Courtesy John Fredricks / Beacon Media
Milton voters turned out in record numbers Tuesday to deliver a message to embattled incumbent Councilwoman Tina D’Aversa and her Julie Zahner-Bailey backed slate of council candidates, Bernard Wolff and Alex Trevillyan: “Enough!”
Newcomer Joe Longoria, along with incumbent Council members Karen Thurman and Bill Lusk won a resounding victory by capturing over 60 percent of the vote collectively.
TINA BLAMES THE MEDIA
In sad rendition typical of her campaign, even on the day after a crushing defeat, Councilwoman D’Aversa could not bring herself to accept any level of accountability for the electoral debacle that she facilitated. Instead she blamed the media for her humiliating collapse. Below is an excerpt from an email she sent to supporters on Wednesday:
“John Fredericks, who is the publisher and owner of The Beacon discredited me with lies and hurt our campaign. While none of his allegations were factual, he still reached many readers who may have called my intentions to question. I want my friends and colleagues to know that I did nothing inappropriate when I contacted Mr. Longoria about the election and discussed a board position in the city…The Beacon’s tabloid style reporting…struck fatal blows for our campaign. It was impossible to recover from the scores of lies and negative information that was circulated [to Milton voters].”
This newspaper stated repeatedly during the election that Zahner-Bailey controls about 1,000 votes in Milton, and Tart about 200, mainly in his Avensong district. They delivered their vote: 1,229. The problem was, their opponents garnered nearly 2,000. This does not bode well for the minority Council members, who are both up for election in 2011.
The normally politically savvy Zahner-Bailey made a few blunders in the last weeks of the campaign that accelerated her candidate’s electoral clock cleaning. One was not advising D’Aversa to come clean on her alleged ethics violations early, and to drop the strong-arming tactics, especially those with respected area businessmen.
The other fatal faux pas was convincing her slate to boycott a well-publicized media debate at the campaign’s eleventh hour. Voters can be forgiving for a lot of things. Not showing up for debates by the fourth estate is not one of them. That single decision, made in an arrogant vacuum, openly snubbed voters who may have wanted an opportunity to hear what the candidates had to say. It put the proverbial nail in their coffin and their slate paid dearly for their debate no-show on Election Day.
But the fact remains that come next year she will control only two votes out of seven on Milton’s City Council. It’s the minorities’ minority.