Elections are being held Tuesday for the Clovis City Council and for a 1 cent sales tax to aid Madera County’s public safety services.
While the one contested seat in the Clovis City Council election is getting a lot of financial attention, an unopposed candidate has raised more money then either of the two vying for the competitive seat.
Vong Mouanoutoua has rasied $59,000 in his noncompetitive bid for the four-year seat to replace former City Councilman Nathan Magsig. Mouanoutoua served on the Clovis Planning Commission for 10 years.
Paul Soares has raised about $57,600, about half from the Clovis Police Officers Association and Clovis Firefighters Association. He is vying for the two-year seat against retired, longtime Clovis Police Capt. Drew Bessinger. Bessinger has raised about $30,000. A third candidate, Aaronjack Perry is on the ballot, but isn’t actively campaigning. He has raised no money and hasn’t appeared at Clovis City Council candidate forums.
The lone incumbent, Lynne Ashbeck, also is unopposed and she has about $71,500 remaining in her campaign account.
The Fresno County Elections Office estimates that 8,500 mail-in ballots have been collected for the Clovis City Council race. That represents about 14 percent of the 60,499 registered voters in Clovis.
The number of registered voters in Clovis
Madera County sales tax
In Madera County, voters in unincorporated areas, which includes every community outside the cities of Madera and Chowchilla, will go to the polls to decide whether to raise the county's sales tax from 7.75 cents to 8.75 cents per dollar.
The tax will pay for new firefighters, new fire stations, a higher level of service per fire station, new deputies and increased incentives for volunteer firefighters, known as paid-call firefighters.
If passed it will go into effect in October and is projected to raise about $164 million. If approved, 80 percent of the revenue collected over 20 years will go for firefighting services – $132 million – and 20 percent for sheriff’s patrol deputies, about $32 million.
The measure requires more than two-thirds majority support to pass.