the voters in mesa are idiots and kicked this anti-tax, anti-government lady off the mesa city council.

Thoms loss seen unifying council By Brian Powell, Tribune March 16, 2006

A more unified Mesa City Council will be in a better position to lead the city through its financial woes now that Janie Thom has been ousted from its ranks, her council colleagues say.

We now have a group that can move the city forward toward being a well-respected, financially-stable city, Councilman Rex Griswold said.

Phoenix firefighter/ paramedic Scott Somers, with the backing of Mayor Keno Hawker, most council members and community leaders, easily defeated Thom on Tuesday in southeast Mesas District 6 council race by garnering 58 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

The easy victory for Somers, who favors the proposed property tax and emphasized the importance of Williams Gateway Airport throughout the campaign, was seen by tax supporters as a positive sign for the May 16 property tax and sales tax increase election.

The defeat of Thom, who opposes the property tax, means the council lost a member who was not afraid to challenge or criticize the city, took pride in being an outsider and represented the interests of limitedgovernment conservatives.

Her opponent was one of the gang and (Thom) asked them too many questions on too many subjects, said Jan Hibbard, Valley Business Owners (And Concerned Citizens) secretary and treasurer and Thoms campaign treasurer. Its a loss for Mesa.

Throughout her fouryear term, Thom, who was frequently on the losing end of 6-1 or 5-2 votes, frustrated council members who would be visibly upset or exchange perplexed glances as they questioned her decisions and rationale. City staff members also would discreetly express frustration.

The Mesa Chamber of Commerce endorsed Thoms opponent and was quick to criticize Thom for a vote last month that allowed homes to be built near Williams Gateway Airport.

Somers also received financial support from police and fire unions, Mesa Unified School District board members and officials, and city advisory board members. Council members either endorsed him or did not take a position.

Thom said shes aware of how many with influence feel about her.

I think part of it is they were always afraid Id find where the bodies were buried, she said.

But she has her supporters too, she added, especially those who share her skeptical view of Mesa city government and opposition to light rail, Mesa Riverview, the Mesa Arts Center and the proposed property tax.

On Wednesday, Thom exchanged her campaign signs for anti-property tax signs.

She said she stands by her positions that favored less taxes and more property rights. And she plans to be active in fighting the property tax.

Thom ran unopposed in 2002 for the first District 6 council seat. She stepped forward when there was no other candidate.

Hawker, who has had the most public clashes with Thom and was linked to Somers from the start, said: I think most people come into politics with the idea they want to do something positive. But I had a difficult time figuring out what the positive was (Thom) was trying to accomplish.

The friction between Thom and other council members reached a boiling point last month when Thom voted against a city-initiated rezoning case that would have prevented homes from being built under the Williams Gateway flight path.

The criticism was intense, and Thom acknowledges that vote hurt her chances for re-election.

Councilman Tom Rawles, who did not align himself with Thom but often voted the same way, was one council member who didnt see a major change coming from Thoms defeat, adding that previous 5-2 votes will now be 6-1 votes.

Somers will likely be the only newcomer to the council. Unofficial results show Councilman Kyle Jones with 52 percent of the District 4 vote.

Mesa deputy city clerk Linda Crocker said there are about 250 outstanding ballots, with Jones needing about 35 percent of those to secure a majority and a council seat.

Otherwise, he will advance to a May 16 runoff against the second-place finisher, likely JT Ready. In District 5, Griswold ran unopposed and was reelected to a second term.

Contact Brian Powell by email, or phone (480) 898-6514

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