It’s fair to say that not a lot of people were holding their breaths, awaiting the results of last night’s Santee municipal elections with fear in their eyes.
In fact, no one was.
Randy Voepel was easily reelected our Mayor, and Jack Dale coasted to another term on the City Council.
Rudy Reyes and Maggie Acerra offered a little more than token opposition- but not much more.
Now that it’s done, it’s time to think about the future of our town- Voepel and Dale will play a major part in determining whatever that future is.
Jack and I have developed the habit of getting together for coffee and conversation from time to time- and we did that again the day before the election.
Once we solved the problems of the rest of the world, it was time for Santee.
And it turns out that, for Dale and Voepel, at least, there is a phrase that accurately describes what’s coming.
Dale is coming to the belief that less is going to have to be enough.
“In this economy, there just isn’t going to be the money to do all the things we’d like to do. We’re probably going to have to settle for doing the core things well-- police, fire, paramedics, general public safety, as well as possible, and send most of the money to those.”
Voepel is known to share such sentiments, especially about the economy.
When asked about the long-dreamed-of Prospect Avenue redevelopment project, Voepel summed it up with one of his usual turns of phrase.
“No money, no honey."
Colorful, but totally accurate.
That’s going to be a major disappointment to those people in town who push for more parks, more walking trails, more everything.
More everything has to be paid for.
Redevelopment funds, which paid for that beautiful and much-used sports complex at Riverwalk, are no more. The redevelopment agencies, in Santee and all over California, are extinct.
Neither Voepel nor Dale has any interest in trying to raise taxes on our citizens- the TOT tax that passed election night comes from the tourists who use our hotels and motels.
For some- the people who want more everything, this may be a catastrophe.
For the rest of us?
It’s not something we LIKE to hear, but it’s something we CAN live with.
Santee is still a well-run city.
“Bare bones budgeting” may be the only way to KEEP Santee well-run.
To borrow a phrase-
“No money, no honey.”