Monday, June 11, 2007

Town Council Election Results

Keith "Sarge" Gibbs won the town council seat for our census tract. Alice Sarkissian will take the Alternate position.

At our neighborhood meeting, Keith talked about the need to mentor teens in Altadena and help them avoid gangs, crime, and drugs. He currently has several programs in place in the local schools.

Alice talked about wanting to update the Altadena General Plan which would include commerce, hillside oridinances, and other matters affecting growth in Altadena.

Congratulations to both. Here's the Star News article with complete results:

ALTADENA - Town Council veterans easily held on to their seats in Saturday’s elections, where eight of 16 seats were open. However, the results in one tract are being contested on the grounds of unfair campaigning.

Steve Lamb in Census Tract 4603.01 and Town Council Chair Ken Balder in Census Tract 4612 were returned by voters with significant margins over their opponents. Lamb defeated Matt Littell with 65 to 36 votes. Littell alleges that Lamb engaged in negative campaigning and is disputing the outcome. Lamb did not return calls for comment.

Balder beat out two challengers, Laura Graham and Peter Baumer. The three candidates received 102, 60 and 4 votes respectively, Election Chair Jamie Bissner said. Balder said he plans to continue his efforts to unify the community, get more residents in local processes and build a stronger relationship with the county Board of Supervisors.

"It just doesn't happen," Balder said. "All of this takes a lot of work."

It was a good day for incumbents, as all who ran were returned to their seats. Michele Zack had a comfortable victory over Jerry Rhoads, with 79 votes, versus Rhoads' 9. Justin Chapman won 4602 with 29 votes, which is 10 more than what challenger Sarah Fuller received. Incumbents Gene Campbell and Lorie Judson both ran unopposed, as did newcomer Timothy Kelly.

In Census Tract 4603.1, Keith Gibbs prevailed over Alice Wesson, with 68 votes. Wesson garnered 46 votes.

Election results will be certified at the next Town Council meeting on June 19.

Saturday's results may not be final. Littell is challenging the outcome in his tract on the grounds that Lamb may have broken an election rule forbidding negative campaigning. If Lamb is disqualified, Littell will take his seat.

"If I lose, I'm happy to lose fair and square," Littell said. "It's a strange sense that I've really been bullied here."

Littell said he had concerns about the tone of a flier Lamb sent out, and with a TV interview with Lamb on Crown City News. Littell said he brought both to the attention of Bissner before the election results were in. The handout compares and contrasts Lamb and Littell.

"Matt Littell claims to be a `preservationist.' He bought a $1,500,000 home someone else restored ... Steve Lamb restored his own 1906 Louis B. Easton house ... " it reads.

"The rules as they were given to me were absolutely succinct," Littell said. "You are to campaign on your merits and what you would bring to Altadena."

The election code calls for disputes to be settled on the day of the election by the election chair and the Town Council chair. However, because Balder's name is mentioned on the flier, the issue will be taken up at the next council meeting.

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