Candidates Play Election Day Waiting Game

Council candidates plan different ways to spend election day
Gilroy – Voters today have the chance to select three members for the city’s top governing body.

Council incumbents Bob Dillon, Craig Gartman and Charles Morales seek to defend their seats against former councilman and local physician Peter Arellano and planning commissioner Dion Bracco.

The current election has focused on many of the traditional issues facing Gilroy, such as keeping the city budget in the black and repairing cracked sidewalks. Bracco, Dillon and Gartman have aligned on a number of issues, including their desire to see city parks constructed before new homes are built.

All the candidates except Dillon have said they would oppose a ballot measure intended to uproot binding arbitration, the strongest bargaining chip of local public safety unions. Earlier this year, following the announcement of a deadlock in labor talks between City Hall and Fire Local #2805, the mayor led a campaign to get such a measure on the November ballot. The move failed in the face of union threats about due process and political retribution, but the issue could resurface in coming months.

For weeks, candidates have been fine-tuning their platforms and explanations of controversial votes, both by going door-to-door and through various local candidate forums.

Today, Councilman Charles Morales, who is seeking a fourth term on city council, planned to make one final push to reach voters.

“I’ll be doing what I can to help get the vote out, he said. “I will visit different parts of the community and be visible.”

Council incumbent Craig Gartman planned a different kind of day.

“I’m going to get out of town,” said Gartman, who planned a day of golf followed by time with his daughter. “My first time I ran in 1999 I went to the office and I couldn’t get any work done because I was constantly thinking about people voting.”

There are roughly 17,000 registered voters in Gilroy. The secretary of state predicts a 42 percent statewide voter turnout.

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