11/09/2005

So, what's it all mean?

Well, the Municipal Elections are history, we have a new Mayor, and we have the same City Commission. What does it mean?

Well, first of all, I think it means that if you want to challenge an incumbent, you had better be ready to challenge the incumbent. Both Ryan Burke and John Stevens ran very nice campaigns, but if you place their positions on the issues side by side with Rosenbaum and Beecher, there's very little actual difference. In that instance, why vote out the experience? On the other hand, Dona Stebbins pointed out what she believed to be very significant problems with Randy Gray's leadership and she won. Product differentiation.

Second, as far as the substantive meaning of the election, I guess we're all going to view it through our own 'lenses.' I had my reasons for supporting Dona Stebbins, and I would like to think my reasons are reflected, at least in part, by the result.

I think that what you saw yesterday in the Mayoral vote was a vote for laissez-faire management. It seems to me that our City has its fingers in lots of little pies these days, and not always with good results. They're going to tell us where we can put our businesses, how high our buildings can be, what our signs can look like, and the pitch of our roofs. They're going to give one business some benefits like the use of City owned land, but a different business is frowned upon. There's a zoning problem with two nice little old ladies, and they'll help them, but there's no guarantee you'll get the same treatment if you have a zoning problem. They'll raise your taxes, but have no problem sending people and money to Russia. They'll try to get involved in your hobbies, such as modifying hot rods.

Another interpretation of the vote might be that City Government needs to refocus. Typically, a citizen expects its government to provide for some basic common needs such as streets and sewers, and provide for public safety. An argument could be made that while the basic responsibilities of government are being neglected (continuing tax increases, fee increases, increasing meth issues), our City Government is out chasing more 'sexy' issues like the skatepark and a 2 billion dollar power distribution grid.

I perceive yesterday's vote as a message to BACK OFF the little guy and remember what you're there for. (Sorry about that preposition) Randy Gray was, for good or bad, the point man in a City Administration viewed by many as grasping for power. (literally and figuratively). He lost.

It's a fine line between being proactive and overreaching. I think the City was perceived as the latter. Do good things, but remember your role.

And, as a post-script, I think yesterday's vote was a bit of a come-uppance for some of the zealots in our community, including the CasiNo people. They have appeared at the friendly confines of many City Commission meetings, welcomed by Randy Gray. They inevitably tout their huge following in the community: "Everybody is against the casinos." Yet, even though Dona Stebbins was tied to the casinos by the Tribune, she won. Beecher and Rosenbaum have been fairly non-committal on the issue too. I do not believe CasiNo has the following they think they have. There may be some mild consternation with a highly visible gaming industry, but I would suggest to you that it stems more from a lack of understanding as to what the industry is really about than an overwhelming, moralistic desire to tell others what to do. And I think what opposition there is to the casinos is clearly outweighed by the majority of us who want these busybodies to butt out.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hear hear. Butt out is right!

david said...

Excellent summary, GeeGuy. And I think you're right about the CasiNo movement...for instance, I don't gamble at all -- seems like a pretty stupid waste of time, and a good way to empty your pockets -- but I have no problem with the casinos in our community.

Anonymous said...

Dona made a lot of promises, now she has to produce. Most of the labor agreements with City employees expire June 30 including the agreement her husband works under. The City set the bar fairly high with the Fire-Rescue contract...

Be careful what you wish for Dona, you may just get it.

dona stebbins said...

Your information is incorrect. The contract under which my husband works was signed this summer and extends for 2 years.
While I will have no direct influence over labor contracts (the City Manager and Assistant City Manager negotiate those) I have made my support of those who do the actual work clear.
I would be interested knowing where you acquired your (incorrect) information.

Anonymous said...

I got my information from a carpenter, an electrician and a painter...your personal advisors.

Everyone knows you had a personal agenda and ulterior motives for running for office.

GeeGuy said...

It sounds to me like maybe Dona isn't the only one with an agenda here...

dona stebbins said...

Geeguy, it's just an anonymous wing-nut. Plenty of those around the internet, don't you think? It's always amusing to me when people try to yank my chain and don't have the brains to get accurate info or the balls to sign their name...LOL