So many thoughts and so much to say.
First off, thank you to everyone who ran for the office this cycle. It is no easy task, campaigns are fraught with damning personal attacks, outrageous allegations, heavy criticism of ideas, and incredible competition over ideas and efforts. Those that choose to subject themselves to such an X-ray really deserve the admiration and respect of all of us, even if their ideas were not selected by the electorate.
Second, a heartfelt and deep thank you to my great friend and colleague Tami Ritter who will be departing the Council in December. Tami was my sounding board, confidant, friend, colleague, and fellow new parent on the Council, as well as the second youngest next to me. Her support and encouragement is not something I will ever forget. I look forward to encouraging her next successes as a community leader and housing advocate.
Third, my congratulations to those that were elected and reelected including Sean Morgan, Ann Schwab, and “new” comer, Karl Ory. I was thankful for where these candidates kept the debate on issues despite those surrounding the campaigns and even some candidates themselves who attempted to insert outrageous vitriol even while simultaneously claiming to be working to eliminate the same.
Karl will be a welcome addition to the Council, but there will never be replacing the incredible Tami Ritter. Equally so, I look forward to working closely with Karl on issues important to this community. Karl is a long time friend, supporter, and activist.
Finally, a thank you to my friends, supporters, allies, and even my occasional opponents. This is the business of governing and it is crazy and chaotic most of the time. I know that not everyone can understand the business of government and I certainly never expect that. To those who have worked so hard for us to get here, I am eternally grateful. From 3am printing failures surrounding an RSM Pinot in place of a wedding shower, to late night/early morning phone calls about how to get the job done, to my colleagues on the League of California Cities. We’ve worked hard for our communities and I am so, so grateful. Lucky!
Tom Nickell! You’re the man, my friend. In Hoc Signo Vinces.
To my wife, Krista, my son Rhys, and my Village. I love you. You can never fully understand how much I love all and appreciate you. Of course, you know who you are. You’re the people who eat at my house every week; tell me where to stick it when I’m being an a$$ (Jessica); argue with strained veining necks over nothing (Mary Beth); remind me what an ungrateful husband I can sometimes be (Tracie); remind me that Breton is still a viable option (Christine); tell me, “I don’t know, man” when I know you’re right (Tami); to mocking my “hatred of trees” (Michael). I endeavor to always make you proud of me and our work together.
You know, we were outraised by nearly 3-to-1 individually, including PACs and attacks, we were outraised by closer to 6-to-1. I was the *exclusive* subject of two outrageous and baseless hit pieces out of four total delivered throughout the campaign. I was the subject of a total of three hit pieces of the only four delivered throughout the election cycle. It was clear that these false tales from these groups came from only one place – those supporting only two specific candidates, who were simultaneously pledging to stop these types of attacks. Nevertheless, we won this election – quite handily actually – having raised the least amount of money of any of the (realistic) candidates, having the least public exposure, and despite being the subject of over half the attack ads by my opponents. Thank you Chico for recognizing the candidates who understand and work towards solutions and rejecting those that pander to a false narrative.
Lastly, I’m off to Newport Beach. The work never stops, even for an election. I am off representing the City of Chico at the League of California Cities Leaders Conference for the Division presidents and committee chairs of the League of Cities.
It is and will always be my honor and privilege to serve on the Council and the State of California. Thank you all for the opportunity to make our community the stalwart success story it is.
So many thoughts and so much to say.