Tuesday, November 06, 2007

political nora

The polls are closed so I'll stand on my soap box and talk politics for a minute.
First off all, I hope you voted.
It does matter.

Barry Wood (R) lost the assessors election three years ago by twelve votes. Barry did an excellent job for our township and is a Level II State Certified Assessor/Appraiser; a Certified Tax Representative; a Certified Indiana Assessor through the Indiana Township Assessor Association; and he has a Real Estate Broker’s License. But he lost by twelve votes to a (very sweet) retired school teacher with no experience. I'm a big believer in knowing the people in the office, what the do and how suited they are for the job.

Barry is doing okay, he is the Assessment Division Director for the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance. He and his staff of assessment experts oversee real property assessments in the state, including the assessment of large industrial facilities and public utility properties. He is also responsible for overseeing training for the state’s 1008 Township Trustee/Assessors and Township Assessors, and 92 County Assessors and their staff. He continued to be very helpful to the neighborhood helping us wade through the questions and issues when our neighborhood property taxes double and tripled the next year.

My point is, Barry was clearly the right man for the job and our neighborhood, but he lost by twelve votes. Barry and I don't belong to the same party, but I voted for him and encouraged others to.

I've always had this little back-of-my-mind idea that I'd like to work on a political campaign. I've probably watched too much West Wing. Campaigning is probably more than speeches and impassioned discussions over pizza. But damn it, I could picture myself at that table.

This year I was asked to work in the campaign of our mayor. Although I don't love every thing about him, I'm a fan and I'm hoping he'll be in office another term. The job was a good fit - coordinating volunteers, I can do that in my sleep-- if I ever slept, that is.

But I said no. I honestly could not commit to spending two hours an evening working on it. Second Helpings had a big event last Friday and the Tonic Ball (coordinating 32 bands, ekk) is in ten days. Plus I work and I work and I work. Oh yeah, and I write.

Now that the election is over, I'm kicking myself that I didn't not do it. Working on a mayoral campaign for the twelfth largest city in the country will probably not be offered to me again. But it was nice to be asked.

I love the whole voting process. I don't think I've ever missed an election or primary. The last few years I've voted on the way to work, arriving at the polls around 7:00. Usually I'm the second or third voter. This year I had a 9:30 meeting and went to work late. I stopped by the school where my poll is at noon. I loved walking through the play ground full of bundled-up laughing kids. I walked in the room and was greeted by the poll workers "hi Nora, where have you been" "Spitznogle, you're late!" "Hey what do you know about the new grocery store having parking on the roof?" "Nora I liked your last column" "Nora are you still at the Red Key"

I walked up to the table and the woman checking signatures said that she hated to ask, but she needed to see my identification. Good thing it said Nora S.

Two precincts were voting at that poll and I was only the 51st voter. And the polls had been open for six hours at that point! Hopefully folks stopped on their way home from work.

I'm off to watch the results -- not at campaign headquarters, but on my sofa.

Update: the incumbent mayor (D) lost in what is being called the "biggest political upset in Indiana political history." I'm okay with that - people voted, that is what counts. But, we managed to re-elect an ethics-plauged city/county councillor (D). Uggh.


Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

I thought I was the only who liked the voting process and watching the returns come in. Give me a bowl of popcorn, a glass of ice tea and the remote when it's a Presidential election. Keep them going late into the night I have nothing better to do. I really do like that.
What I hate is all the ads leading up to the election. Just get tired of hearing them especially when you know they are lying.
Put "work on a political campaign" on your list of things to do before you die.
Happy Returns

Kim said...

I've been watching returns, and it looks like Bart's on his way out. I think this whole property tax debacle did him in.

This Ballard dude doesn't seem to have much experience. I think people are voting because their wallets are crying, which I can understand. It's not always the wisest move, though.

nora said...

I know -- the property tax thing is horrible. The city/county council, school board, capital improvement board, library board and state legislature all have more control over our property taxes than the mayor --but he's taking the fall.

Second Helpings does not get any government money, so the outcome of the election should not effect us at all. But I'm still nervous - Ballard said in a debate that our mentally ill homeless people need some "tough love." I can't wait to see what that means!

nora said...

Marion County has 46 different taxing authorities. About 50 percent of property tax revenue goes to schools. That spending is decided upon by elected school boards.

[pouting with a scowl on my face].

Granny Annie said...

I admire people who take a stand. We don't have to agree, but we certainly can be proud to have issues we believe in and lend our support.