In what was undoubtedly the meanest and most contested council election last year, Bill Karsten defeated Jackie Barkhouse by just 68 votes. The contest was so close that Karsten had to sit out the council swearing-in ceremony and the first three council meetings while a judge reviewed the ballots.
Since then, well, Karsten hasn't broken anything. Going against form, he has mostly behaved himself. Like an alcoholic in a church basement, pausing mid-sentence with his declaration of sobriety as he catches a glimpse through the stained glass window of a passing beer truck, sometimes we can see Karsten battling the urge to interrupt someone or to scream out "point of order!" Mostly, he stays on the wagon.
Congrats on the personal transformation and all, but the politics remain wanting. Karsten was adamant that the city close the recycling sorting facility at the landfill, for instance, and he voted with the mean-spirited block to fund transit technology purchases with a fare box increase, rather than through property taxes.