Between now and the primary election on November 6 voters in every district with a contested race will need to decide their vote. Only Councilman Bowman (District G) has no opposition.
Voters cast their ballots for various candidates for various reasons.
Sometimes the motivation is to vote against a certain candidate as much as it is to vote for an individual.
If the candidate is an incumbent, the following are a good starting point:
a. How many council meetings have the incumbent missed since taking office in December 2014—both regular and special meetings? (Stephanie Lynch has missed more than all the others, combined - by a wide margin).
b. How many work sessions/administrative conferences has the incumbent missed since taking office? (Stephanie Lynch has missed more than all the others, combined - by a wide margin).
c. How responsive has the incumbent been to inquiries and concerns of constituents?
d. On key votes, how has the incumbent voted?
e. How effective has the incumbent been in the delivery of city services to the district?
Questions that can be reviewed with all candidates include:
1. How long has the candidate lived in the district?
2. Does the candidate own their residence, and if so for how long?
3. How often has the candidate missed a public elections/bond proposal vote in the last 5 years?
4. How many judgments and/or liens have been filed against the candidate in the last 10 years and are any still outstanding, i.e. not paid?
5. What civic activities has the candidate participated in the last 5 years?
6. What is the candidate’s formal education?
7. What is the employment history of the candidate?
Other factors often decide votes. Most political observers do not give much credibility to these, although many voters do:
i. Political party affiliation, unless the candidate has switched parties in the last 5 years.
ii. The religion of the candidate or the church that attends/affiliated with.
iii. Endorsements by citizens---whether impressed with or disappointed by.
iv. The candidate’s gender.
There is plenty of time for voters to decide their choice for the council vote. Hopefully, objective, measurable criteria will go into decision-making processes. Far to often these choices are made on “beauty contest” feelings versus true qualifications.