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Dueling Fort Ord ballot measures lose

- P.G. school bond also fails


Published: November 8, 2013

DESPITE BIG contributions that poured into the campaigns for competing Fort Ord ballot measures, voters decided neither was good for the former military base and rejected both at the polls Tuesday. 

Measure M, which would have prevented development of about 540 acres in the Parker Flats area of Fort Ord, received 16,622 Yes votes (47 percent) to 18,742 No votes (53 percent). 

Measure K, which called for some development including the proposed Monterey Downs, the project that called for a horserace track, more than 1,000 homes, a hotel and tennis and swim facilities, got 13,485 Yes votes (38.12 percent) to 21,887 No votes (61.88 percent).

Measure M collected more than $250,000 in campaign contributions since Jan. 1 while Measure K supporters garnered about $220,000 — most of which was donated by the backers of Monterey Downs in September and October.

There were still about 8,000 ballots to be counted, the registrar of voters said, but the margin of defeat for both measures makes it extremely unlikely the results will change, which means existing laws and agreements about the use of the disputed Fort Ord land remain unchanged, which leaves its future in the hands of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and other agencies.

Measure G fails

In Pacific Grove, residents failed to pass Measure G, the Pacific Grove Unified School District-backed proposal that asked taxpayers to pay about $30 per every $100,000 of their assessed home value for tech devices and programs for the district’s schools.

But the measure, which had the support of the Monterey Peninsula Taxpayers Association, fell short of the 55 percent it needed to pass, receiving 2,030 Yes votes (51.51 percent) to 1,911 No votes (48.49 percent).

Backers had said the funds would have been collected for 20 years in a series of short-term, low-interest bonds and would generate about $27.8 million for the district to purchase computers, electronic tablets — such as iPads — update security cameras, and implement statewide technology requirements for testing and learning.

Water district elections

There was an odd twist in the results of the race for the seat on the board of directors of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District for District 2, an area that includes Del Rey Oaks.

Voters unseated incumbent Judi Lehman, giving their support to challenger Bill Thayer, who received 1,087 votes (55.09 percent) to Lehman’s 886 votes (44.91 percent). There were still some mail-in ballots to be counted.

In September, Thayer announced he was exiting the race even though it was too late to officially drop out per Monterey County elections office rules. Still, after Tuesday’s election night, Thayer said he would accept the seat on the water board.

“Yes, I am going to take the oath,” Thayer, the CEO of William Thayer Construction, told The Pine Cone. “The voters have spoken and they deserve to have new leadership, new representation.”

Voters in District 1 of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, which includes Seaside, reelected Brenda Lewis to the board. Lewis received 982 votes, or 55.36 percent of the vote compared to challenger Dean Provence’s 792 votes, or 44.64 percent.