Last week's special election hit Hercules like a tornado, after many months of a brewing storm. Here's how it unfolded and what looms on the horizon at City Hall this week:
1. Boulanger's Beef: The Sunday before the election, City Council candidate Gerard Boulanger in his candidate questionnaire for Patch and other campaign materials. This prompted an outpour of responses from the Hercules community and fellow candidates, some calling for Boulanger to step aside and others stating that Boulanger's actions were a mistake and not an intention to deceive. Boulanger until after the election.
See "" (June 5) and "" (June 6).
2. Election Day: Patch followed you to the polls and listened as you spoke of the need for a "higher level of accountability" and "to start fresh." The various opinions and incoming election results were documented in our , with a separate for interviews from members of the community, poll workers and candidates. One of the most compelling videos came from , a Hercules High School 10th grader, who called the election "wild" and "complicated."
See "" (June 7) and "" (June 7)
3. The Results: More than 80 percent of Hercules voters of incumbents Joanne Ward and Don Kuehne. The candidates chosen to take their places were Gerard Boulanger and William Wilkins. Meanwhile, in a three-way contest to fill a vacant seat, Dan Romero came out on top.
Reader Glenn Abraham, in a comment on Hercules Patch, called it "a glorious day" despite being "overshadowed by l'affaire Boulanger." Some of you commented that Boulanger should rescind his newly won seat, and others said that the whole thing was being blown out of proportion. What do you think?
Do you think Boulanger should give up his seat? Take the Hercules Patch Facebook Poll or leave a comment on the . Think this is a case of making a mountain out of a molehill? We want to hear about that too. Leave a comment or write a letter to the editor (this week it's stand-in editor Emily Henry, who can be reached at email@example.com.)
See "" and ""
4. Thank You: Newly elected Councilman Dan Romero expressed his gratitude to the citizens of Hercules in . Meanwhile, Mayor Joanne Ward responded to the news of her recall by saying that it has been an "honor and privilege to be an active part of the Hercules community."
See "" and ""
5. Questions This Week:
- Will there be action at the first City Council meeting after the election? It's 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14. The agenda is available on the city's website here.
- When will the new council members be sworn in? The city has yet to say. The county is expected to certify the results Tuesday. With no swearing-in on the council's June 14 agenda, the next possible date is June 28 unless a special meeting is called. Could it happen June 21?
- Will Boulanger leave his seat or stick it out? He's , but has in the meantime. He also told the Contra Costa Times that he intends to be sworn in:
"I could just walk away, but that would not be good for me or for Hercules," Boulanger said. With all the financial and other problems that the city faces, he continued, "I don't think it would be right for me not to go onto the council at all."
- Who will be mayor? Once the new team is sworn in, the first course of action is .
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