Results name Locke treasurer by 4 votes
Niel Locke has apparently defeated incumbent Logan “Gene” Downing to become Nevada City’s treasurer, results released Thursday show.
Locke, who led the race by one vote Wednesday, received a total of 517 votes – or four more than Downing. Five ballots counted Thursday went 4-1 in Locke’s favor.
Locke said he is happy with the results but noted Downing will have the opportunity to ask for a recount for five days after the election is certified. (Elections have to be certified within 28 days after the election.)
Downing could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Thursday’s tally included three absentee or provisional ballots dropped off at the polls on Election Day and two damaged ballots that had to be duplicated before they could be counted. (Voters cast provisional ballots when there are inconsistencies regarding addresses or other registration information.)
One provisional ballot was discovered Thursday with some election supplies, said Nevada County Clerk-Recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick.
Another ballot was counted when county Superior Court Judge Ersel Edwards ordered a disputed vote reinstated Thursday, she said. The voter’s name was not on the registrar’s list, though contended he registered to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Locke, a 65-year-old co-owner of a Nevada City coffee shop, said he ran because the post of city treasurer needs to be redefined.
“It’s time for a change,” he said. “I have four years.”
As the city treasurer, Locke said, he will keep a close eye on the expenditure of tax dollars. Locke could also sign city checks – as can other city staff – and advise the City Council.
The city manager prepares the city’s budget. The city also uses a certified public accountant.
Downing, who was elected in 1994, donates his $100 monthly stipend to Miners Foundry Cultural Center.
Locke doesn’t yet know what he will do with his stipend.
“If I earn it, I’ll keep it,” he said. Otherwise, he will return the money to the city, he said.
City Clerk Cathy Wilcox-Barnes said city officials will be sworn in after the election is certified – possibly on March 25.
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