Thu10302014

News

Measure AA passes; sheriff re-elected

A local open-space bond measure squeaked by and voters re-elected Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith to a fifth term in the June 3 election.

As of Monday, results showed Measure AA passing with 67.8 percent of the vote, exceeding the two-thirds benchmark required. Walter Moore, president of Peninsula Open Space Trust, said the Measure AA campaign declared victory Monday afternoon.

The bond measure provides $300 million to the Los Altos-based Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District over 30 years to maintain and improve public access at the district’s preserves, which total approximately 65,000 acres. Vote tallies as of Monday totaled 70,659 in favor and 33,564 opposed, with voter participation across both Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

According to MROSD General Manager Steve Abbors, all walk-in and mail-in ballots have been counted, while provisional ballots still must be tallied. He expects the election results to be certified next month. Abbors said he anticipates prioritizing and project management to begin in August or September, along with the formation of a community oversight committee.

“I expect on-the-ground progress late this year, early next year,” he said last week. “We are poised to deliver on the promises we made to the public.”

Meanwhile, Smith, whose Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement for Los Altos Hills, handily defeated challenger Kevin Jensen in her bid for another four-year term.

As of Monday, Smith received more than 59 percent of the vote (134,157) to Jensen’s 40.58 percent (91,620).

Jensen, a retired sheriff’s captain, provided the biggest challenge to Smith yet, securing support from deputies and correctional officers who had previously backed Smith.

Smith, the candidate of choice for many county political leaders, thanked supporters on her website.

“We will continue to work hard, keep our communities safe and continue to become better as a department,” she said in a statement. “It’s a mandate to continue the work that we do; we’ll focus on ways to look for positives and how we can do better all around. I’m looking forward to it.”

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