consultants are sandburs

Thursday, April 25, 2013

RAMSEY -- Levy at Strib reports on the date by which the council intends to set conditions for a Ward 1 special election.

Strib, here, for the report; which states:

Ramsey Mayor Sarah Strommen said that she thanked Elvig for his service to the city and “appreciated what he did in stepping down.” At the city’s May 7 council meeting, the vacancy and plans for a special election will officially be announced, Strommen said.

The last special election was one Strommen won, for the then vacant Ward 4 seat, where she finished the term started by Dave Jeffrey before running successfully for mayor.

Then, the election was held without a primary, and there were four candidates for the open seat.

Presumably the Ward 1 special election will be conducted in a similar way, without a primary.

Before resigning, Elvig was the longest serving council member, having been chair of the Town Center Task Force, a promotional effort for the project, before his election in 2002 when the first "ward based" seven member council was set up to replace a five member arrangement, all elected at large, which many believe better as a way to run a small town's government. You get to vote against any candidate you do not like that way. Or spin it positively.

In 2006 before the home being redistricted into Ward 2, I ran against David Elvig for the Ward 1 seat, and lost fairly decisively - not as close as the 47 vote margin Elvig held the last time he ran against local Repubican party official Harry Niska.

Possibly one of the Niska spouses may run this time, each being active in differing levels of local Republican inner party activity with Jen Niska having been an Emmer campaign official. I voted for Elvig. And his legal situation arose from a business hammered by cycling of the economy in a way outside of any effect Elvig might have exercised. And where it was not wholly unreasonable for one to hope the market would rebound quickly so that cash would again flow as in better times.

Elvig made business decisions which were contrary to rules set by government as to priorities of business spending, arguably a technical matter where one has to believe that if Elvig had foreseen or been advised of consequential exposure in handling business expenses, he would have acted differently. I do not conclude he was in any real way ill-motivated, from what I have seen reported. I think some of the terminology involved overstates culpability for what happened. I expect many business persons who have been on the brink can attest to the difficulties faced, and be sympathetic.

Nonetheless, there will be a Ward 1 special election soon, and from reading tea leaves and based on sheer speculation, I expect at least three candidates may file, likely more.

Until details are set, and a filing period runs its course, we merely wait and rely upon a working six-member council and HRA until after an election is held and a new Ward 1 representative is sworn in.


Ryan said...

I wonder what gets a person elected in Ward it how much money you have to put up signs? is it how many people you know who will show up at the ballot box? Or does it actually have something to do with what you believe city government is responsible for?

eric zaetsch said...

Ryan - If I knew the answer to "what gets a person elected in Ward 1" I would have gotten elected. Actually, that begs the question. I did not door knock, I did not put up signs, and I think Dave Elvig was more active leading up to the 2006 election where I ran and lost. But at least when I ran against Elvig, who was the incumbent, he did not decline to attend the League of Women Voters candidate forum, as he was not that ill-mannered. The LWV forum is a good opportunity for a candidate to describe views of what town government should be doing, and why.