As the polls closed May 3, Measure E, a new $193 annual parcel tax to benefit local schools, had the votes to pass and its proponents were optimistic. However, at least one opponent of the proposal is holding out hope that last-minute ballots will dash the two-thirds majority it needs to pass.
After all the ballots in the mail-in election were counted, Measure E led with 67.34 percent of the vote, just over two-thirds of all votes cast.
Jay Gill, a proponent of the Los Altos School District's Measure E says the tax is needed to address education cuts resulting from federal, state and local budgets being slashed.
At about 10 p.m. Tuesday night, Gill said he was "cautiously optimistic," that the parcel tax -- expected to raise $2.3 million for the district over the course of its six-year life -- would pass. He said it was still too early to call the election, however.
"I'll bite my nails a little bit," Gill said.
Ron Haley, a Los Altos Hills resident who led a campaign against Measure E, said he had his fingers crossed that his side would claim the majority of the last minute ballots cast today. "The unfortunate thing is that we're behind."
By Haley's calculation, about 90 more "no" votes would be enough to thwart the necessary two-thirds majority.
About 1,000 students living in Mountain View attend the district's seven elementary and two middle schools -- roughly 25 percent of the entire student body. Homeowners in the district already are paying $597 a year for a parcel tax passed in 2002, and a bond issue assessment of about $600 per year on a home with an assessed value of $1 million.
The Santa Clara County elections office reported Tuesday night that the vote is 8,977 in favor to 4,354 opposed, with all 16 precincts reporting. An updated tally is due at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 4.