Miller, Poston expected to win seats
Champagne and wine glasses clinked in celebration for Grass Valley City Council candidates Dan Miller and Chauncey Poston on Tuesday night.
The voters “know I just love Grass Valley,” said front-runner Miller, who greeted a crowd of supporters at Gregories Wine Vault. “I think that’s the one ingredient people look for.”
Poston, the other front-runner, was nearby, celebrating across the street at the Main Steet Cafe. “I can’t get near the computer,” he said. “It’s so noisy in here.”
Miller and Poston pulled ahead in early ballot counting Tuesday in the race to fill two seats on the Grass Valley City Council.
With 9 of 11 precincts counted by midnight, Miller and Poston each had polled nearly 36 percent of the vote.
Both men had campaigned on platforms that included allowing some growth beyond what is called for in the city’s 2020 General Plan but tempering that growth with public amenities, such as open space, affordably priced houses and job creation.
Terry Lamphier, a small-scale contractor and slow-growth proponent, came in a strong third, with more than 27 percent of the votes cast.
Returns at midnight, with nine of 11 precincts counted, were:
• Miller: 1,659 votes, for 35.98 percent.
• Poston: 1,648 votes, for 35.74 percent.
• Lamphier: 1,263 votes, for 27.39 percent.
Both leading candidates would shape the next council’s response to growth proposed in four large properties slated for annexation in coming years. Plans to develop two of them already are making the first steps in their city review process in the next week.
Miller: Create dialogue
Miller celebrated his apparent victory with family, close friends, wine and cheese. A computer on the bar linked to election progress formed a backdrop of the party.
Miller said creating dialogue with people in the community who don’t feel the current council is meeting their needs is a priority for him.
Miller, 59, is an agent with Acordia Gold Cities Insurance in Grass Valley. His diverse background includes time as a paratrooper, foreign missionary, ice show stage manager, small businessman, funeral director and high school sports radio announcer. He is stepping down as president of the Nevada Joint Union High School District’s board of trustees to join the council.
Miller campaigned on a platform of balanced growth to create jobs and fund basic city services.
Poston: Remember neighbors
“I don’t want to forget my neighbors,” said Poston, a glass of champagne in hand and feeling “under the weather.” Poston said he was relieved to see election night after several months of “exposing himself” in his first campaign.
“I had wonderful support. It was very humbling, the amount of support I’ve had,” Poston said.
Poston, also 59, is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Grass Roots Realty in Grass Valley. He and his wife, Theresa, arrived in the county in 1978 as part of a federal mine reclamation project and settled in a historic downtown neighborhood.
Poston campaigned on a theme of “put our neighborhoods first,” saying growth worries had overshadowed the needs of existing residents.
Growth still a concern
Lamphier was out of town on Election Day and unavailable for comment. However, his strong showing could indicate the extent of public dismay over expected growth.
Lamphier also campaigned against Measure T, which appeared to be winning a majority of votes but was falling short of the two-thirds needed to pass. The measure would have levied a half-cent sales tax to fund the Dorsey Drive freeway interchange and other transportation-related projects.
Although growth has been a hot-button topic for several years, residents also have shown in recent surveys that they feel traffic, crime, drug abuse, the lack of well-paid jobs and the dearth of housing within reach of moderate-income buyers also are very important issues.
The new council, which will be seated in regular session Dec. 12, also will continue the city’s effort to rein in spending, build up city staff, repair and update public infrastructure and improve recruitment and retention at the Police Department.
One of the first jobs of the new council will be to elect a new mayor to replace Gerard Tassone, who is leaving the council after 19 years of service. Eight-year Councilwoman Patti Ingram also did not run for re-election.
Staff Writer Laura Brown contributed to this story. To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4230.
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