Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ten Votes

Ten votes. That was the margin of Phil Kirsch’s victory against Linda Odum in yesterdays Columbia Council election in Wilde Lake. That has to be heartbreaking but such is the political life. A wordbones wag of the tail to Linda for putting herself out there.

This particular election was also a temperature taking of the relative strength of the Liz Bobo political in the geographic core of her constituency. Although it looks as if it is as strong as ever there has to be some concern in her camp that this race was as close as it was.

In Long Reach, James Howard got whooped. I don’t really know Russ Swatek but the folks in Long Reach seem to like him. His victory margin was 137 votes. I feel bad for James. He has performed an extraordinary level of volunteer community for a young man. We need more guys like James in this town. I hope he stays involved.

Those were the only races I commented on before the election and so those are the only ones I’ll write a post election post about.

Besides, it’s a gorgeous, albeit a tad warm, day and I’d rather be outside on the veranda enjoying a five o’clock cocktail.


Anonymous said...

The margin in Long Reach was really only 42 votes among residents who voted, with 95 votes from corporations and developers automatically are given to the leading vote getter in any race, making the margin seem a lot larger than it really is.

Anonymous said...

What is this about corporate votes being given to the candidate with the most residential votes? Are corporate votes not cast by anyone (the owner of the business, perhaps?) If the corp votes just get added to the count of whoever has the most residential votes, then the corp votes don't even count for anything since they can't change the outcome.

Nina said...

That's exactly right anon # 2. Corporate votes are simply awarded to the highest vote getters in each category. They're basically quorom call votes, and they are not cast for a person. I believe the CA actually is the entity casting most of the corporate votes in Long Reach.

We (the Long Reach Village Board), really do need to rethink the way we report out numbers, since it is obviously confusing. The press release made this clear, but clearly not clear enough.

Typically, only residents vote. I remember there being an issue many, many years ago (like, maybe 15-20 years ago?) where there was a contentious issue regarding apartment building owners voting and how many votes they actually had. Way before my time (anything CA related that wasn't the ice skating rink or the pools wasn't really on my radar), but someone might remember the late 80s / early 90s better than I do!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explaination. I guess Wilde Lake does not report corporate "votes" at all, which is why it is possible to have a close election in WL.

It's hard to believe corporate "votes" even exist since they are completely worthless.

Nina said...

I think the issue is a quorom call. I would have to review our documents to be sure what the quorom actually is in Long Reach.

The issue of lot votes becomes a huge deal in every village, however, if they village was trying to change their documents or have a meeting of the members. The logistics of doing so are just not realistic.

Nina said...

I actually think Long Reach is the only village the currently reports corporate votes. I'm not sure if quorom requirements are different, or if they just write press releases differently.

The CA should know, since they typically vote shares for winners for quorom calls (actually, this is a huge loophole -- technically, the CA board could perpetuate itself forever by simply voting its shares in each village election in which the CA has shares.)

FWIW, the CA Council Rep race is run as an adjunct of a corporate election. The CA Council really has no existence except for appointing itself hte CA Board of Directors. The race is run based on voting shares, just like any corporate election. What constitutes membership varies -- most villages hold that a lot owner (whether or not they live in the village), or a leaseholding tenant is a member. That's why most households get one vote. I am not sure about joint leaseholders -- I would guess it would turn on whether it was one lease or two leases.

Ironically, spouses who share ownership in a home have less representation than a spouse who owns a home and then leases to the other spouse (putting aside for a second the legal issues of Howard County rental law and the enormous tax implications of converting a primary residence into a rental property, which would likely be a very expensive move on sale and when an individual tried to deduct interest for income tax purposes).

Anonymous said...

I was reading these comments to my honey and mentioned that Linda had lost by 10 votes. My question was why would she want to subject herself to public service at the CA level? My honey asked why WB didn't throw his hat in the ring.
I have no clue. Certainly, WB has an opinion about almost everything. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge about Columbia and its roots. He's a doer and thinker, has lots of friends who would volunteer for the menial tasks. Fundraising probably wouldn't be a problem. If Obama could raise $200,000,000 off the internet, couldn't WB raise $200? Come on. Admit it. You've thought about running against Liz haven't you?

wordbones said...

First of all, I think I'd make a lousy politician and secondly, I don't live in the district (12B).
Thanks for thinking of me though

Anonymous said...

We don't need politicians. We have too many liars and thieves representing us as it is. We need citizens elected that will represent us ethically and straighten out the mess we are in politically. Besides districts can be changed easier than parties.
Believe in yourself.