Measure F's outcome too close to callBy Christine Morente
Measure F, the proposed half-cent sales tax geared to pull in an annual $2.7 million into the city's General Fund, is teetering between life and death.
As of Wednesday night, preliminary results show the measure losing, but by just one vote. There are 2,064 "no" votes, 2,063 "yes." The next round of results is scheduled to be announced Friday at 5 p.m. by the San Mateo County Elections Office.
San Bruno Mayor Larry Franzella was holding out hope that the initiative will pass. It's too soon to think about a recount, he noted.
"Even if it doesn't pass, I still have hope for the city," he said. "We will have to manage withwhat we have."
Councilwoman Irene O'Connell, who was re-elected Tuesday night, said the council would have to regroup and find other ways to bring in new revenue to: maintain police and fire services; build a new public library; perform street improvements; and improve recreational facilities such as the swimming pool, should the measure fail. It requires only a simple majority approval to pass.
"I don't understand why people don't see the deterioration of the library, the fire station and the roads and not get it," O'Connell said. "I guess people saw the word 'taxes' and they said no."
Tuesday night, early numbers had the measure leading by 51 percent and then early Wednesday morning, it became equally split.
O'Connell said prior to the council voting to place the sales tax on the ballot, it explored but nixed a 9-1-1 surcharge, a utility tax and bond measures as ways to bring in money.
"(Measure F) hit more people for smaller amounts," O'Connell said. "If you had a lot of income and spent a lot of money on taxable goods, you paid a little more ... it would help the city out."
Miguel Araujo, who campaigned against Measure F during his bid for a council seat and failed, did not want to comment Wednesday.
In other close races
- Colma's Measure H, a special fire protection tax, continued to edge toward victory. It requires a two-thirds affirmative vote for approval. By Wednesday evening, it had achieved that margin, but only barely.
- Jerry Deal appeared to have secured a seat on the Burlingame City Council, squeezing past incumbent Russ Cohen by 72 votes after the latest count.
- In San Carlos, Omar Ahmad was the apparent winner of the second of two City Council seats, but in the latest figures, John Hoffman was trailing him by only 27 votes.
Copyright ©2007 San Mateo County Times. Published 11/08/2007.