Those running for the only Riverbank City Council seat to be contested on the ballot in November will have a little more difficult time getting in front of potential voters.
Riverbank City election officials said recently that the League of Women Voters has declined this year to sponsor its traditional Candidates Forum.
Annabelle Aguilar, City Clerk, noted that the LOWV is not hosting a forum this year, partially because of changes in the way Riverbank is conducting its council elections these days.
Not long ago, the council, hoping to avoid potential litigation, voted to switch to district elections. In the past, the council seats were elected city-wide. Now, the voting pool for each seat is a much smaller electorate.
In this particular election, the first since the switch to districts in Riverbank, Districts 2 and 4 were up for election, as was the Mayor’s seat. That spot on the ballot remains a city-wide election.
During the period open for filing for candidacy of any of the seats, no one took out papers to run against incumbent Mayor Richard O’Brien or incumbent Darlene Barber-Martinez, from District 4.
The council voted recently to appoint O’Brien and Barber-Martinez to their respective seats, eliminating the need for those elections. What remains is only District 2, just a few thousand voters out of a population of around 20,000 residents.
Apparently, the League of Women Voters doesn’t wish to go to the trouble for such a small portion of the Riverbank electorate. And Aguilar said the city is not interested in hosting such a forum, either.
Hence, candidates Cindy Fosi and Anthony McKinney must rely on other means of getting their names before potential voters.
Recently, Fosi hosted a ‘meet and greet’ get together for constituents. McKinney has said he had no plans for similar events.
The remaining means by which to get to the voters seems to be with yard and street campaign signs, posters, media advertising and possibly, door-to-door campaigning.
The city council District 2 election will appear on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot for some, but not all, Riverbank voters.