In this JRP epsiode I break down the data and the drama of the Poway 2018 Election for Poway Mayor, Poway City Council and Poway Unified School Board. We step through each race, examine the results, draw conclusions and identity broader themes.  I also share my own opinions on various issues including the Poway Road Specific Plan, PUSD Finances, running local government like a business and more…  including making a personal plea to newly elected Poway School Board Trustee Ginger Couvrette.

Poway 2018 Election Themes:

  1. Very hard to beat incumbents
    1. Historically difficult to unseat an incumbent. Requires resignation, scandal or a major problem (i.e. Billion Dollar Bond)
    2. Poway is a well run city (public safety, roads, balanced budget, prioritized projects)
    3. Incumbents are heavily backed by donors and establishment/institutional organizations
      1. Deputy Sheriffs/Building Industries
      2. Political Parties (GOP)
      3. Teachers/Unions (2 of 3 PFT candidates won and 3rd winner had support of teachers)
    4. Anti-incumbent vote fragmented
      1. Mayor: Vaus 63%, Edmonston 19%, Johnson 15%, Bohlen 3%
      2. District 1: Grosch 50.56%, Ryan 25%, Neild 17%, Carson 7%
      3. District 3: Mullin 65%, Calabrese 35%, Write Ins #7
      4. Short Term: Frank 50.15%, Powers 37%, Russo 13%
      5. PUSD Area B: Couvrette 44%, Juza 35%, Garnier 21%
      6. PUSD Area C: Zane 49%, Norwood 34%, Sellers 17%
      7. PUSD Area D: O’Connor-Ratcliff 64%, Rodkin 36%
    5. Jon Ryan, PowayFirst.com, smart move by the SPV/“loyal opposition” to organize, will it have legs to last?  
  2. Voters are Supportive of current leadership/agenda
    1. City of Poway – voters very supportive
      1. Status quo (safety, roads, budget)
      2. Poway Rd Specific Plan. I am largely supportive of plan for the folowing reasons:
        1. Property Rights
        2. New amenities, services for residents
        3. Economic development
        4. NIMBYism vs Housing Market Stress
        5. Human progress
      3. Other problems/issues not impactful (Caylin Frank appointment, pool, Espola, Senior Center construction/displacement, parks, etc.
    2. PUSD – voters mostly supportive
      1. Establishment forces highly aligned/focused
      2. Lack of compelling alternatives
      3. Mystery: drama, giant deficits, first amendment lawsuits, lack of transparency, lawsuits, gerrymandering, 3-2 majority remains majority but now 4-1, etc.  Do voters really care? Or is it mostly a “feel good” vote since it’s “all about the kids”? If that’s the vibe, that’s when I think it is time to worry. Seriously.
      4. Hopeful Couvrette brings Poway Budget Review discipline (sorely needed)

We also spend time talking about college basketball, the kids coming home for Thanksgiving, AJ Preller and the Padres offseason, Scott Kaplan, Steve Fisher, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead.

John Riley Project Info: