I want to begin this week by thanking all who have offered their encouragement in this campaign for my election to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors. It’s humbling and overwhelming to realize all those who have expressed support. 

And that’s why I have added to my plate the task of personally asking voters to sign my Petition In Lieu of Filing Fee. So that you know what you are signing the text reads as follows: 

I, the undersigned signer for JOHN F. ELLIOTT, candidate for nomination/election to the office of County Supervisor 1st District to be voted for at the Primary Election to be held on June 7, 2016, hereby assert as follows: 

I am a resident of Tulare County and am registered to vote at the address shown on this paper. I am not at this time a signer of any other petition in lieu of filing fee of any other candidate for the above-named office.

My residence is correctly set forth after my signature below.

In the first week, I have dozens of signatures, mostly from Three Rivers but several from Exeter and Lindsay too. Each signature is worth approximately 30 cents that is deducted from the candidate’s filing fee. 

Some candidates would not bother with taking the time to earn the 30 cents per signature; they simply pay the $1,000 filing fee with campaign funds. In some instances a team of canvassers, either volunteers or paid petitioners, are enlisted to stand outside a high-traffic location and garner signatures.

I wonder if any candidate in a race for Tulare County supervisor has ever turned in enough signatures to defray the fee entirely. Candidates have six weeks to gather signatures and there are plenty to go around for all six candidates entered to date. 

There are currently 28,000 active registered voters in District 1. To be active, your voter registration must have your current address. If you have moved recently, you must re-register or your signature or your vote won’t count. 

To defray the fee in its entirety a candidate needs 3,333 signatures and that’s only if all are verified as active. Of course, I cannot contact personally 3,333 voters. I would have to sign on the dotted lines more than 100 registered voters each day for the next 30 days. 

In the next few weeks, there will be lots of places and opportunities around the district to sign. For now, signers will find petitions at the office of The Kaweah Commonwealth, Sage Roots, or see me personally. 


The issues

I like to sign as many as possible because there is no better way to engage the voter. By participating in the signing process, you can express what county improvements you would like or what issues are of concern.

In the first week here’s what voters are telling me. 

—Build and maintain public restrooms somewhere easy to find. 

—Create river access that is monitored continuously.

—Eliminate blighted areas along the scenic corridor of Highway 198

—Develop a town center.

—Create more opportunities for recreation including reopening of the Three Rivers Golf Course.

—Improve public transit so park visitors, including locals, don’t have to drive to the park when they stay in Three Rivers.

Of course, there are numerous other issues but these are the most oft mentioned ones to date among Three Rivers voters.


The team

The outpouring of support has also included a number of individuals who have stepped up to the plate to work in the campaign. To run an effective campaign and reach such a far-flung district, it will take a legion of volunteers. 

  Here are some who have already made a commitment to help: Barry Proctor, staff accountant at Valley Oak Credit Union, will serve as committee treasurer for “The Campaign to Elect Elliott for Supervisor 2016.” The state-sanctioned account should be fully operational by next week to receive funds. A PayPal donate button will follow soon thereafter on the campaign website.

Others who have pledged to serve: John Austin (research); Erin Leedy (counsel); James Seligman (videographer); Laile Di Silvestro (web developer); Lee Goldstein (advisor); Frank L. Avalos (canvasser); Brian Newton (canvasser); and Jeff Pierce (canvasser). 

More volunteers are needed. The adage “It takes a village…” couldn’t be more appropriate in a district that contains all or parts of four incorporated cities, three towns, one hamlet, and lots of hinterland.

Want to get involved and join the fun? Contact me at (559) 260-2909.  

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