Change appears to be in order for the Crescent City Harbor District while the makeup for the Del Norte County Unified School District Board of Trustees will remain the same following Tuesday’s general election.
However, many votes have yet to be counted.
County Clerk-Recorder Alissia Northrup said Wednesday there are more than 1,000 ballots that have yet to be counted. These include about 140 provisional ballots, 63 conditional ballots, and 800 late vote-by-mail ballots, she said.
Northrup said she hopes to have most of the vote-by-mail ballots counted by Friday while her staff will work on the conditional and provisional ballots next week.
Northrup said she’s also required by law to notify a voter if the signature on their ballot didn’t match. That voter has about a week to come into the elections office to rectify, Northrup said.
Meanwhile, voter turnout appears to have been good, Northrup said.
“Certain precincts, in particular, Hiouchi, Gasquet and at Redwood Family Church, we had to take ballots out to all of them,” she said. “They almost ran out of ballots. It was a good turnout.”
According to Northrup the last day for her to certify the election results is Dec. 6. Del Norte County’s election results then go to the California Secretary of State, who has until Dec. 14 to issue a statement of vote, Northrup said.
In the race for Crescent City Harbor District, which had two seats up for grabs, challengers Rick Shepherd and Carol White showed an early lead over incumbents Ron Phillips and Patrick Bailey when preliminary results were released Tuesday at 8:07 p.m.
Shepherd and White retained their lead when all the precincts reported in at about 9:42 p.m. Shepherd led with 35.8 percent of the vote followed by White who received 31.92 percent, according to the Del Norte County Elections Office.
Phillips came in third with 17.82 percent of the vote and Bailey came in last with 14.28 percent of the vote, according to the Elections Office.
As for the Del Norte County Unified School District Board of Trustees, incumbent Angela Greenough will retain her District 2 seat. Greenough received 66.29 percent of the vote while challenger Kris Casas received 33.60 percent, according to the Elections Office.
District 5 incumbent Jamie Forkner with also keep her seat on the DNCUSD Board of Trustees. Forkner received 53.9 percent of the vote to challenger Janet Wortman’s 46.02 percent, according to the Elections Office.
Both Greenough and Forkner thanked those who turned out to vote for them, Greenough saying she was surprised by the number of people who supported her.
Now that she’s looking at another four years, Greenough said she’d love to get the board and community more involved in the decisions surrounding education being made in Sacramento.
“There are a lot of things that do affect us and I want to make sure we’re heading up some of those policies and working on school funding, especially with the new governor,” Greenough said, pointing out the results in the election for state superintendent of public instruction is still to be decided. “(We want) to work with them on policies, funding, equity issues, school safety and getting more involved on that front making our voice heard on the state level.”
Forkner said she’d like to “continue the focus” the school board has had and continue making improvements.
“I think we’re making good progress,” she said.
Casas, who challenged Greenough for the District 2 seat, said though she didn’t win a seat on the school board, she will still be involved in education. Casas said she’s president of the PTSO at Bess Maxwell Elementary School and is on the school site council.
“I work in a field that provides behavior skill acquisition and support to quite a few Del Norte County students, particularly in the Special Education Department,” Casas said. “If anything I’ve learned that just ‘cause I didn’t get the job I wanted doesn’t mean I stop doing what I love. If anything it’s usually because the universe says now that you’ve tried this, we’ve got something else in store.”
In the harbor district race, White said the election results look promising for her and Shepherd but noted that the harbor commission has “lots of work to do.”
“I think the primary thing is getting our harbor back on its feet and making sure it becomes a really active place for the community,” White said.
Shepherd, however, said he was more concerned with whether Measure C, a citizens initiative to increase the transient occupancy tax (TOT) within the unincorporated areas of Del Norte County by 2 percent, would pass or not.
“We want that 2/3rds majority so there’s no controversy,” he said. “I was hoping it passes by 67 percent.”
Phillips noted with two new faces on the Crescent City Harbor District board it could cause a “real shakeup.” Phillips said there hasn’t been a commercial fisherman on the harbor board since Gary Young, but he had concerns Shepherd would have to recuse himself on a lot of issues due to a potential conflict of interest.
“I don’t know if people thought about that,” Phillips said. “We’ll see. It’ll be interesting the next two years.”
Other county results
In the only other countywide race to make it to a ballot this election, the Del Norte County Fairgrounds Recreation & Parks, incumbents Sabina Renner, Douglas Wakefield and Steven Westbrook will retain their seats.
Wakefield led with 31.29 percent of the vote with Westbrook a close second at 30.75 percent. Renner came in third with 26.38 percent of the vote.
Challenger Linda Sutter received 11.34 percent of the vote, according to the Del Norte County Elections Office.
Reach Jessica Cejnar at firstname.lastname@example.org .