Presidential race spurs local voter turnout
Spurred by presidential election that many voters agreed could be among the most pivotal in decades, Truckee voters headed to the polls in large numbers Tuesday to decide their town council, special district boards, the future of Sierra College and a variety of state propositions.While the presidential election garnered the most interest from people exiting polls around Truckee, voters showed support for Measure H, the Sierra College bond initiative that would fund a permanent college campus in Truckee. The town council and airport board races, two of the most high profile local contests, were overshadowed by the presidential race, many voters said. “I think it’s important to every American here … Probably the most important election that I’m going to have in my lifetime,” said Mike Joy, who voted for President Bush at the Glenshire Clubhouse. “I think there is a lot of stuff going on in this world today and we need to have a good strong presence in the world.” Stacy Andersen, a Kerry voter, cast her ballots at the downtown recreation center. She agreed that the importance of the election could not be overestimated. “I think it’s incredibly important. It’s a time for a change. Hopefully there will be more peaceful times ahead and some different decisions about the international affairs that are going on,” she said.
Some voters, like Carla Platt, didn’t expect to know who the next president would be in the morning: “I think it will take a few days, weeks, months for us to know [the result]. I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said. “I think it’s so close that even if the electoral votes are counted and it looks like we have a winner, that’s still not going to be enough.”Local issuesMeanwhile, on the local level Measure H, the bond issue that would create a Sierra College campus in Truckee, faired well in the Sierra Sun’s informal exit polls.
“I feel this area needs a community college campus badly for our kids, for jobs and for our local economy,” said Jim Willis, a Tahoe Donner voter.And if the presidential vote was paramount in many voters’ minds, many of the same principles applied to the Truckee Town Council race between Josh Susman, Barbara Green and Ron Florian. The three are vying for two seats. Along with Kerry for president, Michele Prestowitz cast her vote for Susman and Green.”Nationally, the current administration is not taking our country in the right direction. Obviously we need some change,” she said. “Locally, I suppose actually a lot of the same – I’m just looking for some change and looking for somebody who’s going to be looking out for the best interests of Truckee.”Billy Griffin supported Barbara Green because of her vows to manage growth and preserve open space.”I feel that Barbara was a vastly better candidate that some of the others on the ballot in terms of supporting the things that are important to me,” Griffin said.
As for the airport election, Griffin voted for the Community Airport Restoration Effort candidates Kathleen Eagan, Mary Hetherington and Paul Vatistas.”I think that what we are voting on now is the direction we want the airport to go in the next 15 to 20 years,” he said.”Where the interests of Truckee and the interests of the airport conflict, they will represent the interests of Truckee.”
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A car driving westbound on Interstate 80 near Nyack Road veered off the highway and hit a tree around 7:55 a.m. Thursday, the California Highway Patrol said.