Saturday, February 12, 2011

The line is growing

Fishers Town Council President Scott Faultless is famous for saying that they must be doing a good job, otherwise people would be lining up to run against them.  I wonder if he would claim that now.  With a week to go in filing for town office, every incumbent Town Council member seeking re-election, except one, has an opponent, and the long-time incumbent Clerk-Treasurer does as well.  (An editorial note here, I am a candidate, but will not be facing an incumbent.)

This is very uncommon for a community that seldom has seen a contested primary or general election for town office.  It certainly has not happened on this scale for a long time.  As noted in a prior post, the current Town Council seems to have gone out of their way in the last four years to make political enemies.

And complicating the issue is the odd way Fishers sets up its council districts.  Fishers has seven districts, and council candidates have to live in a district, and only one per district is elected.  BUT, contrary to just about every other large city, all seven districts are voted on by ALL the voters of the community, as if they were at-large.

Normally, this would discourage challengers.  Who wants to run from a community of 77,000+ as opposed to about 11,000 in a district, and run against an incumbent on top of it?  That sounds formidable.  But making people mad is a good way to motivate them to vote.  And angry voters not only turn out, they vote for change.

This is bad news for incumbents.  One incumbent actually has two primary challengers.  And with two seats with no incumbent running, there is certain to be some change in Fishers.  Time will tell how that all works out.

But in the meantime, the line is growing against the anti-democratic incumbents.  Perhaps Faultless is a prophet, just not the way he intended.