Politically speaking, the months following a U.S. presidential election are usually the quietest of all.
That’s also the case locally, especially in a year like this when the Clovis Council election has once again been canceled because nobody stepped up to challenge the incumbents.
Residents who grew weary of endless political mailers clogging up their mailbox or television commercials running nonstop during local news broadcasts could rest easy.
But not so fast — this year, at least.
Thanks to Fresno’s residential trash battle, there’s the whiff of a campaign in the air and, depending on how a signature-gathering drive ends up, could turn into a full-fledged campaign.
Opponents of Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s outsourcing plan for residential trash have been working over the past month to get the signatures of 21,828 registered Fresno voters.
If they succeed, there will be a special election where Fresno residents will weigh in on the question of whether or not to outsource residential trash pickup.
But already, a group known as Fresnans for Responsible Government is trying to stop any potential election before it can get off the ground.
The group has sent out a mailer to Fresno residents with an “urgent message from Mayor Ashley Swearengin.” It informs residents that if they had signed a petition to put the trash question before voters, they can ask to have their signature removed.
Of course, the mailer gives them that opportunity.
Outsourcing opponents delivered the petitions Friday afternoon. The process of verifying the signatures will now be counted.
If the effort eventually qualifies for the ballot, look for the campaign season to get an early start — almost certainly with campaign mail, and possibly with television and radio commercials as well — as supporters and opponents of trash outsourcing try to make their case to Fresno voters.