By: Diane Benjamin
Flashback to February 2013. Consolidated elections were coming up in April. Kevin Lower was the only candidate on the ballot for Ward 1 because Alderman Bernie Anderson had resigned and decided not to run for reelection.
Steve Stockton was mayor. At the February 11th regular City Council meeting, Stockton wanted to appoint Jamie Mathy to complete Anderson’s term (a couple of months!) instead of appointing Lower – the only guy on the ballot! He could have appointed Allen Gibson who wasn’t running, but he picked Mathy who was running as a write-in candidate. See the discussion here, stating on page 26. http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=4882
Page back to the beginning for a summary of public comment against the Mathy appointment. (The clerk no longer summarizes what speakers say, but back then the clerk did)
Stockton said he chose Mathy because he had participated with the DBA – the Downtown Bloomington Association. Mathy owns at least one business downtown and Stockton appointed him because of his focus on downtown. So, if Ward 1 elects Mathy where will his allegiance lie?
Aldermen Judy Stearns and Steve Purcell voted against the Mathy appointment. Kevin Lower went on to win the election, so Mathy was short-lived on the Council. A few months on the Council did provide time to see how Mathy would vote though. Thanks Stockton!
For the 6 meetings Mathy was alderman I looked for votes Stearns was a “Nay” while Mathy voted “Aye”. Judy was frequently the only vote in opposition to senseless spending.
The first one can be seen here (Feb 25, 2013) – page 33: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=4987
Judy thought leasing was a way for the City to get Cadillac equipment at taxpayer expense.
Next, a vote on a towing company. Stearns objected to unfair fees charged to citizens – March 25th, page 33: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=5194
This one is the vote to approve the FY 2014 budget. April 8, 2013 – Page 26: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=5193
Stearns and Purcell voted No, while Mathy didn’t.
Mathy did finally vote with Stearns, Purcell, and Sage against spending $600,000 on a park for Eagle View. He cited infrastructure and pensions as the reason. This vote was April 8, 2013 – Page 33: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=5193
Later at the same meeting – page 78 – Mathy voted for a HUGE increase David Hales salary:
Again at the same meeting – Page 94 – hard to say what this vote was on, but it has to do with solid waste and managed competition. Extensive discussion is included at the link above.
The bottom line is Jamie Mathy was the alderman for Ward 1 for 6 meetings. He only agreed with Alderman Stearns once. Since Stearns and Kevin Lower voted mostly (if not 100%) the same, Mathy will not be the voice of the people who supported either Stearns or Lower.
Sue Feldkamp doesn’t have a voting history to compare. She was briefly appointed to the Liquor Commission and then thrown off by Renner when he decided he could do the job all by himself.
Since Feldkamp was a frequent speaker against City policies during public comment, it’s safe to say she won’t be an automatic “Aye”. Sue has attended almost every Council meeting for the last three years and almost every mayoral open house. She served on the Citizens Advisory Board (the only citizen), and she took a Roberts Rules of Order class. She also spoke at the meeting held to make the intersection on Lincoln a four way stop after a fatality occurred. Mathy has attended almost no meetings in person.
Ward 1 needs to decide if they want a representative similar to Kevin Lower or just another close to automatic YES vote for whatever the City dreams up, especially if the spending is on downtown.
The differences between the two candidates is easy to see.
Both Jamie and Sue are really nice people, but you are voting for representation. History matters.