After The Election...
Needless to say, I'm still shocked that Jim Shrewsbury did not win re-election.
Also a little surprising, although not as significant in my day-to-day life, were the unseating of O.L. Shelton in ward 4 by Sam Moore, and the substantial margin by which Kacie Starr Triplett won in ward 6, Lewis Reed's current seat.
But I was happy to see Craig Schmid win another term in my ward 20. Kelly spent much of the day yesterday, and I a few hours after work, helping him out in front of our polling place. Then we headed over to the Bakers' Union hall for the 20th Ward Democrats' party. It was a pretty small, loyal cadre inside, but we had a good time.
I just hope Galen and his backers appreciate that much of Craig's approach is still needed in our neighborhoods. Arguably, wards 9 and 20 are among the most challenging parts of the Southside, given our reputation and reality as a center of gang, drug, and prostitution activity. It may be a bit quieter than it was 5 years ago, but that's mostly due to the persistence and consistent attention of Craig and other community leaders.
I agree that many important issues in this city get ignored because of the political process. And while I don't agree with Craig 100% of the time on every issue, he's a detail-oriented public servant, which is really what is necessary in most aldermanic slots. Yet he also sees the big picture, and is willing to deal with issues in neighboring wards that some officials would ignore.
The big question in the back of my mind is now:
Who will Lewis Reed select for the transitional school board, assuming DESE goes forward with the overlay district takeover plan within the next three-to-six months? Jim Shrewsbury repeatedly said he wanted to pick someone who knew about education, but who had no connection to or axe to grind against SLPS. I really don't recall Reed's public statements about that.
Anyway, I predict Reed and Mayor Slay will team up on a lot of issues -- on E&A, on the Board of Aldermen, and in selecting the majority (2 of 3) of the transitional school board members. Where this leaves Comptroller Darlene Green, I'm not really sure.
Based on the data posted today by the Arch City Chronicle, we can see who won which wards:
Shrewsbury won: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 23, 24, and 25. (13 wards)
Reed won: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 26, 27, and 28. (15 wards)
Only time will tell just exactly what this means.