What do candidates for the local offices typically do on Election Night? Unlike the big races for Congress or the State Assembly, which involves hefty campaign budgets and then results in the winning candidate having a fairly decent paying job, city council and school board positions are earned by a lot of door knocking and talking to local voters.
As the candidates typically have very small budgets for election that often comes from their own pocket, extravagant election parties are not the norm in Rohnert Park and Cotati. We asked each of the candidates for the Unified School Board and Cotati City Council what their plans are for Tuesday night and this is what they had to say:
Alden Olmsted (Cotati City Council) - Honestly I really hadn't thought too much about it. I have been so used to having the Giants games to watch each night; it still seems strange they aren't on. More than likely I will be watching the election results at a friend's house.
John Dell'Osso (Cotati City Council) - I'd just like to say that I've had a great time talking to folks at their homes about issues in Cotati. Walking every night after work and most of the day on the weekends, it takes a lot out of a candidate to campaign, but this is the best way to talk to folks about our city and its future. I plan on spending Tuesday night with family and friends at a business in Cotati to watch the results and hopefully celebrate.
George Barich (Cotati City Council) - Being elected to public office is nothing to celebrate for a candidate like me who decided long ago to make good on my campaign promises. The hard work really begins once elected. How does one celebrate the sinking feeling that sets in when considering the monumental task of fixing a City Hall that is clearly broken an on a path to bankruptcy? Cotati has dishonest city budgets, outrageous city salaries, and unfunded liabilities? Celebrate?
As I have said many times over the years in public, during debates, and to the press, "Anyone wanting a seat on the Cotati City Council needs to have their head examined". It's a thankless job, and a hard job if taken seriously if you are not a bought and sold politician.
On election night, there will be no celebrating from my campaign, if victorious. I will be drinking Maalox. Diversity will have been restored to the Cotati City Council and it will shake the institution to its core. Healthy debate on the council will resume if I am elected. Questions will be asked. City staff will not get a free pass for incompetence and complacency. Citizens will have their questions answered in a timely fashion. Questionable accounting methods will be challenged. The closed-door policy regarding the press will be condemned. Tempers will probably flare. Egos will be hurt. The city meetings will no longer end in less than a half hour. This is going to undoubtedly be of great concern for those who claim to be city leaders but will not bring themselves to lead responsibly.
Election Night is the citizen's night to celebrate. For me, if elected, it will be a night my political enemies to plan their revenge. My opponents in this race are people who simply will not return my e-mails, will not return my calls, will not sit down and have a glass of wine with me, ignore my questions during council meetings, and walked door to door stating I am an embarrassment to City Hall. If elected, I will be forced to work with them and turn the other cheek. Many people tell me they could never do it, if elected. I will do my best to do my job while there is still time.
Susan Harvey (Cotati City Council) - It has been a busy and sometimes trying election season, so I will be glad when Election Day arrives. I have enjoyed walking and talking to folks in our community.
On Election Day we have a tradition of waving signs at the Hub, so I absolutely will be there in the afternoon and early evening. Then we will be gathering at one of the local business establishments to watch the results of the election come in and see what the community decides.
Jennifer Wiltermood (Unified School Board) - I am inviting friends and family to come by my house in the evening.
Ed Gilardi (Unified School Board) - Gathered with family and friends watching all the results. There are so many important issues and races that night that are bigger than our school board race that will have a huge impact on all of our lives.