Outcomes/Alternatives Overview/Tasks

Careful planning will save you some heartache. You should have addressed the things we talked about earlier. This phase will discuss what happens with an unsuccessful election and what happens when you win.

Whether you win or lose, remember that you are trying to improve your community. Change isn't easy, and sometimes it takes more than one attempt to succeed. Before leaving you with final comments, consider the following quote:

"What is a community without a thriving, fully functioning public library? It's a pretty desolate, barren, totally uncool place to be." - Columnist Dawn Turner Trice on the importance of voting in local library referenda, Chicago Tribune, March 31, 2004.Remember our communities need quality library service. We provide a place for people to learn and grow.

Contingency Plans

There are two possible results of an election, winning and losing. Keep in mind; many wonderful projects have ended with an unsuccessful election. Sometimes even when you do everything right, other issues cause you to lose. Perhaps there was an unpopular item on the ballot that influenced the voter's decision; maybe your supporters didn't get out to vote. The educational effort involved in districting may require a couple of unsuccessful elections before you succeed. Because failure is a possibility, take time to decide how to handle a lost election.

Realize that you and others in the districting effort will feel anger, discouragement, and disappointment. This will not be a good time to make decisions. This is why you need to make contingency plans.

Finding Alternatives

The election failure leaves the issues that originally created an interest in districting. You have three options:

to try again.

to try another alternative.

to let the issue rest for a time.

Carry out the following tasks to determine what is the best of these three alternatives:

O1. Analyze the election campaign and results
O2. Re-examine districting alternatives based on the analysis
O3. Proceed with an alternative