Bruce Cowan of Homes Now reacts to the vote on Prop. 1, which was losing 29.76 percent for to 70.24 percent against. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Housing measure fails in first count of Jefferson ballots; McComas in lead

A measure to raise the taxes of property owners to help pay for homes for others was overwhelmingly rejected in the first count of ballots Tuesday night.

Bruce J. McComas was leading in the race with Cheri Van Hoover for Position 1 on the Jefferson Healthcare hospital commission, while Port of Port Townsend incumbent Peter W. Hanke led in his race for District 3 and challenger Bill Putney was leading in the race with incumbent Bruce Clinefelter in the contest for the District 2 set.

Voters seemed to reject a measure allowing Discovery Bay Fire & Rescue — Jefferson County Fire Protection District No. 5 — to levy a property tax not to exceed $1.50 per $1,000 valuation to be collected in 2018 for maintenance and operation.

The Jefferson County Auditor’s Office counted 12,115 votes out of 24,447 provided registered voters for a voter turnout of 49.55 percent on Tuesday. Elections Supervisor Betty Johnson anticipates at least another 1,000 ballots coming in this week in the all-mail election. The second count of ballots will be by 2 p.m. Thursday. The office will be closed on Friday for the Veterans Day holiday.

The seven-year countywide property tax increase would have established the Housing Opportunity Fund, which would be overseen by a committee of residents who would review applications for housing projects, proponents said, adding that funds also would be used to leverage state and federal grants.

One-third of the tax revenue would go toward building, restoring and maintaining low-income housing projects while the other two-thirds would go toward in increasing very-low-income housing.

Both the housing measure and the proposed Discovery Bay fire district levy could be approved by a simple majority.

McComas and Van Hoover vied for the six-year term position formerly held by Tony DeLeo, who held the position for nearly 40 years before deciding against running again.

Putney unsuccessfully ran against Clinefelter in 2014, for the District 2 seat on the Port of Port Townsend commission. Putney narrowly led against Clinefelter Tuesday night.

Hanke is challenged by Keith Beck for his District 3 seat. Both positions are for four-year terms.

Chimacum School Board incumbent Sarah Martin appeared to narrowely lead challenger Ron Riggle for the District 1 seat, a four-year term, while Jack McKay was leading in the race against Wilma Hackman for the District 5 seat, a four-year term.

Sequim voters appeared to give their nod to appointee Brian Kuh, running against Jon Kirshbaum for the Position 2 seat, and Brandino Gibson, vying with Nola Judd for the Position 4 seat, both four-year terms on the Sequim School Board.

Appointee Art Frank was leading against Wayne Siscoe for Position 1 on the Quilcene Fire District commission.

In Fire District 1, which covers the Forks area, Tony Romberg was in the lead over Neris Biciunas and John Witherspoon for Position 5. This race was unusual for a general election in that it had three candidates.

Romberg was appointed to the post after incumbent Lowell McQuoid’s fellow commissioners removed him from office May 14, saying he had violated the district’s meeting-attendance policy by missing too many meetings.

The district did not notify the Clallam County Auditor’s Office in time to provide, as mandated by state law, at least three days in the regular filing period for candidates to file for McQuoid’s unexpired term of four years.

Three candidates filed for the position during a special May 30-June 1 filing period for the general election.

The general election winner will be seated after the vote is certified Nov. 28.

In other Forks Fire District races, Dustin Kraft was in the lead over Jodi Riker for Position 1 and incumbent Chet Hunt was leading Britni Duncan for Position 2.

In Fire District 3, which includes Sequim and edges into Jefferson County, appointee Steven Chinn apparently was elected against Sean Ryan for the short- and full-term, six-year Position 2 seat.

Cheri Van Hoover reacts to election results for the hospital district 1 position 1, which she was losing to Bruce McComas 48 percent to 51 percent. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

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