News

At long last, a winner in City Council race

Kamei, Ramirez and Hicks beat incumbents after monthlong wait for final results

One month later, the murky outcome of the Nov. 6 election is finally clear.

In the final vote results announced Wednesday evening, Alison Hicks won the undecided City Council seat with a narrow but significant lead over incumbent Pat Showalter.


Ellen Kamei

Lucas Ramirez.

Allison Hicks
For weeks, the two candidates have been in limbo, locked in a tight race for the last of three council seats up for election. Since election night, the two candidates traded places several times as the updated vote results trickled in from the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

For observers (including the Voice) it was simply too close to call. But as of Wednesday evening, elections officials announced that every last vote in the county had been tallied. The final count gave Hicks 11,129 votes, 97 more than Showalter's 11,032 votes.

Taken altogether, the theme of the Nov. 6 election appears to be a mandate from voters for a change of leadership -- albeit with candidates who share many of the same priorities and principles as the old guard. Along with Hicks, Mountain View's newest City Council members will be Ellen Kamei, who received the most votes (11,916), and Lucas Ramirez in second, with 11,397.

In an email to the Voice, Showalter pointed to the accomplishments during her four years on the council, including the North Bayshore precise plan and citywide housing growth.

"It's been a great honor to serve on the Mountain View City Council," she said. "The new council members are all high caliber. I wish each of them the best and will be glad to provide any assistance."

Mayor Lenny Siegel, with 9,929 votes, came in fifth, denying him a second term. Former councilman John Inks came last with 7,319 votes.

Voter turnout in Mountain View last month was unusually high for a midterm election, with 77.1 percent of registered voters casting ballots, according to the Registrar of Voters. It's far higher than the 2014 midterm election, when the city's turnout fell just shy of 53.9 percent, and even better than the 72.9 percent turnout in 2010.

To put that in perspective, the highest vote-getter in 2014 (Showalter) received fewer votes than the lowest voter-getter in this election (Inks). Reports following the election found that 2014 had the lowest turnout of any U.S. general election dating back to World War II.

The council election sticks out from the rest for other reasons as well. Two of the incumbents failed to retain their seats, which rarely happens in Mountain View, and the election was a nail-biter for more than a week after Election Day. Records from the county Registrar of Voters show that the dividing line between winners and losers hasn't been this narrow since at least 1996.

In the final results announced Dec. 5, Hicks prevailed over Showalter by only 97 votes. In past races, that gap typically exceeds 600 votes. The only race that comes close was in 2004, when Tom Means eked out a victory over Margaret Abe-Koga by 105 votes.

Turnout was highest among the single-family neighborhoods in the southern end of Mountain View, particularly precincts in the Waverly Park, Cuesta Park and St. Francis Acres neighborhoods -- each easily exceeding 83 percent voter turnout. The apartment-heavy neighborhoods of Castro City and the Del Medio area west of the San Antonio shopping center had the lowest voter turnout in the city, according to county data.

Comments

62 people like this
Posted by Bored M
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 6, 2018 at 2:06 pm

Terrific. How long until the mess Lenny and his crew created is cleaned up?


21 people like this
Posted by OpenMV
a resident of Whisman Station
on Dec 6, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Don't close off Castro at Central Expressway please. Keep Mountain View an open accessible place for all!


63 people like this
Posted by ShorelineWestDude
a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 6, 2018 at 2:22 pm

ShorelineWestDude is a registered user.

#Bored M,

it will be necessary to hold the feet of the newly elected to the fire, since I believe they are all "progressive" to varying degrees.

This means they must begin with eliminating the dangerous and unhealthy blight of RVs and beater cars that have appropriated our neighborhoods.

We must make it clear that the people have spoken and they had best clean up the mess... or suffer a similar ouster in the next election.

It would be nice to feel safe letting our kids play in the parks again, wouldn't you agree?


10 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Dec 6, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Jeremy Hoffman is a registered user.

My understanding is that the Castro / Central intersection is already a backed up disaster, and is only projected to get worse as Caltrain schedules improve. Better to repurpose the intersection into an efficient throughway for Central and a bike/pedestrian underpass to access Castro St. This will also help with parking on Castro St.


28 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Dec 6, 2018 at 4:12 pm

Jeremy Hoffman is a registered user.

My sincere gratitude for Lenny and Pat's four years of service. I'm excited to see what Ellen, Lucas, and Alison can do.

Mountain View is a leader inspiring other cities in the region with our smart city planning, including mixed-use zoning and more housing opportunities for more members of our city. I'm proud to call Mountain View my home and I hope the new council keeps giving me lots more to be proud of.


3 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 6, 2018 at 4:16 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

"The old order changeth, yielding place to new" --- at least in part, anyway. Still some more changes to be made in future elections.


18 people like this
Posted by Robert in Cuesta Park
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 6, 2018 at 4:35 pm

Robert in Cuesta Park is a registered user.

One month later, it would be great if ALL candidates pick up their campaign signs.


6 people like this
Posted by Bored M
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 7, 2018 at 8:13 am

Bored M is a registered user.

@Shoreline WestDude

There were no RVs on Shoreline this morning. The street looked great again. Not sure what happened but the "blight" is gone for now.


4 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Dec 7, 2018 at 8:33 am

LOL is a registered user.

Bored M, you folks really are shameless. What do you think happened? Alison Hicks seized vigilante power and rousted RVs? Maybe in true Boomer form, there's a "stand-dowm" order that was revoked? This is something the Voice should investigate!


8 people like this
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 7, 2018 at 8:50 am

Polomom is a registered user.

Weekend events (Christmas Market German International School of Silicon Valley) around Pioneer Park and City Hall will require a lot of parking for vendors and visitors. Just like the Art and Wine Festival. I bet our vehicle dwellers were politely asked to live somewhere else for now.


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