Despite spending a record half-a-million dollars to defeat the citizens’ slower-growth ballot issue (Question 200), the establishment failed to convince voters to reject the citizens initiative placed on the ballot by petition in 2017.
Although the pundits predicted a huge loss, the measure passed by over 5% with 53% of the voters supporting the proposal to limit future housing construction to an increase of 1% per year. Three of the five wards passed the measure with Ward 4 providing both the highest vote count and the largest margin (60% yes). Even the two establishment strongholds that did not pass the measure had high approval levels. Ward 5 had nearly a 49% approval rate and even 46% of the residents of Ward 2 supported the measure.
For a summer time special election the voter turnout was surprisingly high. 35,721 votes were cast which was over 4,000 more votes than were cast in the last regular city election in November 2017. The only city election with a higher voter total was the regular 2015 election which was a combination of mayoral race and the infamous school board recall. That election saw Adam Paul barely elected mayor with a little over 50% of the total vote.