New Faces Grace Council, School Board; M1 Fails

Alameda City Hall

Alamedans woke up on Wednesday, Nov. 9, to learn that Donald Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton; the Trumps, not the Clintons will be moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in January.

Locals also learned that they had a brand-new City Councilwoman and an equally fresh School Board Trustee. The Alameda Unified School District quickly tweeted its thanks on Wednesday to voters for passing a measure that extended the period that the district could depend on the current parcel tax.

Voters confirmed that the city can rely on more money from a utility tax and gave a nod to a city ordinance that helps stabilize the rental market here.  A measure that would have promoted renters’ rights from a mere ordinance to inscription in the City Charter failed to pass muster.

In the race for City Council, Malia Vella garnished more votes than any of her opponents. She and Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, who won reelection, will share the podium with Mayor Trish Spencer, Vice-Mayor Frank Matarrese and Councilman Jim Oddie when the new City Council convenes. Councilman Tony Daysog lost his bid for reelection. Vela received 8,315 votes, 24.27 percent of the votes cast.  Voters reelected incumbent Ezzy Ashcraft with 7,569 or 22.09 percent.

Incumbent Tony Daysog mustered 6,914 votes, 20.18 percent. Jennifer Roloff received 6,284, 18.34 percent.  Lena Tam gathered 5,106 votes or 14.90; none of the three had enough backing to earn a seat on the City Council.     

City Auditor Kevin R. Kearney won handily over opponent Mike McMahon. Kearney received 13,351 votes, 72.96 percent, as opposed to McMahon’s 4,874 votes, 26.63. City Treasurer Kevin Kennedy also won his bid for reelection, defeating opponent Jeff Bratzler. Kennedy held sway with 80 percent of the votes cast or 14,850, compared to Bratzler’s 20 percent or 3,537.   

Voters passes Measure B1  with 16,033 or 73.90 percent voting “yes” and 5,662 or 26.10 saying “no.”  The measure handily surpassed the two-thirds majority (66.6 percent) it needed to pass. By passing the measure, voters gave the school district much of the money it needs through July 1, 2025.

Measure M1— the City Charter amendment to strengthen renters’ rights — failed with 14,195, 66.42 percent, “no” votes and 7,178, 33.58 percent, “yes” votes.  Measure L1— the ordinance already in place to help stabilize rents —  passed with 11, 954 or 55.61 percent of the voters saying “yes” and just 9,544, 44.39 percent, voters saying “no.”                

Gray Harris will continue to sit as a trustee on the school board. With this election Harris won a seat in her own right. She was appointed to fill the late Neil Tam’s seat when Tam passed away in 2015. Newcomer Jennifer Williams will fill the seat that Barbara Kahn’s retirement from the board left vacant. Kahn had endorsed Williams for the seat. Third-place finisher Ardella Dailey will fill the seat vacated by Philip Hu. Last year Hu was chosen to fill the seat Trish Spencer vacated when she became mayor.

Williams received 10, 244 votes or 23.17 percent. She was followed by Harris with 9,529 votes, 21.56 percent. Dailey received 7,786 votes or 17.61 percent. Three candidates failed to receive enough votes to stay in the running Anne McKereghan, Matt Hettich and Dennis Popalardo. 

County-wide more voters voted by mail than cast their votes at the polling places on Nov. 8: 179,601 voted at the polls, while 211, 564 mailed their ballots.

Reach Dennis Evanosky at editor@alamedasun.com