New Grass Valley Council members look to start working toward their goals
RACES AT A GLANCE
Nevada City Elementary School District, two will be seated
David Alkire: 1,568
Sandra M Barrington: 2,294
Ty Conway: 1,924
James Sperlazza: 1,629
Nevada Joint Union High School District Trustee Area 4, one will be seated
DuWaine Ganskie: 1,838
Leslie Lattyak: 1,352
Nevada County Consolidated Fire District, four will be seated
Thomas E. Carrington: 4,619
Shawana Cresswell: 2,384
Spencer W. Garrett: 4,907
Patricia L. Nelson: 4,900
Marianne Slade-Troutman: 4,582
In the race for three open seats on the Grass Valley City Council, incumbent Councilwoman Jan Arbuckle, Bob Branstrom and Thomas Ivy led the field Wednesday comfortably with more than 7,000 ballots counted.
As of Tuesday night, Arbuckle had 2,042 votes, 29%; Branstrom had 1,744, 24%; Ivy had 1,739, 24%; Edward Peevey had 939, 13%; and Steven Conrad had 537, 7%. According to county elections data, 8,316 Grass Valley residents were registered to vote in the race.
“I’m relieved,” Arbuckle said. “This has been a very different campaign. So, I’m relieved that I’m going to be one of the three.”
Elections officials have said they expect their next vote tally will be released Friday.
“I’m just delighted that I got enough support here in the community to be able to serve on the council,” Branstrom said. “I had no idea I’d be doing this five years ago, or seven years ago when I moved here.”
All results are unofficial and incomplete. The county must certify results to the state no later than 31 days following the election.
“I’m totally honored and excited to get started,” said Ivy.
Arbuckle said she’s excited to welcome in people who are new to governance.
“I love the opportunity to mentor to people and to help them in any way that I can,” she said. “Especially people who are new to government, as I was, and I had great mentors.”
Countywide, 30,488 ballots were counted from a possible 74,467 registered voters.
As of Monday, the county elections office reported more than 73% of registered voters returned their ballots, or 51,994 of 74,467.
In the 2016 presidential election, 45,167 of the 66,178 registered county voters, 68%, cast their ballots.
In 2018, 54,996 of 68,869 registered county voters cast their ballots in the state general election, or 79%.
The presumptive winners reacted positively to the voters’ strong support for Measure N — establishing a cannabis business license tax — which had 61% support with 2,253 “yes” votes to 1,390 “no”.
“It was a good first step,” Ivy said. “I’m definitely looking forward to going forward and letting professionals operate a clean business.”
According to Arbuckle, should the Measure N results hold the City Council will move forward on an ordinance regulating cannabis businesses in the city before the end of the year.
“I‘ve been promoting the idea that we need to broaden our local economy,” Branstrom said. “That would include expanding our existing small manufacturing, includes expanding technology, and also involves growing cannabis businesses, all three of those I see as our local strengths.”
Arbuckle said moving forward the council’s priority will be to try to support businesses any way it can.
“At any given moment, we can go from orange to red or orange to yellow,” she said, referring to the county’s position on the state’s reopening scale. “We have to think of ways to be creative and flexible in helping our businesses survive.”
While the county has remained on the orange tier for the last six weeks, health officials said a “dramatic increase” of 23 cases Monday could put that at risk.
Branstrom added he would also like the city focus on public broadband development and climate change action.
“To date, we’ve pretty much relied on private industry or private telecom companies to provide it. And frankly, they’re not interested, it’s not profitable for them,” he said. “That’s why I’ve been promoting a broadband co-op that would develop an overall plan for how are we going to do this for the whole community.”
Ivy said smart growth and development and listening to the community will also be key.
“Nothing’s going to change overnight,” he said. “I want to proactively have a conversation with the public.”
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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