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Healy, Miller and Kearney Win Council Race, Measures X and Z Fail

Win by candidates considered more favorable to development deals a resounding blow to Petaluma's progressive wing

Updated Wednesday 11am with comment from Kathy Miller

Mike Healy, Kathy Miller and Gabe Kearney have won the Petaluma City Council race, dealing a resounding blow to the progressive candidates, none of who managed to grab a seat on the council.

Healy, a three-term city councilman picked up 25 percent of the vote, while Kathy Miller, a former planning commissioner and local real estate attorney, netted 16 percent.

Gabe Kearney, an emergency preparedness coordinator for Kaiser appointed to council in January 2011, received 17 percent of the vote, surprising many who did not consider him a strong candidate.

Healy and Miller ran a joint campaign promising more pro-development policies aimed at generating revenue for the cash-strapped city. Kearney, a virtual unknown two years ago, voted in favor of the Friedman’s shopping center and has been perceived as being favorable to new development, although he describes himself as an independent.

“This is a vote for moderation and that’s a good thing," said Kathy Miller. "With the economy being what it is, we need to get revenues in and people have recognized that…I look forward to being able to roll up my sleeves and getting down to work.”

Councilwoman Tiffany Renee finished fourth with 14.5 percent of the vote, Jason Davies with 13.8 and Alicia Kae Herries with 13.2 percent, a crushing defeat for Petaluma's “progressive” wing, who support finding alternative ways to generate revenue.

Tuesday results mean that the City Council majority will now be comprised of politicans who take a more favorable view toward new development, including incumbents Mike Harris and Chris Albertson.

The new council will likely weigh in on a 200-plus housing development off Hopper Street and another near D and Windsor streets that plans to add nearly 100 homes.

Outside of council, Measure X, the parks and other recreational facilities tax, garnered 61 percent, which while impressive, but not enough to pass the two-thirds approval theshold.

Measure Z also came close, with 62.6 percent, but ultimately failed. If approved, it would have added a $60 per parcel tax for residents served by the Rancho Adobe Fire District.

Sound off. What do you think about the results? 

