10:33 AM PST, February 12, 2013
Shortly after City Council candidate David Nos stuck his campaign signs on front lawns in Burbank last month, Suzanne Weerts was inundated with phone calls and emails.
“People were wondering who was behind the ‘No on S’ campaign,” said Weerts, a campaign committee member for Measure S, the $110-million bond to improve the infrastructure of local schools.
The verbiage on the candidate’s signs — “Just say Nos” — was misinterpreted as “Just say No on S,” much to the chagrin of Measure S supporters.
Nos, a former school board member, actually supports Measure S. And by using his last name on his signs, Nos felt he was capitalizing on his “biggest asset” — his easy to remember, three-letter last name.
Plus, two others with his first name — David Gordon and Dave Golonski — are vying for the same post, he said.
The lawn sign mix-up marks yet another challenge for those rallying for the initiative.
Already, Burbank voters are being asked to weigh in on two initiatives called Measure S. The second one, which will appear on the April 9 Burbank general election ballot, is a special tax on trash and sewer bills and would subsidize the fees for low-income seniors and disabled people.
Additionally, the school bond initiative is slated for the city of Los Angeles primary election in March, as it’s part of the Los Angeles Community College District election — which typically sees the lowest local voter turnout — and is wedged between Burbank’s primary and general election in February and April, respectively.
“We have this voter confusion that is at the highest level,” said Marsha Ramos, Measure S campaign committee chairwoman. “It’s a challenge, but it seems to be resonating with folks that we do talk to, once we explain there’s not a ‘No’ campaign.”
While Weerts was telling someone about the initiative recently, the resident pointed to a house across the street with both “Yes on Measure S” and “Just Say Nos” signs.
“I’d hate to live in that house,” the resident told Weerts. “I can’t imagine the politics going on.”
The resident thought surely two family members were feuding over opposing views on the bond measure.
“It’s gotten people to pay attention to the issue,” Weerts said. “Because it is kind of funny, kind of ironic."
-- Alene Tchekmedyian, Times Community News