Incumbents, street repair tax sail to approval

Incumbents on North Whidbey did well in Tuesday’s election, as did a sales tax measure that will fund street repair in Oak Harbor.

During the campaign, several candidates for positions in the city of Oak Harbor criticized the current city leadership, lambasted the street repair proposal and argued change was needed.

But Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severns, who has a sizable lead over his challenger, said the election results prove they were wrong.

“The results show that the majority of the citizens are not unhappy with the current leadership,” he said.

As of the Thursday night ballot count, Severns has 1,987 votes, which is 56 percent, and challenger Pat Harman has 1,533 votes, or 43 percent.

Councilwoman Tara Hizon also has a healthy lead over her rival, Michael Crawford.

Voters cast 1,880 ballots in her favor, or 55 percent, and Crawford received 1,521, or close to 44.6 percent.

The election results are narrower between the two candidates who ran to fill the seat currently held by Councilman Rick Almberg, who didn’t seek reelection. After the third count, 157 votes separate Jeffrey Mack and Joseph Busig, but the final tally is unlikely to change the result.

Mack has 1,686 votes, which is 52 percent, and Busig has 1,529 votes, or 47 percent.

Severns said he was “pleasantly surprised” to see the majority of the community support a measure to raise the sales tax by two-tenth of 1 percent to fund street repair and maintenance over 10 years.

Severns said he had been worried, especially since Harman spent a lot of time doorbelling and claimed virtually nobody supported the tax increase.

“It’s exciting,” Severns said. “At least as exciting as road construction can be.”

Of the 3,595 ballots counted so far, nearly 56 percent were cast in support of the proposition.

After an election season that got a little fiery, Marv Koorn will keep his position on the board of North Whidbey Fire and Rescue. He got 58 votes and challenger Theresa Jenkins received 42 percent.

Jessica Aws will keep the seat she was originally appointed to on the Oak Harbor School Board. She garnered 3,284 votes, or 54 percent, and Frederick Wilmot got 2,699, or 46 percent.

In Central Whidbey, voters were decisive when it came to the Coupeville School Board. Incumbent school board member Glenda Merwine received 1,952 votes, or 67 percent, and challenger David Mahaffy got 916 votes, or 32 percent.

Incumbent Jerry Stevens, however, lost to Sherry Phay. He got 839 votes, 29 percent, and she received 2,045, or 70 percent.

Christopher Wiegenstein won the race for commissioner on the board for North Whidbey Park and Rec. He got nearly 54 percent of 5,685 ballots and John Chargualaf got 45 percent.

David Day will continue as a commissioner on the Port of Coupeville. A total of 1,935 ballots were cast for him while Roger Eelkema got 1,061.

Thursday night, the elections officer reported that an estimated 4,000 ballots were left to count.

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