By DANNY PERSON and PETE DELMOE
Computer consultant Bob Jaffe won a narrow victory Tuesday over retired teacher Lee Clemmensen to claim a Ward 3 seat on Missoula’s City Council.
When all the votes were counted, Jaffe won by 34 of the 2,431 votes cast.
Jaffe attributed his win to a late get-out-the-vote effort that included visits to UM fraternities and sororities and a phone campaign.
He said his moderate stance on neighborhood growth issues resounded with voters, but added that the close vote showed him that the city is still closely divided on the subject.
“I wanted to show that I accept growth and change,” Jaffe said. “But it’s not like I have any huge mandates.”
During the campaign, Jaffe said City Council efforts to prevent new housing in existing neighborhoods, or "infill," were against the “evolution” of neighborhoods. He also endorsed design standards as a better way to preserve Missoula’s neighborhoods.
Jaffe said Tuesday night that he had no immediate plans to push specific legislation when he takes his council seat. His first action as a city councilman, he said, will be to “assess the situation.”
“I’m definitely in a learning stage,” he said. “There’s a huge learning curve and I want to make that learning curve as short as possible.”
Clemmensen could not be reached for comment at press time.