SOS Sweeps SSS

I planned that headline for weeks.

The election results are in. The Save Our Silt slate trounced the Sensible Solutions for Silt group for the three trustee seats. Here are the unofficial results from yesterday’s vote:

Rick Aluise: 372
Paul Taylor: 337
Bryan Fleming: 330

Mark Rinehart: 268
Bob Shivley: 228
Bobby Hays: 188

Does this mean we don’t get a food co-op?

The mayoral race was a squeaker with SOS’s Mayor Dave Moore edging out SSS candidate and incumbent Mayor Pro-Tem Meredith Robinson by a mere 5 votes: 299 to 294. No word yet as to whether there will be a recount.

By last week I was certain that Aluise, Taylor, and Fleming were going to win the trustee seats simply because I hadn’t talked to anyone who said they were not voting for them. The mayoral race was a different story and the final results proved my informal poll sampling. People were ambivalent about the two candidates. Most people said they would have preferred a third choice, like Rick Aluise or Tod Tibbetts. Left with the two incumbent choices people leaned slightly toward the Save Our Silt candidates, enough to give Mayor Dave the bump needed to eek out a victory. A total of 608 ballots turned in compared to the 593 total vote count in the mayoral race show that some voters were so disgusted with the choices they skipped that race altogether. Clearly if Dave Moore had not aligned himself with Aluise, Taylor, and Fleming, he would have lost the election. It was their brilliant campaign and fierce attention to the real issues facing this town that won his race for him.

Of course in elections it’s the final results that matter most. However the numbers always tell a story. Let’s look at some numbers and see if we can figure out what voters are saying – hypothetically speaking.

73 people who voted for Aluise, did not vote for Moore
38 people who voted for Taylor, did not vote for Moore
31 people who voted for Fleming, etc., and
15 people did not vote for any mayor

None of these numbers would matter if the 4 of them had not been running together as a slate of candidates. But they ran as a group and they finished with some interesting spreads. Take the lowest vote margin between SOS candidates – 31 – and combine it with the non-votes –15 – and it looks like 46 voters (about 14%) checked off Aluise, Taylor, and Fleming but not Mayor Moore. The most startling difference is between Rick Aluise and Mayor Dave. I’m not sure what those 73 voters were saying. Looking just at the vote margins it’s clear that a significant number of voters voted against incumbents.

The most important vote spread, the one that really matters and sends the biggest message is the difference between Bryan Fleming and Mark Rinehart – 330 to 268.

What does it all mean? It means that Rick Aluise, Paul Taylor, and Bryan Fleming created a platform of reducing the town’s budget deficit. Voters got the message. By a very decisive margin, the voters are saying they support their platform. The majority of voters are also saying that the incumbents – Mayor Dave, Nicky Leigh, Sonny Fernandez, and Joe Sos – should do us all a favor and respect the will of the people and accept the candidates we have chosen to represent our mandate.

Let the games begin!

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