Insiders vs. Outsiders
But the end of partisanship hasn't meant the end of politics. There's an undercurrent of opposition to the current Democratic majority, and it surfaces in party primaries. In the Third Ward, outsiders LuAnne Bullington and Steve Kunselman are challenging one of council's ultimate insiders, three-term incumbent Leigh Greden, in the August 4 Democratic primary. In the west-side Fifth Ward, dissident councilman Mike Anglin faces newcomer Scott Rosencrans, who's much more closely aligned with the majority. The powerful local chapter of the Sierra Club, which clashed with the majority over parks funding, is backing Bullington and Anglin.
Anglin and other critics argue that the city has unwisely borrowed money to fund grandiose building projects (expanding City Hall, building an underground parking structure) while neglecting quality-of-life issues like funding senior services. Greden and other insiders, led by mayor John Hieftje, retort that the investments are prudent and the city needs to keep up its infrastructure even during terrible economic times.