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North Whidbey voters say no to pool; Brewer, Hizon ahead in Oak Harbor

Voters didn't approve the renewal of the maintenance and operations levy for the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District, according to the first count of ballots in Tuesday's primary election.

The levy needed a 60 percent supermajority to pass, but only 56 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of the measure. A total of 3,811 people voted for the levy and 2,958 voted against it.

Craig Carlson, director of the district, said he's disappointed, especially since most voters were in favor of renewing the levy, which is crucial to the operation of Oak Harbor's popular swimming pool.

"We're planning to ask again in November," he said. "Maybe there will be more voters then."

The preliminary ballot count also narrows the number of candidates in a four-way race for the Oak Harbor City Council, position 1. It appears that candidates Paul Brewer, a former councilman, and newcomer Tara Hizon will continue on to the general election in November.

Brewer was the runaway winner in the vote count, earning 41 percent of the ballots counted so far. He received 1,118 votes, Hizon received 751, Martha Young garnered 423 and Mark Wiggins has 421.

Brewer pointed out that he won even without putting up any campaign signs.

"I think the voters chose me because they want the tough questions asked and they want open government back in the city," he said.

The ballot count also shows that candidate Richard Turner will likely be eliminated from the race for a seat on the Port of Coupeville board of commissioners, though it's a close one.

Candidate Laura Blankenship is far ahead in the three-way race, with 53 percent of the votes. She earned 481 votes, while Mike Diamanti has 219 and Turner is close behind with 208. The top two voter-getters will move on to the general election.

The Island County Auditor's Office estimates that there's 50 ballots left to count.

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