Newcomers Oust Incumbent.
In what can probably be best described as a vote of “change”, San Carlos residents voted last night in a tightly contested election to place two newcomers on the San Carlos City Council, while denying incumbent Randy Royce another term on the Council. Council-elect members Mark Olbert and Ron Collins garnered 34.9% and 34.5% of the votes, respectively. Council member Royce was a close third with 30.7%.
The results of this election should be closely watched and analyzed by the remaining members of the Council who will be venturing into the re-election waters in the upcoming years. While many will point to the Council’s recent votes on outsourcing park, police, and fire services as the catalyst for the change on the dais, I think the root cause runs much deeper than this.
Diversity vs Unity.
While the aforementioned issues certainly stole the news headlines (who could forget the wall of TV cameras in the Council Chambers?), they only accounted for a small fraction of the number of issues that this Council has voted on over the past 2-4 years while Royce served his term. And whether it’s fair or not, the current Council has established a reputation with San Carlos residents of voting “4 vs Grocott” on just about every issue that was considered. It’s almost a running joke to anyone who follows San Carlos politics. More than any other factor, I think the desire for a more diverse voice from the Council was the underlying cause for the outcome of this election.
Randy Royce should be commended for his dedication to the City of San Carlos and to his role on the City Council, especially during such a time of financial turmoil. Serving on a City Council is like having two jobs, but only getting paid and appreciated for one. It takes a special breed of person to want to do this.
For the remaining Council members, take note — unlike the Treasurer’s seat, incumbency is not a guaranteed ticket to re-election. If nothing else, this election has shown that the voting citizens of San Carlos are indeed paying attention to what’s happening in the City of Good Living.
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