The final vote in Eagle Tuesday was a vote for a general continuation of city policy, and a vote for a conventional choice. What's noteworthy is how close the unruly opposition got - shy just 153 votes of 4,557 cast (which is why even commenting on this Tuesday night was too problematic).
Phil Bandy, who won the mayoralty in the runoff, is the conventional choice, and he was endorsed by a string of business organizations and also by a number of independents, such as the Idaho Statesman. He has city council experience and has been a planning and zoning commissioner, and serves on the Ada County Air Quality Board, among other things; he was even president of his homeowners association. He has worked for quite a few years as a mid-level manager in several Idaho state departments. He is said to have a fairly smooth and cooperative working style and approach, a large part of what the Statesman, for one, found appealing.
His opponent, Saundra McDavid, has been in Eagle fewer years, has never been elected to office or served on the kind of boards and commissions he has. An attorney, she and her husband have run a newish business near downtown called the Rib Shack (we've lunched there, and had pretty good BBQ eats) which itself has been occasionally controversial in town. McDavid led a slate of candidates - the two council members were elected last month - but otherwise is apparently new to politics and struck some observers as having rough edges. In a guest op in the Statesman, she noted that "Some have criticized me for my passion on this issue, calling me stubborn and uncompromising" - and yes, "some" have.
Eagle is a suburban city, politically and culturally conservative (relatively, a closer match overall to Bandy than to McDavid) and with loads of new residents, not especially easy for an outsider to ride into. And yet McDavid came within 153 votes of becoming mayor. How did that happen?
There's no mystery in town; everyone there knows: "Growth."