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Ucovich retains seat on council

Final tally gives him 3 votes more than Vic Markey
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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The final election count for the Nov. 2 election is in, and results show incumbent Miguel Ucovich has been re-elected to the Loomis Town Council. Ucovich's third-place total of 1,122 votes was enough to return him to the council for another term. In fourth place by just three votes, and out of the running, is candidate Vic Markey with 1,119 votes. Five candidates were vying for three open seats. In the final summary, Sandra Calvert remained at the top with 1,648 votes. Walt Scherer came in second place with 1,191 votes. Jo-Carol Arisman, the fifth candidate, garnered 955 votes, and there were 80 write-in votes. On election day, semi-official results had put Markey at 863 votes, enough to earn him a seat on the council. Ucovich was in fourth place with 837 votes. It’s was up to Markey, or any other registered voter, to decide whether or not to ask for a recount. Markey said Monday evening that the new final count was “disappointing." He said he was “still thinking” about requesting a recount, but he did not do so. According to Ryon Ronco, Placer County assistant registrar recorder, the deadline for any registered voter to request a recount was at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23. On Monday, Ronco released estimates for the two methods available for the Loomis town council recount of the 6,115 votes cast. Whoever requests a recount must make a deposit, which will be returned only if the results of the election change. “If at the end of this process, the positions of the candidates switch and the losing candidate overtakes one of the winning candidates, then that deposit is returned to the requester,” Ronco said. “The cost of the machine recount, per day, is $815, paid for by the requester,” said Ronco, who estimates the machine recount could be completed in one day. “The cost of a hand recount is $2,763 for the first day, and then we estimate to be $2,538 for each subsequent day,” he said. The cost of the first day’s count by either method includes publication of legal notices and the fee to send certified letters to candidates announcing the recount. “We believe that it (the hand recount) would take nor more than two days. It really kind of depends on how many people are here, how many challenges there are, how many questions there are that keep us from moving forward expeditiously,” Ronco said. In a hand recount, Ronco said, a person gets an opportunity to look at each ballot and determine if there’s anything distinguishing on that ballot that can reveal more about the voter’s intent. The speed of a machine recount does not allow for the same scrutiny of individual ballots, he said. Ucovich was pleased with the results of the final count. “I’m appreciative that people re-elected me and I will continue to keep Loomis the best place to live and work in the region,” he said. Ucovich also said election results were interesting. “Term limits passed, yet Walt and I got re-elected … I’m just glad I came out ahead at the head.” On election day, Loomis voters approved Measure A by a vote of 1,555 to 1,256. The term-limits initiative states that councilmembers may serve two consecutive terms in office, and then must stay off the council for two terms. Both Ucovich and Scherer have served more than two terms. The measure also has a retroactive start date of Aug. 1, 2010. At their Nov. 9 meeting, the Loomis town council voted to seek clarification from a judge as to the legality of the retroactive start date for the council term limits initiative.