An Analysis of the Election
John Mullin secured his position by about 1500 votes, which was the largest vote difference between any of the candidates. John has been effectively running for this office for almost a year and was able to procure nearly 4 times the money as his nearest competitor. Being able to effectively raise money is a key element to political success. It should be interesting to see if John's process streamlining suggestions wind up leading to the de facto elimination of the "Country" for large parts of Poway, or truly remove some of the inefficiencies in the Poway City bureaucracy. They may very well do both. I suspect that the devil will be in the details. Regardless of the directions that John will push, I have seen that he is extraordinarily skilled in the process, and I suspect that he will be one of the most effective Councilmen Poway has seen in a long time.
Don Higginson fought off a very tough challenge by Nick Stavros. Higginson won this election by about 1000 votes, which is near the smallest margin of victory (by percent) that a Poway Mayor has faced in potentially its entire history. It is good to know that a large part of the voting public took the time to actually form an opinion on the candidates as such participation and thought is key to the success of any democracy. It is my hope that Don will be able to see the merits behind some of the criticisms and make changes where possible. Don appears to me to be a smart man spends a good deal of time promoting Poway. I think he will likely keep things running as they have been in the past.
Dave Grosch garnered about 1000 votes more than Carl Kruse thus replacing him on the Council and bringing a very needed skill set to the City Council. I think what sets Dave apart from Carl is that Dave is a finance guy, while Carl is a banker. Both skill sets are valuable to have in a governing body, but I think that finance is a more important background than banking. I think that a finance guy takes a look at the numbers and sees where there can be cuts to reign in the expense side of the equation. I like the saying that "it's not how much you make; it's how much you spend." I also think that Dave's election has made Boyack's and Cunningham's voice on the Council much stronger than it was before. This diversity of voices can only help ensure that the residents voice is heard more by the Council. Dave's margin over Pete Babich was very small, about 140 votes. Pete's very structured and organized problem solving processes would also have made him a fantastic Councilman. I wish there were 6 seats on that Council as Poway could really have used Pete's skills.
I met all of the candidates prior to the election and I think that there are all good people. Poway is lucky to be in such a situation when all you have to do is look at the skills and directions that the Council takes in the past to see if you want the different people to move it into the future. When the issues take center stage, and not personalities, government runs better for the people.