As always I promise to tell how I did in the final election results. So, here I go.
- Prediction #1- Both pool questions will go down. I think this town wants a new pool and I think the yes on 1 and no on 3 strategy is a smart one. Basically give the money for design so we have better plans and numbers without giving the $40 Million dollar check. But they will go down together. As much as we want a pool, $40 million is a big ask, and people feel, I think justifiably so that Council and Staff really have not done enough to explore other options besides bonding for the full amount. The idea that they will bond for $40 million but then use other funding does not fly with most people. They simply don’t have that kind of trust.
Result- I was correct on this one. Question 1 to give $5 million for design definitely out performed the $40 million dollar pool, going down with basically 60-40 vs. the dismal 70-30 split for the pool. This will put a tough situation for the current council. They have an electorate that wants a pool but doesn't want to pay for it. I think there is some good ways to get there and I think real leadership can find a way to use other funds besides a direct increase in property taxes but it won't be easy.
- Prediction #2- Question 2 will go down in flames. What is question #2? You don’t know and that is exactly why it will go down in flames. It has to do with restructuring debt and those type of questions need a champion and someone to clearly explain the benefits to voters. This question doesn’t have one and will therefore bomb.
Result- I am very pleased to say I was wrong on this one, it passed. Not by much, only 100 votes, but this is great news. It really made sense to allow the council to refinance debt but I didn't think without people pushing for it that it had a chance. But people of Boulder City proved me wrong, they made the right choice and passed this one.
- Prediction #3- Question 4 on off road vehicles will pass. There is a lot of people who love these vehicles in our town and while there are those who worry about the noise, the yes side is definitely more passionate about this. In fact, this may be the question that improves voter turnout more than anything else.
Result- I was wrong again. There was a lot of people who really wanted this to pass and they ran a good campaign but clearly there are more people who worry about noise. I missed judged this one.
- Prediction #4- Rich Shuman will loose his bid for reelection. Rich did too little too late for his reelection. Personally I think Rich will enjoy the break and having his Tuesday nights and other time back. He has served us well but others have been more engaged in the election process and that will hurt him. I think he will be in the bottom of the four running.
Result- I was correct. I think Rich has done a great job and we owe him a debt both for his time on council and his time on the planning commission. I wish him the best. In the end his level of effort simply felt like less. I don't think people saw him as engaged and he got almost 700 votes less than #3.
- Prediction #5- Peggy will win reelection. She was so close on the primary and while she may not pick up large amounts of votes from those that are no longer running, she has to pick up so few to win, she will do it. What the primary really showed me is that Peggy is really loved in the community. I figured she would do well but how much better she preformed compared to the Mayor and Rich Shuman really surprised me. It shows that many people who may not align with the incumbents have a positive view of Peggy and that will pay off for her.
Result- I was wrong but it was close. Peggy lost, but by the razor thin margin of 39 votes. Goes to show you that every vote counts. I too think Peggy deserves our gratitude. I think she has done a wonderful job and I was surprised to see her loose, but she did have some great competition, which leads me to:
- Prediction #6- Claudia Bridges will be elected to the city council. In the primary she and James Howard Adams were only separated by 35 votes. I think again they will be extremely close. But ultimately I am not going to underestimate Claudia again. I think she will get the second slot and win. I think she connects well to the city and has been running a really good campaign.
Result- Mostly correct. Claudia did win and outperformed James but also out performed Peggy. Claudia has run a great campaign worked hard and really connected with voters. I think she will do an excellent job on council and can't wait to see her in action.
- Prediction #7- That leaves James Howard Adams not making it in. I cannot say how impressed I have been with James Howard Adams. I think he has run a good campaign. I have not been to every event but largely what I have seen, he has been very positive. But I don't think he connects as well as Claudia and others to those in the community and I think he will loose. However, I think he will be positioned well to run and win in the future.
Result- I was wrong. Again only by 39 votes but James did it. The times I drove by during early voting I saw that he, Claudia and Kiernan were out at the credit union. And that extra face to face push, I think really helped. I think James will bring a unique perspective to council and I am excited to see him in action.
- Prediction #8- Mayor Woodbury will win a second term. As close as it is, he has good name recognition and the moral victory of winning the primary (some people really want to back a winner). Again, I don’t feel very strongly about this one but in the end that is my call.
Result- I was wrong and not only that Woodbury lost but I thought it would be much closer. In the end, I assumed the Harhay votes going 60-40 to Kiernan's favor and new voters that didn't vote in the primary going to Woodbury with similar 60-40 split. I think Kiernan got more Harhay voters than I predicted and also beat Woodbury on those that hadn't voted in the primary. In the end, we got a Mayor McManus by over 400 votes almost a 10% victory.
I have always like Rod and still do. I think he did an excellent job as Mayor and deserves our gratitude. But I think this change will be good for him and for our city. If he was a good mayor why would it be good that he lost? The truth is, as the vote showed he was not able to garner the trust of the people. Rod has always come off as somewhat snooty (I hope this is the right word). I don't think he is and the more I have gotten to know him the more impressed I am with him, but due to his more shy and reserved nature he doesn't come off as that personable. I think this has led to many mistrusting him and therefore the need for a change.
I also always like it when you see that money is not everything in politics. Rod way outspent McManus and Rod made some significant blunders during the election in my mind that really hurt him (in some ways because he spent too much and sent out too many flyers). He was more negative than he needed to be and should of focused on his accomplishments and not tried to drag Kiernan down. I never like negative politics and while I didn't see everything I would argue that from face value Kiernan ran a cleaner campaign. (And I mean Kiernan himself, there were many who supported him that were very negative, but you can't control what others say.) Also Kiernan, defiantly ran a more grass roots face to face campaign. A wise man once told me when I originally didn't think Harhay had a chance at city council, "I have seen him face to face, with people, and he makes sure to get face to face with people. You can't underestimate that type of campaign." Interestingly enough, the person who told me that was Mayor Woodbury. I think the Mayor may have had things on his plate that limited his face to face campaigning but for every flyer, I think Kiernan had a hand shake and that, in the end made a big difference.
What about Mayor McManus? I think he will do a good job. I think he ran a good campaign and I think he is honest about his love of this city. I don't always agree with him, but he is well thought out and seems to be very fiscally conservative with city money. I think he has a chance to build some trust with the citizens given that many of those that are most distrusting of the city are very supportive of him. That should give him a lot of room to accomplish some good work. I look forward to seeing him do well and will happily support him any way I can.
A big thank you to everyone who ran, helped others run, and got out and voted. Here is to a great next four years.