In an effort to raise as much money—er, votes—as possible, Sharon Davis ran a three-phase campaign, and it worked.
The Florida native who moved to Ramona in 1995 is Ramona’s 2009-11 honorary mayor. It was a landslide victory announced with much fanfare at the Ramona Rotary July 4 Family Picnic & Fireworks—and a drum roll from Ramona Town Hall’s Brass Band.
Davis, who owns an interior design business and is a Ramona Chamber of Commerce director, raised more money for Ramona Town Hall than the eight other contenders for the Honorary Mayor sash—lots more.
The campaign was, of course, all about “votes.” At $1 a vote, Davis raised $17,012.
No one else was even close. Charlotte Jensen was first runner-up with 2,770 “votes,” Betty Carpenter’s 1,303 “votes” made her second runner-up, and Charlie Teichert’s $1,108 landed him third runner-up.
Other candidates were Paul Ketchem, Susan Rizzie, Doug Oliver, Paul Tarr and Mindy Waldhauser.
With all votes counted, the total tally is $24,217.85, according to Town Hall Honorary Registrar of Voters Woody Kirkman, president of the Ramona Town Hall Board.
“These funds will cover our day-to-day expenses for the next two years, and will allow us to move forward with the completion of the West Wing,” reports Ramona Town Hall’s Web site, www.ramonatownhall.com.
Seven of the candidates attended the official announcement Saturday at Independence Day festivities in the field behind Olive Peirce MIddle School: Waldhauser, Davis, Teichert, Jensen, Oliver, Rizzie and Tarr.
In her acceptance speech, Davis admitted, “I cannot fix any speeding tickets.” But she looks forward to being the honorary mayor “of all the people of Ramona” and she plans more fundraisers for town hall and other organizations.
“As America celebrates it’s Independence today, let this, too, be a renewed celebration of independence, as we continue to return the centerpiece of our town back to the people,” she said.
Davis’ three-pronged approach to success started with Phase 1, a letter campaign to family, friends and business associates. Phase 2 was a search for corporate donors, and Phase 3, her womanless Miss Ramona Town Pageant featuring 10 Ramona men dressed in drag walking the “runway” in front of Bellamia Salon, was a crowd pleaser. Attorney Bob Krysak, as Miss High Maintenance, won the title for raising the most money for Davis’ campaign.
“We laughed until we cried,” Davis said of the pageant. “Contestants were in evening gowns, answered a question, displayed a talent and did a group dance. They wore sashed with specific names like ‘Miss B-Havin’ and really got into the spirit of the evening.”
It’s all for Ramona Town Hall, the 115-year-old adobe building at 729 Main St. Donated to the community by Augustus and Martha Barnett in 1894, the building is in the target of a renewed restoration effort. The East Wing is used for community meetings, and Davis intends to work toward complete restoration.
Her poem, Sleeping Beauty Awakens, was published in the Ramona Sentinel on July 3, 2008, and is on Ramona Town Hall’s Web site.
“There is a Sleeping Beauty
On the main street of town...
Stately she rests, her history profound...” her poem begins.
Davis concludes the poem with:
“So let’s celebrate together the rest is not done,
Awakening a spirit...
There’s work to be done.”