Yes, last night's meeting has reminded me to bring this up. There will be elections next month for 3 of Gainesville's 7 City Commission seats. Most importantly, perhaps, is the at-large seat, which is voted on by all Gainesville residents. Rick Bryant, the encumbent, is up for re-election after siding with big business over his constituents time and time again, most notably in last year's Wal-Mart vote. Luckily he was out-voted and his vote was meaningless. Rob Brinkman is the challenger most fit to take his place this year. His ability to listen to the people and his tenacious concert for the future of Gainesville's environment make him a far-superior candidate than Rick Bryant and his faux-Democratic posturing.
Also up for election is the commission's arch-conservative Ed Braddy. This is a man who's got to go! UF geography professor Grant Thrall is the challenger here and the early returns are looking good on this one. Thrall has done many urban-planning consultations for the city and knows the meaning of responsible growth. Sad this seat is not in my district so I don't really have much of an effect here. (Our district commissioner, the superb Craig Lowe, is not up for re-election this year.)
The last seat up for grabs is a toughy. Most Dems get their ire up for a candidate like incumbent Tony Domenech, but I personally find it hard to do so. Out of all the times that I've emailed the commission on various issues, Domenech has been the ONE commissioner to respond, often showing sympathy to my cause. Plus, he was shown the error of his ways and voted AGAINST the Wal-Mart site at the headwaters of Hogtown Creek. The tough thing is that both of his challengers are great men as well. Mike Belle is determined to get the voices of the UF students heard, a highly admirable effort. Also, Jack Donovan, a former Reverend at the Gainesville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, is a religious leader you can really get behind. He walks the walk instead of preaching hate. Pat Robertson he is not! This one I'll have to keep myself out of. May the best man win!
Speaking of Pat Robertson, I was flipping though the channels a few weeks back when I passed ol' Pat speaking the words "George W. Bush." "This oughtta be good," I thought as I clicked back to the 700 Club. Robertson went on to say that the recent Tsunami disaster in Asia was basically God's way of punishing the Muslims for their blasphemy. This guy needs serious mental help! Enough said.
In summary: VOTE BRINKMAN! VOTE THRALL!