Newark maintains a high quality of life for residents of all ages. Newark must continue to be a community that protects and provides for its children, seniors and neighborhoods," said Apodaca who has served as council member for the past four years.
"Supporting Measure L is a tough but much-needed decision. Our 3.9 percent utility users' tax rate would be the lowest in Alameda County. The money raised from Measure L will remain in Newark and ameliorate budget cuts," added Apodaca.
Expressing opposition to Measure L, Adolf criticized the timing of the tax's introduction and pointed out that families that have lost jobs are not exempt.
"Measure L would tax the gas, electricity, telephone, internet and television use of all residents except low-income, elderly residents on the PG&E Cares program. This will severely affect some businesses. Poor residents, often in older less energy-efficient housing, are likely to be impacted seriously," she said. "Federal grants already fund many city programs and the city needs to put more emphasis on obtaining federal stimulus dollars for local programs before attempting to establish a tax that hurts the poor the most."
"We have had to spend our reserves to balance our budget because of the poor economy. Whilst the economic doldrums continue, the city will need to raise additional funding. If the latter doesn't come from Measure L, there will be additional cuts," explained Alan Nagy in support of Measure L.
"Public safety is my highest priority. I shall continue to advocate for programs involving our citizens like the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. It's important we manage the City's financial resources prudently and conservatively. We've a proven process to manage financial resources, including the five-year forecast, a two-year budget cycle and a capital improvement plan," Nagy stated.
To vote in the election, you must be a US citizen, a resident of the City of Newark and 18 years of age or older on election-day and registered to vote at least 15 days prior to the election. The deadline for registration for this election is October 19.
Voter-registration forms are available at the Cashier's Counter (First Floor) or from the City Clerk's Office (Fifth Floor) at City Hall, 37101 Newark Boulevard. Forms are also online at www.sos.ca.gov. For more information, contact the City Clerk's Office at (510) 578 4266.