Believe it or not, it's time for the every-other-year City Council elections, with three seats theoretically up for grabs. Jim Nintzel looks at the two contested races in our cover story this week: Karin Uhlich's rematch with Ben Buehler-Garcia in Ward Three and Richard Fimbres' near-certain conquering of Mike Polak in Ward Five. The city is at somewhat of a turning point, so you'd hope that these races would be somewhat interesting, providing in-depth discussions of the issues facing our city. They still might, but with only one race that is competitive in any manner whatsoever (and it seems somewhat likely that the Ward Three race won't be nearly as close as it was four years ago), we'll still cover the process and the policies, but it would be nice if this city could help us out with more interesting races in the future, I'd personally and professionally appreciate it.
In the meantime, we're not going to run candidate endorsements this cycle. It's not that we don't believe one candidate is better than the other in each race or that we won't be issuing endorsements in the future (I've already started composing an epic poem designed to reign in Republican votes for Al Melvin in the gubernatorial primary next year). More that neither race seems worthy of an institutional proclamation. First, unless a mystery scandal is unearthed in the next month, Fimbres doesn't need our help. Second, some of us here are sort of underwhelmed by either choice in Ward Three. Uhlich doesn't help her re-election cause by saying things about hitting "her stride" near the end of her second term in our cover story and while Buehler-Garcia is a nice guy, he isn't saying much to win us over either.
Maybe in 2015, the Wards 1, 2 and 4 races will be a little more thrilling, but this city might continue to have trouble drawing good candidates until we make the gig full-time. You get what you pay for and as long as it's more lucrative to assist a city councilperson than to be one, we might have races like these for awhile.