The Arizona Republic has unofficial election results for Wickenburg on its Web site. The results shown do not include mail-in ballots or absentee ballots, so they are not final and may change. You can review results for yourself by going to http://www.azcentral.com/elections/ and using the options there to view the Mayoral Recall, Council Recall, and Town Council results.
For me, the results are a mixed bag. It was good to see that the Sun‘s “slam dunk”‘ candidate was not given another term on the Town Council. Perhaps the town’s people realize that real estate growth interests are not in the best interest of the town? It was disappointing to see that Jim Ferman and George Wilkinson did not make the cut. However, all votes have not been counted yet and it is still possible for either or both of them to get the less than 10 votes they need to squeeze out Chris Band. That wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing, as Chris is a strong, young candidate who can represent the young, family people in town.
Most disappointing to me — but not totally unexpected — was the failure of the recall effort. Ironically, the evening before the election, the mayor reinforced my decision to vote against him by preventing “political statements” at a Town Council meeting. (I’m not quite sure what kind of statement wouldn’t be political at a Town Council meeting.) This effectively prevented Ray Johns, who is suing the Town of Wickenburg for a First Amendment related issue, from addressing the Mayor and Council about his case. It appears that the Mayor makes up the rules as he goes along, and takes away people’s First Amendment rights at will. The race between Badowski and Tirpak was close, but I don’t think it was close enough to make this mayor realize that he does not have the full approval of the people. Trouble is, I don’t think he cares.
This is unfortunate because it makes more work for townspeople who care about the town’s future. It means more referendums and initiatives, more petitions, more speaking out at Town Council meetings and elsewhere to help mold the future of our town. Sadly, not everyone has the time or the strength to fight for what they think is right. And I’m not convinced that the Mayor and Council are willing or able to make decisions that benefit all of the people — and the town as a whole — rather than the special interests who funded their campaigns and support them behind the scenes.