The Krakoviak Team thanks all our supporters for their votes and help in the May 8 election. Although we didn’t achieve all our goals, we take great heart and pride in the response from all parts of the community to our campaign.
In unofficial results, Joe was re-elected as the top vote-getter with 2,453 votes. Clare was fifth with 1,646 votes and Jake was sixth with 1,583 votes. Newcomer Jerry Guarino and Incumbent Patty Spango also won.
A few initial thoughts:
1. Turnout was disappointedly low. While the May council election is not a high-turnout event, this one was even smaller than four years ago. Turnout was only 19% of registered voters (corrected from a Wednesday revised non-official vote count). We were surprised given the recent high interest in the approval process for the Edison Battery Factory redevelopment downtown, including the petition for a referendum on the $6.3 million taxpayer-guaranteed redevelopment financing. As a community, we need to figure out how to boost turnout and better connect significant issues for the town with voting.
2. The opposition to the political establishment continues to shoot itself in the foot by spreading its votes over too many candidates – at least theoretically. Establishment candidates received 6,408 votes, while opposition candidates received 6,994. — opposition candidates received nearly 600 votes more. If the last-place opposition candidate’s votes were spread evenly to each of the next two lowest vote-getters, that would have been enough for another opposition candidate to win and the third opposition candidate to come within 17 votes of winning the third seat. And if those votes were tweaked just a bit, the outcome would have been an opposition sweep of all three seats. And this result is similar to the 2010 council elections. As a political entity, we need to figure out how to stop ourselves from losing when we have more votes.
That said, we encourage our supporters to start thinking about the next municipal election that would occur in May 2014 for the mayoral and two council seats. We need to learn from these two hard-won lessons.
Part of the answer is to stay involved and informed, both individually and in our contact networks. The more engaged we are, the better we’ll be able to muster turnout, make informed decisions about the leadership of our town and work towards those goals.
Another part of the answer is to insist that our voices be heard and considered when it comes to fiscal responsibility, transparency, two-way dialogue with our leaders, and making decisions in the best interests of the entire community.
Thanks and regards,