The campaign is over.
The votes are in.
My candidate lost by about 4% or so and it wasn't a pretty sight. I am very concerned about who will be running the City now but I also am waiting to see whether the new Mayor offers an open hand or a closed fist. I don't know what to expect except that the same "forces" that have been running the City for 30 years will still have control over the major policy initiative for the next two years.
The most important thing to realize is that I've got to play the hand I've been dealt. To get the absolute best public policy I can out of this under any circumstance.
I met this morning with a friend who was on the opposite side of one of the two referendum issues that was decided on election day. ("My" side prevailed on both...more on that later) and we started working on finding common ground on how to implement the initiative without any further internecine warfare. We met for two hours and did three "flow charts" to determine just where conflicts could occur and how to avoid/resolve those conflicts before they erupted in a damaging floor fight. All-in-all, I'm pretty pleased with what we came up with but now I have to sell it to my colleagues.....no easy task...
The two referendum issues passes with 62% and 64% of the vote each...One involved a new, centrally located fire station and the other involved an indoor smoking ban for the entire city. Strangely enough, my mayoral candidate initiated both of those referendum....and HE LOST!
The indoor smoking ban turned out to be a Health Industry (which is BIG in my city) vs Tavern League (which is BIG in Wisconsin in general) issue. There was a lot of money flowing into the campaigns from both sides and it wasn't just from the locals either...National organizations were into this in a big way and tried to put their imprint on the whole process..The process of "obfuscating" the results is now underway. The Tavern Leagues are asking for a legal opinion on whether the ban includes "smoking sheds" outside of the taverns....if they can be "covered" or if they can be enclosed on two, three or four sides.....sounds like a smoking room addition to me....they are also taking issue with the effective date... I'm guessing that this will be in court for years.
I think it's going to be easier to resolve the fire station location issue...there is a way to involve people from both sides of the issue in bringing this to a happy conclusion and I hope the new Mayor will listen to the proposal....maybe he will..........then again....?????????????
The cards have been dealt...now it's time to play the hand.