Measure L appears defeated; Placer Supervisor candidates head to run-off | SierraSun.com

Measure L appears defeated; Placer Supervisor candidates head to run-off

Andrew Cristancho
Sierra Sun
Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunWith both Nevada and Placer County elections departments still counting votes, unofficial results of Tuesday night's election have been released. Based on those results, the $93 million bond funding measure dubbed Measure L failed among Truckee area voters.
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The Tahoe Truckee school district may soon be looking for alternative funding for Truckee projects, while a local county supervisor seat is still up for grabs until November.

With both Nevada and Placer County elections departments still counting votes, unofficial results of Tuesday night’s election have been released.

Based on those results, the $93 million bond funding measure dubbed Measure L failed among Truckee area voters. The money would have built new classrooms and sports facilities at Truckee High School.

The school district’s director of facilities John Britto said the supporters of the measure were deeply disappointed in the election results.

“We have not as yet developed a plan on how to proceed,” said Britto. “Measure L was unfortunately the district’s best, if not only, solution to deal with some of the major facilities issues we face in Truckee.”

Britto said Measure L’s failure at the polls may mean that the school projects will be pushed back to 2014 or later.

“At the rate we are seeing a rise in construction costs, the projects we had proposed with Measure L will either cost significantly more or we will build much less than we had proposed to stay within the same budget,” said Britto.

According to an unofficial report from the Nevada County elections department the bond measure was narrowly defeated by Truckee voters, receiving a little over 50 percent of the vote. The measure required 55 percent of the votes to pass.

Yet, approximately 600 ballots from Truckee polling places have not been counted, according to Susan German, assistant Nevada County clerk recorder. Because the majority of those are vote by mail ballots dropped off in Truckee, German cautioned against the temptation to think they may sway the vote.

“Keep in mind that the people that drop off their vote by mail ballots may or may not be in that particular precinct,” German said, explaining someone from the foothills may be on their way to Reno, and drop their ballot in Truckee.

Close to 2,600 ballots have been cast for or against the measure in Nevada County and 400 in Placer.

A geographic voting anomaly of note was voters from Placer County precincts, from areas such as Serene Lakes and Ponderosa Palisades, being eligible to vote for the measure. Among those voters, the measure passed by the needed percentage, according to semi-official statistics from Placer County’s election department.

Placer’s race for the Fifth District Supervisor seat saw three candidates running, and semi-official results from the county’s election department indicate a runoff will take place between incumbent Bruce Kranz and challenger Jennifer Montgomery, a political newcomer. Between 12,000 and 18,000 ballots have yet to be counted, which could add 6 to 10 percent of the final turnout, according to a press release from the county’s clerk recorder.

Montgomery, a small business owner from Soda Springs on Donner Summit, captured just over 40 percent of the vote while Kranz received nearly 38 percent. Bumped from the contest, Bob Houston, a Sacramento businessman and lobbyist received just under 22 percent.

Without a simple majority of the vote, California State Election code dictates the two front runners must participate in a runoff election, according to Ryan Ronco, assistant registrar of voters for Placer County.

Kranz said he expected a runoff.

“It was going to the general no matter which way it went,” Kranz said.

He is looking forward to only running against only one candidate, because the distinction between the policies will be easier for voters to read come November, he said.

“In Bob [Houston’s] case, his issues were my issues, like taxes, smaller government and not getting the 300 percent pay raise,” Kranz said.

Kranz called Montgomery to congratulate her Wednesday morning, he said.

Montgomery said Wednesday she was pleased with the results of the vote.

“I think it reflects the wishes of the voters wanting to make a real change,” she said.

But Montgomery disagreed with Kranz on who Houston supporters will vote for come November, saying her positions and Houston’s stances were similar.

Voter turnout for Nevada County was reported to be just under 36 percent of those that are registered. Placer’s turnout was lower.

“62,251 ballots were cast and counted as of today, out of 185,204 registered voters,” said Lisa Thomas, elections manager for Placer County.