I am writing regarding the May 23 article "Special Election turnout was 6%" and Chaska Mayor Mark Windschitl's lack of understanding comments.
Without restating all the quotes of the mayor, he generally expressed that following all the public demands for a special election, verses his handling the two Chaska City Council vacancies via appointments, that he was "not sure we truly won anything" here by doing the special election.
He generally left the impression that he felt the special election was a waste of time, money and very inconvenient for him and his staff as a whole to conduct. He also criticized those that cried out for the special election verses appointments because of the low turnout for the special election.
He doesn't get it. What the mayor fails to understand is this. Many of our citizens were demanding a vote verses his appointment ... democracy. Whether there was only one vote cast, or a million — and no matter the added duties on staff, or inconvenience, or the $12,500 cost — the special election was the right thing to do over his appointments.
The outcry for a special election was solely that these vacancies are up to the voters, the public, to fill and not his to appoint. That is democracy; that is what the public deserves; that is what was demanded; and that was the right decision.
Sure, we can be discouraged by the low numbers that turned out and I agree, most unfortunate, but we can never be discouraged that it was handled the right way — left to the voters to decide. That is how it is suppose to work.
What was more discouraging to me was the mayor's lack of understanding in the proper process and flippant disregard to voters rights. The voter was not the one responsible for the extra work, cost, schedule hassles, etc — the "vacancies" were. This was not a waste of time, energy and/or money to do it right.
In viewing the poor turnout, that just tells me the public was much more concerned about losing the voting rights and privileges, than they were about one candidate over another.
The mayor concluded by saying, "I really we hope we look back and we learned a lesson. I am not sure that this was the way to go." Wow. The true lesson here Mr. Mayor is that democracy won, and democracy is ran by the voters.
Poor turnout, as disheartening as it may be, does not disqualify doing the process the right way.