Votes are still being counted in Monterey Bay area elections, but early numbers are in. These results are from the most recent tally, which was early Wednesday morning.
(note: Numbers in this story reflect the last reported results as they stood at 2:00am in Monterey County and 1:00am in Santa Cruz County.)
A public water system could be in the future for the Monterey Peninsula. Preliminary results show Measure J passing with about 55% of the vote.
MEASURE J: MONTEREY PENINSULA
Measure J requires the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to adopt a policy of public ownership, and if feasible, buy the water system operated by California American Water (Cal Am).
Cal Am had its local assets appraised at just over $1-billion. Melodie Chrislock is with Public Water Now, the grassroots group that pushed for Measure J.
“We're pretty confident that this will be feasible. And, I just want to reassure people that there is no billion dollar buyout. There's no such thing. That would not be feasible. It would all stop right there. The threats Cal Am has made to frighten people, they can relax if you voted no, don't worry about it. You're not going to be on the hook for a billion dollars,” says Chrislock.
Once the vote is certified, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District will have nine months to complete the feasibility study and come up with a plan for buying the water system from Cal Am.
MEASURE M: PACIFIC GROVE
In Pacific Grove, Measure M is also poised to pass. The yes vote has the early lead with 58%. Measure M further restricts short term rentals in the city by keeping them out of most residential areas.
MEASURE U: PACIFIC GROVE
Voters in Pacific Grove also appear poised to approve Measure U, which is an increase in the transient occupancy tax at hotels and inns. That should offset some of the financial loss the city would feel from the new restrictions on short term rentals.
MEASURE S: MONTEREY
So far, Monterey's Measure S has the numbers it needs to pass. S extends a previous sales tax increase so the city can coninute road repairs.
MEASURE N: MARINA
In Marina, early numbers show voters in favor of Measure N, a sales tax increase to support city services, including fire, police and road repairs.
MEASURE M: SANTA CRUZ
Early numbers show Santa Cruz’s rent control measure, Measure M, not passing. It needs a majority vote to pass and right now the no vote is around 65%.
This measure aims to implement rent control. That’s a policy that limits how much landlords can raise the rent. It also aims to implement ‘just cause eviction,’ which means landlords can only evict tenants for certain reasons. Finally, it aims to create a Rent Board.
MEASURE H: SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Measure H asks voters throughout the county whether they want to raise property taxes to create affordable housing.
H needs a two-thirds majority to pass and right now it only has about 52 percent of the vote. So while the majority of voters support the measure, not enough right now for it pass.
Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty endorsed Measure H. KAZU spoke with him after initial results came in on Election Night. We asked him about the county’s plans to create affordable housing if Measure H doesn’t reach that two-thirds majority.
“Well, we have a multipronged strategy. The first is that I think the state bond measure will pass and so there'll be money coming in from the state level. The second is we can work through regulations and simplifying practices to make it simpler and easier for people to build affordable housing. And the third is we can try to partner with nonprofit developers or companies or other folks to develop the workforce housing we so desperately need,” Coonerty says.
MEASURE L: CAPITOLA
In Capitola, residents weighed in on Measure L, the Capitola Greenway Initiative. It has about 52 percent of the vote, so it looks like that will pass. The measure would make it city-policy to preserve the Train Trestle as a trail for pedestrians and cyclists.
MEASURE G: SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
It looks like voters also approved Santa Cruz County's Measure G. It's a sales tax to help fund government services, including public safety and homelessness services.
CONGRESS DISTRICT 20
Congressman Jimmy Panetta was also in Santa Cruz on Election Night. He’s headed toward re-election with 79% of the vote over Independent Ron Kabat. Panetta will returning to Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.
Panetta attended an election party at the Santa Cruz County Democratic Party Headquarters on November 6. Now that Democrats are taking back the House, Panetta says the real work begins.
“Not only are we going to push back on this administration, we need to push back, but we're also going to make sure that we pass immigration reform, that we pass a proper infrastructure investment package, that we not only maintain but that we fix the Affordable Care Act,” Panetta says.
CALIFORNIA STATE HOUSE
In races for the State House, Democratic Assemblymember Mark Stone is poised to return for another term. He’s leading with about 70% of the vote over Republican Vicki Nohrden.
Also in the State Assembly, Democrat Robert Rivas has the lead with 64% of the vote. He’s running against Republican Neal Kitchens. This assembly seat is currently held by Democrat Anna Caballero.
Caballero is in a tight race for State Senate. She and Republican Rob Poythress are currently separated just by one point. Caballero has the slim lead with 50.5% of the vote.
These are all preliminary election results. As Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin says, these initial results are just a snapshot.
"I'm hoping before Thanksgiving we have a very good idea of who won and people can go into their Thanksgiving holiday with that knowledge," Pellerin says.
County elections offices have until December 6 to certify the final results.