Placer County had a busy night, with City Council seats up for grabs in Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Colfax and Auburn, as well as school board races galore. Some incumbents kept their seats while others fell short.
But the biggest vote of the night may have been Measure M, a new half-cent sales tax increase to pay for transportation projects in a rural and suburban region where driving is a necessity. The measure failed to achieve the two-thirds majority it needed to pass; less than 64 percent of voters approved it.
County leaders said they needed the funding because state and federal governments have fallen short of providing what Placer needs to build and fix roads.
It was a tough ask in the Republican-leaning county.
Anti-tax activists said city leaders needed to do a better job of forcing developers to provide more funds for road improvements. They also warned that a sales tax hike would drive shoppers elsewhere.
In August, Loomis lost its public library after having an official branch since 1937. Placer County supervisors voted to shut branches in Loomis and Meadow Vista in what they called a cost-cutting move.
To preserve the library, Loomis placed two measures on the Tuesday ballot: a general 0.25-percentage point sales tax and an advisory vote directing town leaders to use the money to save the library.
Loomis voters approved the sales tax measure 59 percent to 41 percent and passed the advisory measure 64 percent to 36 percent.
Roseville City Council
This race for three seats was chock full of candidates with political experience, but had only one incumbent, Bonnie Gore, who received the most votes with 24 percent.
Scott Alvord, a city parks commissioner, won a seat on the council with nearly 19 percent of the vote, as did John Allard, a former council member, with 18 percent.
Phil Ozenick, another former council member, fell just shy of Allard with 17.6 percent, while Richard Roccucci won 14 percent. Real estate agent Maxine Sarmiento came in with the least political experience, with time spent as a neighborhood volunteer. She garnered 7.5 percent of the vote.
Roseville Joint Unified High School District
With three seats up for grabs, Gary T. Johnson, who has served on other school boards, was the top vote getter with just more than 22 percent. Julie Hirota, executive director of California CareForce, took in more than 21 percent of the vote. And incumbent Paige Stauss was re-elected with nearly 21 percent.
The other incumbent on the ballot, Rene Aguilera, garnered about 19 percent of the vote, and Andrew Tagg won 16 percent.
Rocklin City Council
Six candidates were up for three seats on the Rocklin City Council, including Mayor Greg Janda, who kept his seat by winning 20.5 percent of the vote. Newcomer Joe Patterson won the top spot with nearly 24 percent of voters casting ballots for him. And Ken Broadway, a UPS manager, pulled in 19.5 percent of the vote.
Vice Mayor Dave Butler fell short with about 18 percent. Mike Mattos and Michele Vass both received less than 10 percent of votes cast.
Lincoln City Council
In nearby Lincoln, City Council members Paul Joiner and Peter Gilbert retained their seats and will be joined on the dais by Lincoln planning commissioner Dan Karleskint. Runners up were former city treasurer Spencer Short, Holly Woods Andreatt and Brandy Waters.
Auburn City Council
Mayor Bill Kirby survived a challenge from multiple opponents to win re-election, while Councilman Keith Nesbitt did not. Replacing him will be former Auburn Mayor Cheryl Maki, who topped the vote count with nearly 30 percent. Roger Luebkeman and David Lawicka were the other unsuccessful contenders for the two available council seats.
Auburn Airbnb tax
Voters rejected Measure J by 59 percent to 41 percent to apply the city’s hotel tax to operators of short-term rentals through services such as Airbnb. In a city that thrives on tourism, vacation rentals have become a growing business.
Voters approved bonds in the Roseville Joint Union High School District and the Western Placer Unified School District. But a bond in the Placer Union High School District had only 53 percent support, shy of the 55 percent required for school bonds.