Mid-Coast residents maintained governmental status quo Tuesday when making their choices for the Mid-Coast Community Council, electing two incumbents and adding two new faces, both of whom campaigned on the same platform as one of those incumbents.
David Spiselman and Chris McComb, both of whom served on the council as appointed members during the past year, were elected to two four-year seats with 945 and 843 votes respectively. Newcomer Ric Lohman, the top vote-getter with 1,002 votes, was elected to the final four-year seat. El Granada resident John Plock, who tried for an appointment to the council in July, finished fourth in the balloting with 764 votes.
Montara resident Paul Perkovic won the single two-year term, defeating opponent Ken Heidrick 911 votes to 610.
All four winners were endorsed by the Sierra Club, as all four prefer the tunnel over the bypass and each voiced a desire to prevent large-scale development projects on the Coastside. Three of the four _ Lohman, Perkovic and Spiselman _ campaigned as a group under a "save it, don't pave it" slogan.
"It's a clear victory for those of us who took a strong position on controlled growth and environmental sensitivity," said Perkovic, who was also elected to the Montara Sanitary District on Tuesday. "People in coastal communities are saying that they need to preserve what makes their community special."
Therefore, to those who won, it was more than just a personal victory.
"The individual statistics are totally meaningless to me," Lohman said. "I'm very happy with the big picture _ the Mid-Coast Council results and Half Moon Bay results. I think it sent a message as a big vote for the Local Coastal Plan, and a vote against the variances that are providing for huge overdevelopment."
Spiselman, like Lohman, saw the election results as a way of judging coastal residents' feelings on the issues that have recently come before the council; specifically, the lack of control Coastsiders have over their own government.
"The voters finally behaved like rational people," said Spiselman, who was appointed to the council just over a year ago. "They're saying that unless we claim the right to control our destiny now, then the developers are going to pave our community and charge us for the cement. Those who stand on the other side of these issues should take notice."
Encouraged by the Half Moon Bay election, where voters rejected the North Wavecrest Redevelopment Project, Lohman hopes to work with the Half Moon Bay City Council to establish a unified plan for the development of El Granada's oceanfront land, which is owned partially by the San Mateo County Harbor District, City of Half Moon Bay and San Mateo County.
"We hope to press for a special district there called the El Granada Oceanfront District," Lohman said. "We should get all the parties together and plan that area as a whole, not have all these separate districts planning it in piecemeal parts."
As for the recent contention that the Mid-Coast Community Council fails to represent a large portion of the coastal population, McComb said yesterday's results refuted that claim.
"I think this says that we represent the people who care enough to get involved and get out and vote," McComb said. "The talk that the council should be disbanded is inappropriate. These results show that's not the case at all."
Plock, however, contended that the four winners simply had a better advertising campaign: "They had an organization behind them and they put out fliers and signs and everything."
Heidrick agreed. "It came down to the bypass vs. the tunnel issue, and they got out more voters than we did."
Both Plock and Heidrick voiced intent to continue their involvement with the council, despite losing the election.
"They'll be seeing me at the meetings. It's not over," Heidrick said. "There's another race in two years. We'll see."