Opinion: What Greendale Learned on Election Day
Greendale voted on April 7. Here’s what we know…
Greendale wanted change, but not too much change in the school board. All four school candidates ran well with less than 500 separating the top from the bottom vote-getter.
I know that many community leaders and watchers (including at least some school board members) were predicting a Noelle Joers-Yanisch victory. It didn’t come to pass, she finished last behind Kathleen Wied-Vincent. The voters appear to have decided that change was better than the status quo or a familiar candidate.
Wied-Vincent and Joers-Yanisch both held their “victory” parties at the Panther Pub on April 7. I hope someone gave each of them a shout-out. Running for office is hard work. I hope they stay involved. Don’t forget why you ran in the first place.
Here’s a tip for the candidates: Take down those signs. Campaign yard signs that never get picked up annoy people.
John Comiskey deserves a hearty congratulations for his victory. He ran an effective campaign and represents a new generation. It will be a shift for a school board that has at least two long-serving members in grandparent territory. Change will produce anxiety among the current board members and it represents opportunity for a smart leader to build a new coalition.
The big winner in Tuesday’s election was John Tharp. True, the superintendent’s contract remains in question. It was put on the back burner by the previous board prior to the election. Will it now regain its front burner status? Will the board suddenly reverse course and actually renew his contract? There are strong headwinds in both directions and a character trait of this board is to appear rudderless.
Where does this leave current members of the administrative team who have pushed against Tharp? They now have one new board member that is closely aligned with Tharp — at least for now. It wouldn’t be surprising for some familiar faces to be leaving the district by July 1.
Comiskey’s win also shows that there is traction in youth sports. Again, think generational change.
In the case of Joe Crapitto, it appears the voters chose continuity over drastic change. He seems likely to retain the president’s gavel. It will be an opportunity for Crapitto to clean up some of the messes he helped create.
Over at Village Hall, popular incumbents Al Sikorski and Sally Chadwick cruised to victory over a newcomer.
I don’t know anything about Village board candidate Lauren Kinter. I didn’t see a single campaign sign and never got a flyer. She didn’t participate in the candidate forum and she declined an interview with both Everything Greendale and GreendaleNOW. She wasn’t a serious candidate.
However, the fact that she tallied 830 votes against two long-time incumbents is notable. Was a vote Kinter a vote for “none of the above” or a vote for change?
Jim Birmingham won the Village top slot with Soviet era numbers. Despite his daring heroics in the capture of the “broad street burglar” even John Hermes couldn’t have beaten Birmingham on Tuesday.
I’m confident that Birmingham will bring some change and fresh air to Village board meetings. However, the Village still faces some serious challenges.
I didn’t get a chance to make any of the “victory” parties on Tuesday. I was still waiting for election results at 11:15 p.m. That is way past my bedtime. Greendale was one of the last communities to report their results. I’m sure Village Hall was dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on their election count.
That’s a good thing, People were clearly paying attention to this election.