Editorial: Church for chief elections officer and assessor-county clerk-recorder
Apr 27, 2018
For two terms, Mark Church has led the office of San Mateo County chief elections officer and assessor-county clerk-recorder, a technical position with a variety of specific tasks. Most notable is that of chief elections officer, the person tasked with running our county’s elections. Moving nimbly in light of the passage of two new pieces of legislation that moves most elections to even years and also replacing traditional polling places with expanded centers and providing vote-by-mail ballots are no easy tasks. Yet both are being accomplished well. Additionally, the elections office also helped conduct a pilot program in 2015 for all-mail elections that helped pave the way for additional changes aimed at increasing participation. That too was conducted well.
There have been some concerns with the office when it comes to morale, however, Church said that comes primarily from limited housing inventory here and the rising cost of living and increased workload. To address it, Church is planning for a satellite office near a Bay Area Rapid Transit station to ease the commute for those coming from other areas of the Bay Area because of the cost of housing here.
Rising work on the assessment side of the office caused by the number of new property owners and the increased complexity of valuations based on a variety of uses on individual corporate campuses is also a cause of concern but a new, cloud-based server aims to address it.
His opponent in this race, John Mooney, questions the Elections Office’s ability to keep away unlawful voting but doesn’t have specific examples. Church said he follows the laws and also applies election laws fairly and equally to all candidates. Mooney also doesn’t have the command of the office or an understanding of what the work entails.
Church takes the job seriously and is working hard to ensure the various responsibilities keep up with our changing times while also spearheading voting changes to increase participation. He deserves your vote for another term.