Overstreet,Robinson lead in early election results

Published on Thu, Nov 8, 2007 by ara Nelson

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Overstreet, Robinson lead in early election results

By Tara Nelson

Unofficial election results from the Whatcom County auditor’s office show incumbent Jason Overstreet pulling ahead his opponent David Gallion in the bid for Blaine City Council, Ward 3, Position 5, an area that encompasses south Blaine to Cedar Street and part of Semiahmoo.
Overstreet was leading 64 percent to Gallion’s 35 percent in election counts released early Wednesday morning.

Overstreet, a Seattle firefighter and Blaine business owner, is a long-time advocate of relaxed sign ordinances for businesses. He said his goals would be to increase signage on I-5, as well as work to create a financial plan to close the city’s airport.

“We have a huge airport issue to deal with,” he said. “We also have millions of cars passing by us every year; we’ve got to do a good marketing job to let them know how beautiful Blaine is.”

David Gallion, who had advocated finding new revenue – including new taxes – to help pay for the city’s wastewater reclamation facility planned for Marine Drive, said he was disappointed by the wide margin of Overstreet’s victory. “I thought it would have been a closer race,” he said.

Gallion said he hopes the new council will be able to look beyond issues such as the airport debate. “A lot of people spend time on the airport, but the airport really isn't a big issue for this town,” he said. “I am saddened that the town can’t get above that and I’m speaking of our leaders.”

He also blamed the Bellingham Herald’s coverage of rumors speculating that he embellished work experience for damaging his campaign.

Gallion said he performed a management role under his position of a technician in the automotive department of Bakersfield Community College in California.

“I have a lot of respect – and even more so now – for the way this campaign was handled by The Northern Light,” he said.

Ward 2, Position 4

Blaine Planning Commission member Harry Robinson, who was running uncontested for the council’s Ward 2, Position 4, received 67 percent of the votes compared to 32 percent for Max Shelton, a withdrawn opponent whose name remained on the ballot because he withdrew after deadline.

Robinson said he was delighted at the results and was looking forward to working with the other council members.

“The issues facing us are going to require city staff, the planning commission and the council to work together to solve problems,” he said. “I’m looking forward to making a contribution.”

Robinson said the city’s “front burner” issues were the airport and the water reclamation facility.

“We need to resolve the airport issue quickly and the sewer issue as quickly as possible. Other issues are how development in east Blaine are going to go and that we need to start thinking in the long-term with a 10- or a 20-year plan. We need to set some goals for ourselves and figure out how we’re going to accomplish them.”

The seat was previously occupied by Bruce Wolf, who resigned earlier this year. Shelton withdrew from the race after his employer, Smith Barney, cited a conflict of interest.

Ward 2, Position 3
(East and west Blaine, south of G Street to Cedar Street and Semiahmoo Marina)

Uncontested candidate Scott Dodd, who was running for Blaine City Council, Ward 2, Position 3, received 551 votes. Dodd said he did not have any immediate issues that he wanted to start working on.

“I’m just excited to be working with the council and get in and see what we can accomplish,” he said.

Incumbent John Liebert, who was running uncontested for Ward 1, Position 1, received 553 votes.

NW Park and Rec levy

A park levy proposed by the Northwest Park and Recreation District 2 is passing with 60 percent of voter approval compared to 39 percent who rejected the measure.

The two-year levy would garner 10 cents per $1,000 of valued home assessment to pay for safe bicycling, walking trails, and more recreational areas in the district, which covers most of Birch Bay and Blaine areas.

District commissioner Ted Morris said that the cost to an average homeowner will be about $30 annually, and that the district will develop projects in partnership with the City of Blaine and Whatcom County to improve existing facilities.

Final election results will not be official until November 27 when they are certified by the Whatcom County auditor.