NOTE: This story was updated on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Final election results were posted at 2:22 a.m. Wednesday by Sonoma County Registrar of Voters.
Healdsburg Mayor Gary Plass and City Councilman Tom Chambers won re-election to a new four-year term, while civic volunteer Shaun McCaffery succeeded in his second bid for a City Council seat in early totals Tuesday.
With all five districts reporting, the totals were:Shaun F McCaffery 2,648 25.1% Tom Chambers 2,502 23.7% Gary W Plass 2,409 22.8% Tim Meinken 1,185 11.2% Vernon P Simmons 1,174 11.1% Dennis J Brown 637 6.0% Write-in candidate(s) 9 0.1%
"I've been working at this for 2 1/2 years, ever since I ran in 2010," McCaffery said at a victory party at Costeaux French Bakery.
"I stepped it up a lot," McCaffery said. "It makes me really happy to see that it's all panned out."
Plass, speaking at his victory party at said he thinks Healdsburg voters were "comfortable with me, and they see that I try to put the community first," he said.
"I'm accessible, and I've lived here my whole life," he added. "I think they are happy with my performance."
He also said he thinks that residents may see the city's tough financial straits and may feel that now is not the best time to elect new councilmembers without significant city governance experience.
"There's nothing wrong with new ideas," Plass said. "But in these times, it's also good to have longevity and some history."
Chambers, similarly, said he thinks residents have appreciated his leadership so far.
"I've tried to be very straightforward and honest," he said at his victory party at Costeaux French Bakery. "I'm willing to listen, and I try to foster a transparent process.
"People here want to be respected," Chambers added. "I would say we were all extremely lucky to live in this town."
Candidate Tim Meinken, who came in fourth place, issued the following statement Wednesday:
"Although I joined the race late, I was happy with the results. My message of reform and change resonated with many voters in Healdsburg. I look forward to working with the council in moving our City forward in a positive and productive manner. My plan is to be involved in the process for the future."
who came in fifth place, posted the following comment:
"I should like to congratulate Tom, Shaun and Gary for their successful election to the Healdsburg city council. I am sure that Healdsburg and the city council will be well served by their positive attitudes and strong desires to do the right thing for the community."
Candidate Dennis Brown posted an "Open letter to the Citizens of Healdsburg" on Wednesday.
"While it is never easy to lose, I can look back on this time with joy – and with thanks for the support and encouragement given to me by the voters of Healdsburg," Brown wrote. [see the full text of the letter at the bottom of this article].
Also celebrating Tuesday was who won a seat on the Sonoma County Board of Education.
With all 93 districts reporting, the totals were:Lisa Wittke Schaffner 12,254 45.2% Ronald McEwan 8,706 32.1% Cheryl Scholar 5,979 22.0% Write-in candidate(s) 197 0.7%
Schaffner said her first priority will be to assess what career and vocational-technical programs are operating, and to look at what the various school districts need.
"I think we can blend businesses with the schools," she said. "For the smaller districts, we might be able to do it regionally."
Asked what she thinks gave her an edge, Schaffner said she thinks it's that she's the "only person in the race with kids in the [school] system," she said, referring to her two children.
"With all the budget cuts, the system is so different now, that you need to have kids in the system to know what's going on," she said.
Healdsburg voters approved
With all five districts reporting, the totals were:Yes 2,413 55.4% No 1,943 44.6%
Measure W, which extends the term of the city's urban growth boundary ordinance, also won decisive approval:Yes 3,246 75.6% No 1,050 24.4%
To see more on
To read comments from Healdsburg
To see other race totals around the
Here is the full text of the "Open letter to the Citizens of Healdsburg" from City Council candidate Dennis Brown:
"While it is never easy to lose, I can look back on this time with joy – and with thanks for the support and encouragement given to me by the voters of Healdsburg," he said. "From those who signed my petition for candidacy, to those who spread the word and made their mark in the voting booth.
"I regret that I will not be able to continue on this journey we all began, but please believe that I will continue to support the people of this city and the political process," he said. "I will be attending city council meetings, and I will continue to give my voice and my support to those who are fighting the good fight to maintain the integrity and interests of our citizens.
"Life is a journey filled with realizations and epiphanies," Brown wrote. "This is a learning process, and I will take to heart all that I have learned for the next time I run for public office…and I hope you will be there to support me.
"This is an end and a beginning, and I am proud to be a part of it…for the game is not lost, merely postponed," he said.
"I would like to close by thanking my lovely wife, my friends, congratulating those who realized their dreams today, and with a pledge to continue in my appreciation of those who supported me…none of this would have been possible without you, and I’m not going anywhere. (big smile)"
Thank you all so much.
Dennis J. Brown