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Press Democrat recommendations

Here are our recommendations for the June 5 primary election.

SONOMA COUNTY

SheriffMark Essick and John Mutz

This is an insider vs. outsider race for an office that hasn’t been contested on the ballot since 1990. Mark Essick, who worked his way up the ranks of the Sheriff’s Office, says he’s committed to community policing, diversity and improved relations with the people served by the Sheriff’s Office. John Mutz, a retired Los Angeles police captain, promises to change the culture and restore public trust by shifting toward de-escalation of volatile situations. A run-off seems likely, and Essick and Mutz offer a clear choice for voters.

To read the Press Democrat's editorial on this race, go here.

Clerk-recorderRay Leonard

Ray Leonard, the administrator for the clerk-recorder’s office, has more than two decades of experience in county government and has worked with all four divisions of the county clerk-recorder-assessor-registrar of voters office as well as other departments.

To read the Press Democrat's editorial on this race, go here.

Regional Measure 3: Bay Area bridge tolls — Yes

Regional Measure 3 authorizes toll increases on the seven state-owned bridges across the Bay Area. It would deliver a windfall for Sonoma County, with money to widen Highway 101 between the Sonoma County line and Novato, initiate improvements on Highway 37 and extend the SMART train to Windsor.

To read the Press Democrat's editorial on this measure, go here.

Measure A: West County Union High School Bond — Yes

This $91 million bond is a close call. Supporters point to a list of maintenance needs at Analy and El Molino high schools, outweighing concerns about declining enrollment in the district.

Measure B: Alexander Valley school bonds — Yes

This $6 million bond would pay for a multipurpose room at this 70-year-old Healdsburg elementary school.

Measure C: Harmony school bonds — Yes

This $9.6 million bond would pay for improvements to classrooms and other facilities and better accessibility for the disabled at Harmony and Salmon Creek schools in Occidental.

Measure E: Coast Life Support District — Yes

Voters must periodically authorize the district to spend the taxes it collects to pay for urgent care and ambulance service.

To read the Press Democrat's editorial on these measures, go here.

FEDERAL

U.S. Congress, 2nd DistrictJared Huffman

Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, has delivered for his constituents in the wake of the disastrous fires last fall.

U.S. Congress, 5th DistrictMike Thompson

Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, also was instrumental in getting local fire victims and public agencies relief from the fires.

To read the Press Democrat's editorial on these candidates, go here.

CALIFORNIA

Proposition 68: Park and water bonds — Yes

This $4.1 billion bond act would help refurbish parks and preserve coastal access. It also includes funding for water quality projects.

To read the Press Democrat's editorial on Prop. 86, go here.

Proposition 69: Transportation funds — Yes

This constitutional amendment would ensure that taxes and fees approved for roads and transit aren’t diverted to other purposes.

Proposition 70: Cap-and-trade funds — No

This is a head-scratcher. It would require lawmakers to approve a spending plan for revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions by a two-thirds majority. But just once. Six years from now.

Proposition 71: Ballot initiatives — Yes

This is a simple cleanup measure. Because it can take almost a month to count ballots, this would change the effective date for initiatives to five days after the results are certified.

Proposition 72: Rainwater capture systems — Yes

Homeowners wouldn’t get dunned for higher property taxes when they install rainwater-capture systems. Similar exemptions already exist for solar energy systems, fire sprinklers, seismic retrofits and upgrades for disabled access.

To read the Press Democrat's editorial on Prop. 72, go here.

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