Election numbers change, results the same
The final El Dorado County election results were certified, showing a narrowing in the South Lake Tahoe City Council race.
After the remaining few hundred ballots were accounted for, candidate Michael Phillips — one of eight people to run — pulled to within 57 votes of incumbent Hal Cole, who regained one of the three seats with 15 percent of the vote.
Cole will be joined Dec. 10 by John Upton, who raked in 19 percent, and Kathay Lovell, who took in 17.2 percent, along with current council members Tom Davis and Judy Brown.
At 14.4 percent, Phillips was followed by Pete Mac Roberts, Stephen Reinhard and Gunnar Henrioulle. Claire Fortier, whose name was left on the ballot despite pulling out of the race, beat Mark Cutright with 523 votes.
At final count, almost half the registered voters in South Lake Tahoe turned out for the election. With nearly a third counted as absentee votes, the county churned out 63.6 percent of its eligible voters, a huge margin compared to the statewide turnout. California’s dismal 44.8 percent turnout marked one of five states with the lowest in the nation.
“I’m thrilled to death. For years and years, (the turnout) ran 12 to 17 percent up there,” county Registrar Michele Mac Intyre said of South Lake Tahoe’s 48 percent in 10 precincts.
Mac Intyre said the tight nature of the South Lake Tahoe City Council race served as no surprise, based on her experience with elections.
“I’ve seen them tie,” she said, referring to Placerville City Council about a decade ago.
Among other contests in its 157 precincts, the county also sealed its vote counts for district attorney. The current DA, Gary Lacy, edged Erik Schlueter with 53.8 percent of the vote.
With 53.8 percent of the vote in favor, the county also finalized passing of the city’s ballot initiative to raise the transient occupancy tax by at least $1 and no more than $1.50. This motel-room tax hike will be added to the 10 percent and 12 percent standard and redevelopment properties have charged their guests.
Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at email@example.com
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