Election outcomes clearer in later returns

It took nearly two weeks, but supporters and opponents of local candidates and ballot measures in the Nov. 6 election are now fairly certain how residents voted – with one exception.

In Mountain View, incumbent Councilwoman Pat Showalter benefited from a flurry of late ballots to come from 155 votes behind at one point and overtake challenger Alison Hicks in the race for the third open city council seat. Showalter did not take a lead in the vote count until nearly a week after the election. As of Monday, that race was still too close to call, with 14 votes separating the two candidates.

City Planning Commission members Ellen Kamei and Lucas Ramirez finished one-two in the Mountain View council race.

Meanwhile, in Los Altos, a relatively close gap between “no” and “yes” votes for the controversial Measure C initiative grew wider as the count continued, rising from a 331-vote difference after election night to a 1,048-vote difference, as of Monday, rejecting the initiative. Measure C would have changed the city’s general plan to require voter approval of significant changes to city-owned land, including sale, lease or rezoning.

“Unfortunately, the debate over this measure has created divisions in our community that we must now work to overcome,” said No on C steering committee members Robin Abrams, Kim Cranston, Dennis Young and Marie Young (no relation) in a statement. “Fortunately, we start from common ground: we all treasure our parks and open space and want to preserve them.”

As of Monday, Measure C drew 8,364 votes against and 7,316 in favor, totaling 15,680 votes. There are 20,357 registered voters in Los Altos, indicating that 77 percent of all registered voters participated in the election.

Council races

The election also was notable in that it featured the defeat of incumbent mayors in Los Altos and Mountain View. Both Los Altos Mayor Jean Mordo and Mountain View Mayor Lenny Siegel were trailing significantly as of Monday in their bids for re-election.

In the race for Los Altos City Council, Neysa Fligor, who lost in her first run for a council seat in 2016 by six votes, finished first by a wide margin. Former Planning Commissioner Anita Enander, who some see as a slow-growth, fiscal conservative, took the second open seat.

“I personally believe that replacing Mordo with Enander is a better solution than Measure C itself,” said former Councilman Ron Packard, who favored Measure C, Enander and Fligor. “Almost everyone wins. For the many honest opponents of Measure C who wanted to preserve representative government, they got that. For the many proponents of Measure C who wanted to slow down development and protect our town, they got that.”

Voters approve funding

The cities of Mountain View and Los Altos benefited financially from measures on the ballot.

Los Altos will take in another $700,000 annually, thanks to voter approval of an increase in the transient occupancy (hotel) tax under Measure D.

Mountain View’s business-license tax restructuring and cannabis sales tax under passage of measures P and Q, respectively, will collectively generate approximately $7 million a year for city coffers.

Still counting

Thousands of votes still remain to be counted. A spokesman contacted by the Town Crier Friday said the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters still had 42,000 additional votes to tally.

“Although our original target date to have the bulk of the tally completed was Nov. 21, due to the large number of provisional ballots and conditional voter registrations, we’ve had to shift our target back to early next week,” said spokesman Eric Kurhi on Monday.

The registrar has until Dec. 6 to certify the election results.

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