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Election postcript plus

PETER O’CONNOR
Staff Columnist
oconnor@lbknews.com

On the first day of that Florida phenomenon, early voting, I drove past LBK Town Hall at mid-morning.  In what is looking like an uncontested race in one of the two contests I didn’t expect to see much action.  And I didn’t.  There was only one table out there with no signs.  Another hopeful and some signs and some supporters might be there later. There were in early afternoon.  Let’s hope that there will be activity on election day.

That’s what I wrote on March 2nd.

Now we know the results.  Duncan obviously won his uncontested race, and continues in District 2.  Jack will likely be the next mayor. There are sometimes surprises in the mayoral choices; I doubt if there will be any this time.

Younger has prevailed in the at-large seat, no surprise here.  I was a bit surprised at the numbers in this race.  A margin of 949 votes is impressive.

Jaleski                 430             Younger        1379

Daly won out in District 4. He put out a yeoman effort, making an election of it.

Daly                     1295             Grossman     505

Total voter turnout equates  to  a combined 29.5% for our two counties..

That’s  not bad compared with voter interest in nearby cities.  But think about it; 29.5% means that fewer than 1/3 of us make the effort to vote in our local community election.  Rather shocking, eh?

 

Your New Englander Columnist takes note of the Undervotes – that’s Blanking in Massachusetts.  One Blanks the candidates when he/she thinks neither is worthy of a vote.  Of interest in the returns is that 19 in Manatee and 32 in Sarasota “Blanked” all 4 candidates.  That’s 51 voters who recorded their displeasure with all our candidates!

After the harsh treatment that one candidate in particular received in these pages, I’d be only surprised if any citizens come forward in the future.  Candidates make significant sacrifices for the Town and for all of us in coming forward.

These sacrifices should not be met with harsh rhetoric.  We can all do better.

Thank you Phill,  Jack,  Larry,  and Gene.

And now some early news on next year’s races.  With the appearance of Armando Linde at the NEWS’s candidate forum I must assume that this means he has renewed interest in the Commission.  That would likely be for the District 1 seat now held by Lynn Larson.  Lynn will be term- limited next year. I’ve heard rumblings about Lynn’s possible resignation to permit the Commission to appoint her replacement.  I hope that Lynn would not do that.

 

City of Sarasota results.

The City of Sarasota holds its election in March as we do.  They share the view that the election must be held in the “season”   when voters are here.  Maybe an outmoded thought?

The two appointed incumbents must face opponents in runoffs, as none got a majority of support from the 5,428 voters casting ballots.

District 2

Alpert  &  Normile  face each other in runoff May 12th

District 3

Zimmerman  &  Freeland Eddie runoff May 12th

Voter Turnout 21.9%    That’s not good.

It might be of interest to note that in Sarasota voters only vote for the candidate in the district in which that voter resides.  This makes for a more representative commission.  On LBK all voters vote for all positions.

 

Thoughts on ’15;

This election marks five years since the ‘watershed’ election of 2010.  That year the proponents of the Longboat Key Club Project sought to and succeeded in changing the makeup of the Town’s elected governing body.  That race was divisive, emotions ran high.  There was more electioneering activity than is likely to be seen again on these island shores. Not much came of it all, but the elective process worked.  The majority won.  Elections do have results.  Now most of those vintage commissioners are gone.  New faces, new blood, sits on the Town Hall dais.  That is good.  Maybe term limits are also good.

So the new crowd is in.  A relatively new Town Manager is in.  A new staff makeup is in.  PIC is gone.  The change in our Town is almost complete.  Some don’t like it .  OK, work for further change to correct what you don’t like.  The apathy shown by our resident citizens is obvious.  Change is in the air, change brought about by a rather few.  (A Mayor of Tampa was just reelected with only 12% of the voters turning out.  We’re better than that, but not much.)

There’s that new normal again;  20% to  30% of the electorate are controlling the future.

I don’t count myself as one of those who is completely displeased about the new Town I see developing.  The old guard, which included me, is almost gone.  It’s time for the new players to emerge.  We’ll be watching for them.  The Longboat Key Club still wants its expansion.  Clearly they shall have it.  Don’t fight an old battle in a war not worth winning.  The world around us is changing too.  Just look at the construction underway in the City of Sarasota.  Cooperation is obviously required.

 

 

 

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