Tom Lotshaw

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June 3, 2014
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Novasel and Brown up, paid parking down as counting continues

Preliminary results for the June primary show Sue Novasel and Kevin Brown leading a tight six-way race for El Dorado County District 5 Supervisor and South Lake Tahoe residents voting to repeal the city’s paid parking program.

County election officials had 34,362 ballots counted and reported by early Wednesday morning, and tallied another big batch of more than 7,000 ballots on Thursday to bring the near-final, unofficial total to 42,095.

The closest race that could potentially be impacted is the race for District 5 supervisor, in which the top two vote-getters advance to the November election. So far Brown is leading his next closest challenger, Angela Swanson, by only 12 votes.

“The code allows us 28 days to certify (the election). It doesn’t usually take us that long, but we have that timeframe,” said Linda Webster, the assistant registrar of voters for El Dorado County.

About 6,000 of the uncounted ballots were vote-by-mail ballots people dropped off at polling locations on Election Day. Another 600 were provisional ballots and a few hundred more were vote-by-mail ballots picked up from post offices.

“We have to check the signatures and review (the vote-by-mail ballots) before they can be run through the counter. When people wait until Election Day to drop them off, they won’t be in the counts on election night,” Webster said. “I don’t think the public always understands what it takes. But we review every signature on every vote-by-mail ballot that comes back to us.”

In the six-way race for District 5 supervisor, 5,302 votes have been counted. The district has 17,702 registered voters. The updated election results showed Novasel, of Meyers, leading the District 5 supervisor race with 1,508 votes, or 28.4 percent of the vote. That’s a 558-vote lead over Brown, of Pollock Pines, who is eking out a second-place finish with 17.9 percent.

But Brown is leading third-place finisher Swanson, of South Lake Tahoe, by only 12 votes. With 938 votes, Swanson has only a two-vote lead over fourth-place finisher, Kenny Curtzwiler, of Meyers.

Gerri Grego, of South Lake Tahoe, is in fifth place with 656 votes, or 12.37 percent, and Teresa Piper is in sixth place with 300 votes, or nearly 6 percent.

Voter turnout in the District 5 race stands at 32 percent.

Novasel said she thanks voters for their support and promises to continue to be a strong advocate for economic growth, public safety, social services and environmental protection if she advances to the November runoff.

“If the outcome holds true, there is still a lot of work ahead between now and November. Now more than ever it is vital to have a Tahoe basin resident who will fight for critical funding,” Novasel said.

In the race for District 4 supervisor, which represents northwest El Dorado County, Howard Penn and Michael Ranalli led in an eight-way race, each with nearly 22 percent of the 9,848 votes counted.

City residents who want to repeal South Lake Tahoe’s paid parking program apparently got their wish. With 2,445 Measure P votes counted as of Thursday evening, 67.24 percent favored repeal and 32.76 percent opposed repeal.

Voter turnout stands at nearly 29 percent with 8,732 voters eligible to vote on the measure.

Measure P ends paid parking at Lakeview Commons and Lakeside Beach effective August 31. It would not affect paid parking on Bellamy Court and Transit Way, which would remain in place.

The delayed repeal lets South Lake Tahoe collect another summer of revenue to pay down the debt it issued to buy its paid parking kiosks. But the program would end with the city still owing an estimated $150,000 for paid parking kiosks it bought just a couple years ago.

Measure L, a tax renewal for South Lake Tahoe Public Library, had strong support from voters. Preliminary results with 4,255 votes counted show the tax measure passing 80 percent to 20 percent.

The “zone of benefit” eligible to vote on the library measure has 13,950 registered voters, putting turnout for Measure L at 31 percent. The 12-year tax renewal would continue a $20 per home annual assessment, which could be increased by up to 3 percent per year to account for inflation.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jun 5, 2014 08:29PM Published Jun 5, 2014 02:12PM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.