Three cities lying in a crooked row found themselves without the full contingent of council members just after election time. Rather than honor the citizens who voted and move the next competitor on the ballot into the seat, the cities have decided to take the low road.
Three cities in adjacent counties all SELECTING a council member. Yep, just after the election, too. Now, like it or not, it seems as if the next highest vote getter should drop into the slot left vacant a scant three weeks or so after seating the current councils. But the towns of Cotati, Calisotga, and Santa Rosa are all SELECTING a city council member. Selecting. As in the-council-on-the-dais sits in judgement and with a featherweight majority will pick a new council member off of a list...regardless of the fact that thousands of voters have chosen the next runner-up.
The unjustified and unjustifiable 'reasoning' by these nascent councils is that the runner up is a loser. Yes, that person lost, didn't they? And doesn't that mean that it's now completely irrelevant that this runner up campaigned, raised funds, spoke to groups, shook hands, kissed babies, debated, and--did I mention?-- garnered thousands (in some cases) of votes? Yes, that means absolutely nothing if the council doesn't like the idea of that next person dropping into the seat. Because that person doesn't fit in with the council's idea of consensus. Or maybe there are political shenanigans going on and someone wants to retain the majority or be the swing voter on the council. And of course the council wants to save the cost of holding another election--after all the voters would only vote the way they want to and that wouldn't be good.
In one case at least (Santa Rosa) everyone knew that a sitting council person was running for another office (Susan Gorin) and if she won she'd be vacating her seat. Well she did win. Here's the idiotic, insulting logic that this group of slimy rascals is shoving down the throats of citizens in this town: Because Susan Gorin sat in her seat for the first two or three meetings of the 'new' council instead of cleaning out her desk and getting out, her replacement has to be 'chosen' because it's MID SESSION. Oh for crying out loud. The cronies running this inwardly rotting Peyton Place wanted to select her successor and planned it in advance.
Tomorrow they'll be sitting in a special session where 17 hopefuls will parade themselves in front of the dais even though the successor has already been chosen. And that's how you pick winners and losers in a small American town.