Concerned Citizen November 07, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Tech Monkey....You pay "thousands" in bonds every year for other peoples kids? What a crock. I pay taxes in Petaluma, and the amount of money that goes to kids is minuscule in proportion to other taxes,
TechMonkey74 November 07, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Well if it was not for the privacy issue I would show you my Property Tax bill. Maybe it is the area I reside in Petaluma but I am hit with multiple school bonds that total about 1/6th of my total tax. So in reality it is not a "crock" as you put it.
TechMonkey74 November 07, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I could not agree more!
Concerned Citizen November 07, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Tech Monkey......But you said "Thousands", which is plural ($2000)...and if that's 1/6 of your total, you pay at least $12,000 in Property Taxes a year? Right....LOL I pay multiple school bond taxes, and they aren't even close to $2000. Maybe you should have your CPA do an audit!
mikeg55 November 07, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I'm not going to argue any more. I'm just happy with the results.
TechMonkey74 November 07, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Well it does look as if I am paying more in bonds currently than you are. I am paying a little less of actual tax since the value of my home like everyone else has gone down in recent years. I have looked into getting my property tax lowered and don't have a leg to stand on but thank you for the suggestion.
Jennifer November 07, 2012 at 05:32 PM
What people are voting for is more businesses to come to Petaluma so we don't have to get on the freeway to go shopping. They are not voting for more housing as traffic and roads in Petaluma are getting worse every day.
TechMonkey74 November 07, 2012 at 05:49 PM
You are not really having a positive effect on your cause. People are entitled to their own opinions AND to have different ones. But I would like to thank you because if your comment style reflects the "yes" vote you actually helped us "no" voters.
TechMonkey74 November 07, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Yeah the same screen name does make it confusing, my comment was for the 7:59 am on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 Original post.
Kathy Schmidt November 07, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I think the phrasing "win by candidates considered more favorable to development" doesn't accurately reflect Healy, Kearney, or Miller. I do believe that they are open minded and willing to consider development. Does that mean they are in favor of any and all development? No. Voting in favor of the Deer Creek project doesn't mean you're in the pocket of developers. It means you considered the General Plan and the project and all the reports and compromises, and decided it was better for Petaluma to say yes than to say no. "More Favorable to Development" would normally be a soft characterization, but not when the political climate is cast as progressives vs. developers. Let's support our elected officials -- the majority has spoken.
D November 07, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Very well said Kathy!
Petaluma Seer November 07, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Big money from developers has spoken. Healy, Miller, and Kearney are the best politicians money could buy for them. Yep, bought and paid for! Wait till they tell you their plan for parcel taxes up the ying yang for the dead horse, Rainier. Do the Math. The more they vote in gridlock, and they will, sorry for D and Windsor folks, the more people will want new road options. The problem is Rainier is over $140 million, and they have lowered the devloper fees for new roads, so pull out your wallets people cause you will be begging them to deliver you from the gridlock!
Mike G November 07, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Just a point of clarification TechMonkey74, because I gather that it is important for you to have the facts and be informed. The parks do charge for use. The youth sports organizations are charged a per participant fee for the use of the fields. So the contributions are made. But the revenue raised is not enough to meet the growing demand. But I see the value of the argument that if you don't use the parks, why should you be charged an additional $52 parcel tax. In fact that type of argument is clearly the basis for societal longevity and progress. Now that you mention it, there are certain roads in town that I don't use. Perhaps I should stop paying taxes that go to their development and upkeep. And I know there are municipality resources that I don't use. So let me strike them off the list and save a few dollars. Sure Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "I'I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization." But what did he know? He was from Boston and what did they ever do for democracy? . All that "invest in your town to improve the quality of life for all citizens" ,well that is just hooey. The Social Contact; one of the founding theories of democracy. Clearly left wing propaganda. I see a bright future in a Petaluma full of residents that only worry about their own needs. Delight in the defeat of measure X, I'm sure the $52 you individually save will be well spent (not comparatively of course).
Active Thinker November 07, 2012 at 11:08 PM
It is shocking to hear...The city does not have the money to fund these sports ...so we must. even if you don't use them your town is better with more and better/safer places to play sports.
Active Thinker November 07, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Just wait...$.15 CENTS per day...
TechMonkey74 November 07, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Mike G, Thank you for the clarification about the fee's that actually helps my point or I should say strengthens my opinion. I work very hard as I am sure you do as well for your money. If these parks cannot generate enough income to be self sufficient then maybe something needs to be evaluated on how they are run. Why should I have to bail them out? Mostly for medical reasons I have a large credit card debt that my wife and myself are working hard to pay off. I would LOVE to have someone bail me out but it is not gonna happen so we have to suck it up and actually pay our bills. Let me be clear I am not trying to sound so harsh it is sometimes hard to express true feelings in these forums. Although I do not use them I WOULD like to see the parks/youth sports get all the money they need. I just do not think it should come from property taxes when so much of the city's money is currently mis-managed.
Mitch November 08, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Petaluma Seer, it wasn't big money that spoke, it was the voters of Petaluma that spoke. This election was not bought and paid for. Face the facts. The majority of Petaluman's want Healy, Miller and Kearney to represent them.
Concerned Citizen November 08, 2012 at 12:12 AM
That's a little naive, in that the more financial backing a candidate has, the more exposure they get, thus they have a better chance at getting elected. You are right in that they were voted in by Petaluma voter's...but wrong if you don't think that the folks "behind the curtain" don't know how to get people elected.
Mitch November 08, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Interesting statement, Concerned Citizen, since Herries had the most money in the campaign. If I went outside and asked my neighbors who they voted for and their response was Healy, Miller, Kearney and then I proceeded to ask if their vote was persuaded by developers they would be astounded at such a STUPID question.
mary winslow November 08, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I am just thankful that Healy, Miller and Kearney were willing to make themselves available. Thank you! Perhaps it wasn't big money that provided more exposure. We have had a great deal of exposure to some of the Council members and those of like thinking who were running with them.
Concerned Citizen November 08, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Your neighbor's probably couldn't even answer specifically why they voted for them, regardless of what stupid question you asked.....LOL
Mitch November 08, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Concerned Citizen, 25% of the voters knew who they were voting for and why. I know what my neighbors would say and I am not posting it here because you will turn this more negative than you already have! The election is over and I am sorry for your loss!
Concerned Citizen November 08, 2012 at 02:54 AM
I didn't have a loss per se. Obama won, my Representative and Senator won,every State Proposition I voted for won (expect for the repeal of the Death Penalty), the 3 city council member's won (yes..I voted for them). The only disappointing outcome for me personally was the Rancho Adobe Measure Z failing. I just pointed out Money can and will influence an election. You just decided to engage in political banter. Heck...today is a GREAT day...LOL
Patrick M. November 08, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Couldn't be happier with the results. I suggest the first order of business is to pass a proclamation declaring Pyongyang, North Korea as Petaluma's sister city. Too soon? Sorry, I am kind of giddy about the change.
Concerned Citizen November 08, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Yeah...and we can bring up PSY from South Korea and have him perform Gangnam Style....LOL
Petaluma Seer November 08, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Actually ......we DO NOT know the final results yet.Does everyone realize that this is just the PRELIMINARY COUNT? I just received info. that here are still 7 THOUSAND Mail in BALLOTS received from Petaluma that are not yet counted. The # difference between at least 5 of these candidates is too close to call at this time. We may not know for 28 days yet.....who actually won their seats.
Mitch November 09, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Petaluma Seer, you have got to be kidding. Do your math - there is no way you can win. The other candidates have conceded so I have to assume you are Tiffany.
Petaluma Seer November 10, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Mitch, I am not running for anything. It is about which candidates won by total voter ballots in, not just the preliminary Tues. eve. count which is an incomplete count and just what people are currently considering. BTW, congratulating the others is not conceeding. If the "total votes in" change the outcome, then it is the civic duty of those with the most votes in, to take their seats. I have done the math, with the County Registrar of Voters information. Here are the facts.There were over 22K mail in ballots for Petaluma city sent out, of which only 14K mail in ballots from Petaluma were counted by the end of Tues eve. poll close. There are over 7K mail in Petaluma ballots since received, as of yesterday, that have not yet been counted and verified as legitimate. As there are only 1K votes between Miller and Renee, and not that many more in comparison to Davies or Herries the outcome can change. As you can see I did my homework, and the math for you. The facts remain, we have up to 28 days, post election, to see who won those seats.
Petaluma Seer November 10, 2012 at 09:31 AM
BTW, did you read this in the Press Democrat the day after the election? And I quote, "It likely will take the full 31 days permitted by law to count them, said Janice Atkinson, county elections chief. That will delay the naming of victors in at least three local elections, and none of the results for any race or ballot measure will be official until that final certification."
Mitch November 10, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Yes I did read the article and yes congratulating Healy, Miller and Kearney for winning is conceding. You are the only one who has not done this. Again, if you do the math the 7,000 uncounted votes will be spread out amongst the six candidates. You will have to get almost 50% of those votes to win. The odds are against you. Speaking again of the PD article, the three races they were referring to in the delay of naming the victors is NOT the Petaluma City Council.

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