The final tally for the Goleta City Council race still remains too close to call two weeks after the election. While challengers Michael Bennett and Eric Onnen have secured their seats as the top two vote-getters, Roger Aceves has only a 16-vote edge over incumbent Cynthia Brock for the third and final seat. Three thousand provisional ballots have yet to be counted. Regardless of whether Aceves or Brock wins, the slow-growth majority that’s dominated the Goleta City Council since the city incorporated five years ago has been eliminated.
Sheriff Jim Anderson has yet to concede defeat, even though his margin of defeat has steadily expanded as the 27,000 absentee and provisional ballots that remained uncounted election night two weeks ago have been tabulated. At last count, Anderson trailed his opponent Lompoc Police Chief Bill Brown by 8,114 votes, with only 3,000 provisional votes left to be counted. Anderson’s campaign consultant Richard Cochrane indicated Anderson is investigating an issue that might upend the election results, but would not elaborate. “It might be a moot point or it might be an earthquake – with a magnitude of 8.4,” said Cochrane.
Members of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) voted not to spend $20,000 to find out why Measure D fell shy of the two-thirds supermajority required by 12 percent. Supervisor Brooks Firestone said the money should not be spent to poll voters about what went wrong; instead, SBCAG should redouble its efforts to win the next election. But Mayor Marty Blum and other South Coast officials seemed more interested in pursuing a plan to deal with traffic problems specific to South Coast voters and paid for with South Coast dollars. Measure D won 54 percent of the vote countywide, and fared much better in the south than in the north. Fifth District Supervisor Joe Centeno – who helped broker the compromise that put Measure D on the ballot – asked his fellow elected officials to “allow the corpse to cool” before taking any more steps.