It’s the problem with any contest: There are winners and losers.
In sports, a team loses but learns a lesson and lives on. With digital games and puzzles, you win or lose and say “Oh well.”
But it’s different in local politics, especially for losing incumbents. These people took on the challenge with the best intentions and have paid a high price to serve a community by their own choice.
That’s why we’d like to thank outgoing Chico City Councilors Karl Ory, Ann Schwab and Randall Stone.
Ory did not lose the race; he chose not to run. But in fact, he has served three terms, equaling 12 years. His first run at 26 years old made news, as did his last, serving through tumultuous times in Chico. He also served on the Chico Airport Commission, working hard to get Chico commercial airline service .
For Ann Schwab, there’s a similar story. Both have been mayor of Chico, Schwab several times including now.
From Bidwell Park and Playground commissioner to a city councilor for 16 years, Schwab has spent years in public service. We appreciated her thoughtful outlook and willingness to let citizens have a say.
For Randall Stone, his two terms have been fraught with issues from budgets to the Camp Fire to homelessness, as was it for the other two. We didn’t always side with Stone’s way of thinking, but we appreciated his dedication, passion and perseverance to make Chico better. He always came to meetings prepared and with a clear understanding of the financial side of issues.
Besides city staff, there is probably no entity that knows what a public servant goes through better than the media.
We meet them, grill them, watch as they serve, and then watch as they leave.
We know exactly what candidates face in their run for office. We know the thrill of victory, but what the victor faces is never easy. We know also the unfortunate and sometimes misguided attitudes of the public. Meanness, name calling, and outright untruths are hurled.
Our leaders come week after week to serve on committees and to council meetings that lead to decisions for our community. They — along with city staff — do the hard work. They do the homework, make the decisions, trusting their soul that it’s what’s best for a community.
We don’t always agree, but like them, we aren’t right all the time.
That’s why we feel, no matter what their political outlook, those who volunteer to lead us deserve our deepest gratitude.
So thank you, Karl, Ann and Randall for your service to this good community, and best of luck in your next venture.