The Return of Spalding Clark
Clark opposed a 0.9-mill tax to fund the fire department and thereby free up general-fund money to hire more sheriff's deputies. "People wanted somebody who wouldn't raise their taxes," Nielsen says, "even if it's really in their own best interests to do so."
That may have been true in August-but November was a different story. Buoyed by a huge turnout for Barack Obama, the millage was approved by 69 percent of the vote. "It's amazing," Nielsen laughs. "My proposal wins two to one and I lose the primary. It's like they like my ideas but they don't like me!"
Clark returned to his old office just before Thanksgiving-with the millage as an early Christmas gift. "Frankly, I didn't expect so many people to vote on it," he admits. "Everybody votes for president, but there's a steep falloff of interest after that. But almost everybody voted either for or against it. More people than I expected understood the issue."