The Coastal Post - December, 1995

Voters Confused After Buck Vote? You Bet!

BY JOAN REUTINGER

In the wake of the November 7th vote opposing the construction of the Buck Aging Center, there is abundant voter confusion because the county-wide vote rejected the Buck Center, but the Novato vote accepted it. If the Buck Center advocates attempt to build the center anyway, as center Director Mary McEachron has said, it will be the Marin Jail scenario all over again. In spite of the jail being turned down three times by Marin County voters, County Supervisors went ahead and built it.

Now that Marin County has turned down the Buck Aging Center by a 52 percent majority, in spite of the nearly $600,000 spent to get voters to approve, if the City of Novato goes ahead with the project it will be the jail all over again. The same sort of arrogance that was seen in the jail issue is apparent here.

The November 8 issue of the Independent Journal it reported that Buck Aging Center Director Mary McEachron said, "The people of Novato voted; they approved this project. Would we let a few opponents overrule the people of Novato? Absolutely not."

Before the November vote, proponents of the Buck Aging project reported in a privately-held commercial poll that 78 percent of the people of Marin approved the Buck Center.

Ken Masterton, the master mind behind the "no" vote, said last week, "If the Buck Center has any delusions of going forward, we'll sue. The Buck Center has to come to grips that we are living in a democracy, and the people have spoken."

Alan Barnett of the Advocates for Justice (which were very involved with opposing the jail) said, "The people of Marin may get something they didn't vote for again," if the Buck Center goes through.

One interesting thing about the vote was that in early editions of the IJ the headlines said, "County Rejects Buck Centers," and an aside said, "Novato-only vote approved by 56 percent."

But some Buck Center people must have gotten to them, because in later editions of the IJ the rhetoric was considerably toned down.

Novato city manager Ron Wood agreed that the City of Novato plans to apply to the County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to annex the Mt. Burdell property the Buck Center hopes to build on. So it will be a race to the death to see who gets there first. And Coastal Post thought the animosity would end after the November 7th election.