Polls were open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, but the majority of voters in Atascadero and elsewhere in the cast a ballot by mail. That doesn’t mean everyone bought a stamp. Right up until closing time volunteers at the North County office of the San Luis Obispo Clerk Recorder and at their main office in the County Government Center in the City of San Luis Obispo were taking ballots from motorists delivering their mail-in envelopes at drive-up booths.
Final election night results were reported as of 12:48 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7 with the next update expected at 5 p.m., reported staff at the Clerk-Recorder office.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, that leaves those almost-too-late returned ballots and provisional ballots to be tallied, local results are unlikely to be swayed.
Starting off with the the Atascadero Unified School District Board of Trustees, five candidates competed for four seats with four incumbents and a challenger running. Donn Clickard, Tami Gunther, Ray Buban, and George Shoemaker defended their positions from Bret Heinemann with 25.09, 22.40, 22.00, 19.23, 11.08 percent of the vote respectively. That leaves the current board in effect until the next election.
For the City of Atascadero itself Mayor-elect Heather Moreno, currently Councilwoman Moreno until Dec. 11, ran unopposed but 85 write-in votes lowered her victory margin to 98.75 percent.
Gere Sibbach likewise ran unopposed for the position of Treasurer, which he already occupies, winning by 99.79 percent.
The most hotly contested of the local races, a three way split for two open City Council seats saw Heather Newsom and Susan Funk ahead of Mark Dariz at 35.23, 34.33, and 30.31 percent respectively.
That 0.9 percent difference for the lead represents 115 votes separating the two women. With them joining Councilwoman Roberta Fonzi and Councilman Charles Bourbeau on the Council in Dec., the City will join the ranks of municipalities with majority female leadership.
The City’s Measure J, which would have changed the mayoral term from two years to four years appears to have failed with a 64.98 percent ‘No’ vote; while Measure E, a cannabis business tax, got a ‘yes’ vote of 73.17 percent.