Hank Sims / @ 8:45 a.m. / Elections

ELECTION RESULTS! College of the Redwoods Challengers Cruising to Easy Victory; Rio Dell Pot Tax Passes; Blue Lake Fire Tax Shot Down


College of the Redwoods’ Board of Trustees looks to get some fresh blood soon, after two long-time incumbents lost decisively at the polls yesterday.

Challengers Bonnie Deister and Dan Kelley, who campaigned heavily on the need for reform,  each ended up with just over 56 percent of votes counted in their respective districts last night. The longtime incumbents they challenged — Tracy Coppini and Thomas Ross, respectively — each ended at a little over 42 percent of the vote.

Though an unknown number of absentee and provisional ballots remain to be counted, the margin is large enough that the results are very unlikely to change. Deister and Kelley led among early absentee voters as well.

Local progressives are celebrating these wins — in the most high-profile of the races in an otherwise down election year — as a victory for their side in an otherwise down year. Deister and Kelley had charged the current board with lacking vision and leadership, making bad business decisions, and allowing the community college to nearly lose its accreditation.

Elsewhere, residents of the Samoa Peninsula elected to form a community services district to manage essential services — water, sewage, firefighting — for the entire spit south of the bridge. The vote was decisive — 78 percent in favor, 22 percent opposed.

Rio Dell gave a big thumbs-up to the proposed commercial cannabis tax, which will give the city a cut of all the weed-related development happening in the old Eel River Sawmills plant north of town. Eighty-two percent of voters were in favor of the tax.

Though a majority of Blue Lake voters looked favorably on a property tax assessment to support its firefighters — 51 to 49 percent, at the close of counting last night — the measure requires a supermajority to pass into law. Measure Y appears to have failed.

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