Lessons from recent election

Dear Editor:

The wizened tell us that it takes the experience of contrasting extremes to heighten appreciation. Having now just tasted the bitter fruits of a handy drubbing (2,500 votes) for Antioch City Council, the nectar of two past rousing victories (5,000 and 5,500 pluralities) for school board are better savored.

Though many thought I was a good bet, my mother-in-law called me "daring" in taking on former mayors and two ladies. Others were less charitable in their odds-making, saying Don Quixote had better prospects fighting windmills.

Though politics is about as predictable as the stock market and the proverbial monkeys throwing darts at buying options, I did learn that fair name recognition were a long-shot match against larger war chests, partisan, organized backing and a not so great random ballot position.

No regrets, no bitterness. I am who I am, an independently spirited, grass-roots sort of guy. I thank the city residents for the opportunity of eight wonderful years serving you. I am proud of what the school district has accomplished. We banner five career academies, an 11-point dip in drop out rates, a 40 point API increase, fiscal solvency and Antioch High modernization bond passage.

I am not about to turn my back on Antioch and head for a porch rocker. I'll continue fighting the good fight, alongside my better half, running the Antioch Music Foundation, serving as Antioch's representative to the County Library Commission, running the www.volunteer4antioch website and spearheading the annual International Day of Peace Celebration. Hopefully, I can also add constructive citizen input on the nagging city issues of crime, blight and economic vitality.

Congratulations to the incoming mayor, Wade Harper, and to the council winners, Mary Rocha and Monica Wilson. You unquestionably care for Antioch and are to be commended for running civil, clean and vigorous campaigns.

Your success is the success now of Antioch. We all ride on your shoulders. Your next big steps will be a fair, enlightened appointment for Mr. Harper's vacancy and judiciously selecting a new city manager.

My prayer is that you rule with a tough spine, incorruptible integrity, open heart, unbridled enthusiasm and enlightened, Solomon-like wisdom. Antioch needs inspired leadership.

Walter Ruehlig

Antioch

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