Jim Fisher writes in his column today:
Tuesday's city council races were nowhere near as decisive. The results again displayed the centrism among voters that leads them to switch back and forth between opposing factions in city politics. In electing Wayne Krauss, Dan Carscallen and Walter Steed - running on a slate endorsed by the Greater Moscow Alliance - they turned the council away from the restrictions on big-box stores and water use of the councilors endorsed by the Moscow Civic Association.And David Johnson reports:
But in giving the biggest number of votes to Lamar, longtime executive director of the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute, they sent a message to Krauss, Carscallen and Steed.
That message? Remember what happened to Gary Young. Swing wildly to the right, and you can be replaced too.
Mayor Nancy Chaney said Wednesday the previous day's city council election rendered a modest pendulum swing back to the right, but not a political mandate.You keep believing that Nancy. I've got an oceanfront fishing village in Kansas I want to sell you for a sustainable development.
Here are the salient facts, as I see them, even if no one else wants to admit it:
1. I would not read too much into Tom Lamar's victory. Remember only two GMA candidates were running in the "Vote for 3" category versus three MCA candidates. It was therefore inevitable that one MCA candidate was going to win a seat. However, that leads to Point 2.
2. Whenever two incumbent council candidates with the MOST years of service receive the LEAST amount of votes, I call that a mandate. Lamar has only been on the council for a few months. He is the least known to the voters. This was no doubt a "throw the bums out" election.
3. Whenever one side has a 5 to 1 margin, I call that a mandate.
4. We have now seen in elections in Moscow and Pullman that when council candidates, be they incumbents or challengers, are against Wal-Mart, they go down in defeat. I call that a lesson. Oppose Wal-Mart at your political peril. Two university towns or not, there is enough of a agricultural/small business community on the Palouse that we have little tolerance for elitism. That lesson has been learned in Pullman already. No candidate in our mayoral or city council elections this year was against Wal-Mart, even though the issue of Wal-Mart is still up in the air.
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