Saturday, March 18, 2017

Boulder City Council Elections, My Rankings, Predictions, and Endorsements

Local political sign for the incumbent, Cam Walker 

Many people have assumed that nothing could compare to the romance associated with being married to a man like me. Just to prove how true this assumption is, I will tell you what I did on my most recent date with my wife. We drove up and down the streets of Boulder City and counted election signs...practically Paris in springtime.

The reason was, I was interested to see how my very unofficial street sign poll compared to the actual results of the election. With next week bringing early voting our way, I figured the time was now or never. For those who wonder how the poll operated. I gave 1 point for a sign no matter the size, no points for duplicate signs in the same yard and no points for signs I did not see. So yes, this polls accuracy is limited to the accuracy of my eyesight. I did not get to every street in Boulder City but attempted to hit every neighborhood and got to most streets.

The results are given below in the Table 1.

Other factors that political talking heads follow is fundraising and online presence. To that end, I include two more unofficial rankings. Table 1 also shows the amount raised, the amount spent, and the number of hits the candidates interview on youtube got.


Figure 1: Candidates, money raised, money spent, number of YouTube hits and number of signs.


Predictions

So I write all this to state that based on my own knowledge and very limited, informal rankings I predict the following items. Why should you listen to my predictions? The election four years ago when Councilman Walker and Councilman McCoy won, my predictions were 100% correct (of course, that could be because they were the only ones running, but that is immaterial).

1. No one will clinch a spot in the primary

I think we have a good set of candidates. They are good men who are well connected, they will pull the vote in too many directions and therefore no-one will clinch a spot in the primary,sending four of them onto the general election.

2. The Boulder City Community Alliance will play a part but will not have a huge impact.

The alliance as so many people call them is a grass root group that has gone from non-existent to a major part of BC politics in only a few months. They were out in front, being the first to publicly have the candidates speak and have been getting large groups at their meetings. Many times more people come to alliance meetings than are at city council meetings. They have endorsed two candidates. One, McManus, is well spoken, well connected, has been very involved in BC politics for many years and ranks well on all three of my rankings. Except for the fact that he never smiles, he is, by the classic definition, a great candidate. The other, Harhay, is trying a new route. He is little known, has decided to raise virtually no money and is truly doing things his own way. He is anything but a great candidate and relishes in that fact. His one high point is YouTube views but that may be because so few know who he is.

McManus, I predict will be in the general election and Harhay will not. If, Harhay and McManus, both make it to the general election then I have underestimated the Alliance's influence. If Harhay goes onto the general, it will be entirely on the backs of this grass roots group and it will show just how organized and influential they are. If neither, McManus or Harhay, make it to the general election, I have overestimated the Alliances influence and the blow will lesson any future impact the group may hope to have.

3. Mayor Lungaard will make it to the general election almost purely on the back of his door to door/ putting up signs effort.

Lungaard has a great resume but from a long time ago. The only reason everyone knows his name right now is signs, signs and more signs. He quickly worked by going door to door to get a sign at every corner home and was very effective. I don't know how he did it, all I know is that if anyone is looking for a door to door salesman...I know your man. The unfortunate defacing of his signs will actually help him, as it gives him more name recognition and the teenagers who think it's funny don't vote. Lungaard has raised little money, not been that involved directly in local politics for years, refused to speak at the Alliance meeting, and is the only candidate that does not have a YouTube interview. His only public speaking event that I know of was on March 7th and while he was able to push his strong resume his responses were not very direct. Overall he did not perform well. Signs are about all he has going for him, but he has a lot of them and I think it will take him into the general election. Not sure it will be enough to take him any further.

4. Loudin and Stuckey will not make it to the general election.

I have yet to meet someone who has met Loudin or knows him that doesn't like him. His performance on March 7th was hilarious and everyone was happy he had come that night, because he lightened the mood. But I don't think it won him many votes. I think he would be a wonderful councilman, but he has raised some but not significant amount, put up few signs and generally doesn't convey that he really wants the job. It comes off as if he would be willing, but doesn't really care too much. I don't see him moving on.

As for Stuckey, he is little known, and I can't find if he has raised a dollar or put up one sign. I have spoken to him a few times and he is well intentioned and I am glad he is running, but I doubt if he will get many votes in this election.

5. Councilman Walker will move onto the general election but it will be closer than he would like. In fact he may not get the most votes of any candidate.

Councilman Walker is well connected has raised significant money, has a good campaign and a great resume.  Overall people are pleased with where we are as a city and Walker has used this to his advantage. His draw backs are that he does not appeal to the anti-growth groups, having openly showed a willingness to look at some growth options. But the bigger issue hitting him is the fact that the mainstream, well connected votes that usually would be his are being split up. I will write about them next but Milburn and McDonald as well as Lungaard and Loudin to a degree, will take a significant amount of these votes because there are also serious candidates, that are fairly mainstream and in line with his voting block. These four will take votes that would otherwise go to him. However he will survive and once the votes are less split up in the general election he will do well and will once again serve us as councilman.

6. Milburn will move on and McDonald will not.

As noted above these are the two most serious "mainstream" candidates on the ballot outside of the incumbent, Walker. They are both sensible, even minded men. Both are well connected and loved in this town. I give Milburn the edge. He is raising more money, doing more advertising, putting up more signs and has had more years for people to get to know him. The one area that McDonald has Milburn beat is in public speaking. I have seen several people torn between these candidates and after hearing both speak have decided to go with McDonald. He defiantly conveys a passion for city politics. But in the end I don't think this will be enough and Milburn will move on and McDonald will not.

My Endorsements (In case you care)

I have had a difficult time deciding for myself, but have come to the conclusion on who I will vote for. Before I do I want to reinstate something Milburn has said and I agree with. We have 8 great candidates and all 8 would do a good job in City Council. I think all love this town and would do their best to serve us, the people of Boulder City.

My endorsements go to Cam Walker and Fritz McDonald.  I believe Cam has served us well as a councilman. His goal to help us become debt free as a city are very important and he has stayed the course on this item. He has been a good advocate for this city and worked hard for us on the solar leases and other items. I do not always agree with his votes but I find that he thinks through situations and is always well informed. I have only approached him a few times with questions but he is always open to discuss and listen. I think it would be a mistake for us not to re-elect him.

Fritz McDonald is passionate about Boulder City and making it a better place. He has served well on the city planning commission and is well versed with city issues. He is willing to do his homework and at the March 7th meeting clearly had done more digging, and investigating than the other candidates. He will serve us well and he has my vote.

Conclusion

Whomever you support I hope you will go out and vote for these great men who are giving so much of their time and effort to serve us. Thanks to all the candidates. I will do a follow up to review how close or far I was off.

   

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Option C

The Proposed View of Option A

I am big believer that when presented with two options that don't feel right, then most often the answer is too find an option you haven't considered. There is more ways to do lots of things not just skin cats. Who skins cats anyway? Well when option A and option B don't sound so good look for option C. That is the basic idea of my latest article. "Work together to preserve our views." I hope you enjoy.