Thoughts on the Run Off Election

Here are a few random thoughts on the candidates running for election on November 21.

John Moye;  A very nice young man and the best head of hair in the race.  He will win a seat on Tuesday.  In fact, had he announced that his wife was pregnant (I don’t know if she is or not), he would have won on Nov 7.  Voters love babies and you can take that to the bank!

Jonathan Gandolfo:  This cat came out of nowhere to finish 5th in the voting on Nov 7.  He  apparently is a successful businessman who now has some legal issues with the city, regarding the cutting down of trees.  Unfortunately, since this is in litigation, the voters do not know the whole story.  Is he running because he is pissed off at the city?  Only he can answer that question.

No other candidate other than Jimmy Carroll has spent the the kind of money Gandolfo has in this race.  It is easily over $10k which is unheard of on the IOP.  A postcard arrived today noting the voting record of Ryan Buckhannon.  Many view this as “going negative” which, in my opinion, is absurd.  The postcard is factually accurate and there is no name calling.  Any current or prior incumbent must be accountable for their voting record.  While some will argue that a millage increase is not a tax increase but the overall collection of taxes does not go up, some individuals’ taxes do go up.  To them it is certainly a tax increase.

The tree cutting incident has been covered in the Post and Courier and on Facebook.  Most who have read the details have already declared him guilty and probably will not vote for him.  How many people does this apply to?  We will find out Tuesday.  If most people are aware of this incident, he is probably toast.

One thing I can say about Gandolfo is this:  he has resolve and perseverance.  More than any other candidate.

Ryan Buckhannon:  Where to start?  Well, look at his campaign announcement.  In this essay he uses the word “I” 20 times!  To read it you would think he is a one man legislating machine.  He single-handedly drove major legislation and the 8 other members on council were superfluous.

And just what was his stance on the marina referendum?  Here is his answer in the October 13 issue of the Island Eye News:

Buckhannon 
I do support the improvement and maintenance of the marina, I don’t believe that the entire cost should be the burden of the city. Whether the referendum passes or not, the city will still have to move forward and replace the docks around the marina. Improvement of the parking areas belonging to the tenants should be at the expense of those tenants. Common areas within the marina lot should be a cost sharing between all the tenants and the city. That is why I am confused why this council chose to bundle up all the areas into one referendum when the leases explicitly detail who is responsible for what.
Is this the answer of a politician or what?  Were you going to vote yes or no?  Just tell us.  By the way, he was, indeed, 1 of 7 councilmembers to vote to extend the marina lease for 30 years with no other bids accepted.  In my mind this fact alone is reason enough to vote against him.
Finally, I must comment on his love of Dave Ramsey.  He mentions him all the time as a financial model for the city.  In case you do not know, Ramsey is a talk radio guy who deals in personal finance.  He is smart and very entertaining.  His show is geared to lower and middle income people/families with financial discipline problems.  “Debt is dumb and cash is king!”  “Live like no one else so you can live like no one else.”  In his world you never use credit because credit is what got all his listeners in trouble.  For this audience, this is great advice.
It is totally stupid advice for a large corporation or a city.  If you can only do something once you have saved the cash, you will never get anything down.  Furthermore, with interests rates this low (the past few years borrowed money has almost been free when you factor in inflation) it would be malpractice not to borrow money.
Not to belabor the Dave Ramsey point too much, but note the following.  He recommends loaded mutual funds to his audience.  Huh?  Yeah, this is crazy.  Stick with Vanguard.  And finally, he tells everyone to avoid bankruptcy.  You’re $200k in debt?  Hey, no problem.  Start eating “beans and rice” and get a second job delivering pizzas!  He rarely mentions that he, himself, went through bankruptcy – and it seems to have worked out fine for him.
Buckhannon has done little to no work in this election cycle.  How he made the cut is beyond me.  Miklas or Williamson would be better in my eyes.

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