Congratulations to David Glenn, Casi Tomarchio and James Ringsaker on their election to the Havre de Grace City Council last week.
For Glenn, the voters chose him for a fourth term. For Tomarchio, the other incumbent, this is the first time she’s been elected. Mayor William T. Martin appointed her after Steve Gamatoria announced his resignation last October from the City Council to become the mayor’s chief of staff, a job that didn’t exist until the mayor created it for Gamatoria. For Ringsaker, this was the first time he faced the voters, who clearly approved.
Glenn was the leading vote getter with 995.
“I’ve always said, ‘let the voters make the decision on who serves,’ and I’m just fortunate enough that they selected me,” Glenn said. Tomarchio was second with 938 and Ringsaker was third with 692 votes.
Carolyn J. Zinner was fourth with 581 votes followed by Annie McLhinney-Cochran with 541, Kirk Smith with 337 and Nicholas DiPasquale with 138.
There were no real surprises in those vote totals, despite a campaign that often was contentious with plenty of back and forth on social media.
Digital courage, as we like to call it, when people say things on social media they most likely wouldn’t say to someone face to face.
The only thing in the election totals that might be a surprise was by how small of a margin the voters approved raises for the mayor and city council.
A mere 17 votes separated those who believed the elected officials should have raises from those who didn’t. The ballot question passed with 784 “yes” votes compared to 767 “no”votes.
After the votes were counted and announced, Glenn spoke on the merits of putting the question of pay raises to the voters to decide.
He said that voters decide who serves and “they should also decide how much we make.”
He also said there weren’t any hidden motives for asking the voters to decide, a question we took issue with before the election, pointing out voters tend to vote for things and it was most likely they would feel positive about themselves and vote for the raises.
“If we had an agenda, we would have voted ourselves a raise,” he said.
That may be, but it’s also true those elected beneficiaries of the raises will get their cake and be able to eat it, too.
They’re getting raises, without any accompanying political baggage. No future political opponents can use against them in a campaign that they voted themselves a raise.
The message in the vote totals is that the mayor and city council get raises, but neither by a landslide nor a mandate. The 1 percent or so difference separating those who voted on the matter is quite telling. Generally speaking, voters tend to be for ballot questions rather than against and most of them pass easily. In this case, it didn’t, which means almost half of those who voted didn’t think the mayor or city council should get the raises they proposed for themselves.
Again, congratulations to the winners, including the mayor and city council members who were not on the ballot who won more money in their pay envelopes.