Friday, November 23, 2012
The election is not quite over yet.
The Hood River County elections department finalized counting ballots Tuesday afternoon and the difference between Laurent Picard and Nikki Hollatz remained at four votes.
The narrow gap triggered an automatic hand recount, which will take place Nov. 28.
Four candidates ran for three spots on the council. Kate McBride received the most votes with 1,637, Mark Zanmiller received 1,480, Picard 1,162 and Hollatz 1,158.
Zanmiller replaces current councilmember Jeff Nicol, who declined to run for another term.
Hollatz currently serves on the planning commission and has said she will continue to do so if the election verdict holds.
However, she has expressed interest at the possibility of making another attempt at a council position in the future.
“I was not overly surprised by the outcome. I figured the results would be close, as all of us candidates were well-qualified and have fairly similar objectives,” Hollatz said after the initial count. “Getting my name out there was a big focus of my campaign.”
Picard expressed similar sentiments about the election results.
“I’m not really worried,” he said. “The city is in excellent hands.”
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge