Long, Weber win council seats, Measure Q passes
PLACERVILLE – City Planning Commissioner Ted Long and South Shore businessman Mike Weber appeared to have came out on top in a close race for two spots on South Lake Tahoe’s City Council. And in a separate issue, South Lake Tahoe residents have voted themselves a sales tax increase.
With all the precincts reporting, Long had the most votes, with 1,747 counted by 1 a.m. this morning. Weber had 1,403 votes, when all ballots cast at South Shore’s precincts had been counted.
Patrick Frega and Jeff Williams came in close seconds with 1,336 and 1,319, respectively.
Many absentee ballots remain to be counted. Forty-two percent of all ballots in the county were absentee, said Bill Schultz, El Dorado County’s recorder, clerk and registrar. Only 28 percent of the 45,000 absentee ballots issued were counted Tuesday night, he said. However, many absentee ballots are not ever returned, he said.
The council race, which remained refreshingly civil throughout, was decided among six enthusiastic candidates.
The majority of ballots for South Lake Tahoe’s Measure Q and City Council races were tallied by shortly after 1 this morning in Placerville’s El Dorado County elections headquarters, with absentee ballots still expected in the mail.
The truck carrying the ballots, escorted down Highway 50 by a California Highway Patrol car, did not leave South Lake Tahoe until 10: 22 p.m., and arrived in Placerville about 11:45. The ballots can not be counted in South Lake Tahoe.
“We don’t have the equipment to do it,” said Schultz.
Ballots from South Lake Tahoe are typically the last to arrive at the county headquarters, since they come from the farthest away, Schultz said. The ballots left South Lake Tahoe later because they arrived from the precincts later, he said.
South Lake Tahoe’s sales tax is going up.
Residents voted 57 percent to 42 percent to pass Measure Q, a ballot initiative to increase the city’s sales tax a half a percent, from 7.25 to 7.75, with the money to go to the general fund. The measure’s language said the city will use the funds to pay for essential city services such as police, fire and snow removal, but the City Council will still reserve the final word on how the money is used.
By a little after 1 this morning, results for ballots cast at precincts, plus 28 percent of absentee ballots, showed that Measure Q had raked in 2,781 Yes votes, and 2,079 No votes, a clear margin for victory.