Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Followup to last week's Kuna city elections

First and foremost, I would like to extend a sincere and hearty thank you to Scott Dowdy and Jeff Lang for their service to the city of Kuna for the past eight years and to Lisa Bachman for her service over the past four years. Having been to nearly every City Council meeting, budget workshop, protest hearing, special meeting, etc. for the past five years, I can personally testify to the amount of time, hard work and personal sacrifice it takes to do the jobs of mayor and City Council member. It’s more than just showing up for a couple of hours for a meeting a couple of times a month.
The other thing that gets lost, I think, for those who don’t attend the meetings, is the sincerity with which many public officials do their jobs. Agree or disagree with them, I firmly believe that Scott, Jeff and Lisa have acted in what they consider the public good. (It is disheartening, given the amount of time elected officials devote to public service, that there were about 4,000 registered voters in Kuna who could not take 15 minutes out of their day on Nov. 8 to vote.)
To Briana Buban-Vonder Haar and Joe Stear, I offer congratulations. I think you both ran excellent campaigns and did your homework. You clearly knew the issues and investigated them for yourselves. If you apply the same type of work ethic to the City Council, we will be well-served.
To Greg Nelson, I also offer congratulations. You clearly articulated your views and took a strong stand on many issues. Your message clearly resonated with a majority of residents. Your call for citizen involvement and council interaction is refreshing and welcome. Your desire to scrutinize the budget and contracts in an open, public manner is commendable. I think voters responded favorably to your vocal desire to seek solutions to what the community sees as problems, whether it’s the cost of doing business in Kuna or the LID or the senior center floor. At least openly articulating the complex issues behind the problems will be a welcome change.
But let me also offer a word of caution.
I think it is interesting that the electorate gave you a clear mandate — more than a majority in a three-way race — but the voters also overwhelmingly elected Stear and Buban-Vonder Haar, who perhaps could be considered the more moderate candidates.
After all, Buban-Vonder Haar and Stear vocally defended the current police services contract, for example. They also expressed caution and urged cooperation and greater communication on a broad range of issues, not unilateral action.
It seems to me that the residents sent the message that they want a change but they want to temper it with moderation and careful consideration.

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