Our View: Goodbye, 2018, and its life-sucking election politics

December 31, 2018 GMT

The 2018 election stands as the most significant story of the year. Locally and nationally, the elections consumed most of the oxygen, leaving little for the merely dramatic events.

Locally, and sadly, Lake Havasu City had some of the latter. A murder-suicide took the lives of three. A boating accident took the lives of three well-known local citizens. A boat accident upriver killed another three and injured nine. One is still missing, months later.

There were more uplifting stories as well. The new high school football stadium, supported by a voter-approved bond sale for education, opened to a sell-out crowd. The city celebrated the 50th anniversary of the London Bridge’s foundation laying. A new mainland boat launch, and many other developments, edged ever closer for Havasu Riviera as finishing touches were put on the new road to the area.

Statewide, Arizona lost Sen. John McCain, an iconic Senate figure and presidential nominee. Voters sent a female Democrat to the Senate and the governor sent her female Republic election opponent to join her a month or so later. It returned a governor to his seat. After a dramatic legislative session and an election propelled by public education politics, voters left both legislative houses under Republican control, though by a slimmer margin.

One who left was a Lake Havasu City legislator who boasted of driving up to 140 mph in a cop cam video.

Nationally, it was a year for fluid borders and fluid facts. Election drama and a president unlike any other kept the political pot boiling fiercely even before a Supreme Court nomination blew up the rest of civility in public life.

A fitting exclamation point was the federal government’s partial shutdown at year’s end.

There’s little doubt Lake Havasu City seems, thankfully, a world apart at times. The lake and desert beckon after all. Yet it isn’t.

There was little drama in local elections, though one long-term mayor rode off and another popular council member took his place. City government sweated through voter approval of a higher spending limitation.

Election years don’t only produce political winners. They also produce a lot of dead time. Decisions are delayed until after the election. Action is pushed back.

The city spending limitation question amplified the usual election year reluctance. That Riviera project relied on city road and traffic signal participation, for example, and should have opened by now. As of tomorrow, it’s a new, non-election year. That means sleeves can be rolled up and work can resume on making a better city, state and nation.

— Today’s News-Herald