San Carlos voters crush open space measure

In San Mateo County’s first all-mail election Tuesday, voters in San Carlos solidly rejected a bond measure to finance the purchase of open space, but elsewhere in the county voters were looser with the purse strings and approved several school district and city tax and bond measures, according to complete unofficial election results.

Measure V in San Carlos, which needed a two-thirds majority to pass, drew only 38.3 percent of the vote, according to the unofficial results.

The $45 million bond would have allowed the city to purchase nearly 25 acres on Black Mountain along Alameda de las Pulgas between Madera Avenue and Melendy Drive for the creation of a park.

Supporters argued the measure was a unique opportunity to acquire open space and prevent the development of housing on the site, while opponents criticized the lack of concrete plans and the steep cost of the land.

Elsewhere in the county, San Mateo and South San Francisco voters approved sales tax measures by solid majorities.

San Mateo’s Measure S, which will continue the city’s existing quarter-cent sales tax for 30 years, received 70 percent of the vote, while South San Francisco’s Measure W, a half-cent sales tax, received 61.5 percent. Both measures needed only a simple majority to pass.

Both cities said the funds will go toward city services, including police and programs for teens, youth and children. The only opposition to both measures came from the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association.

Voters also approved school bond measures for the Redwood City Elementary School District and the San Mateo-Foster City School District to finance facility renovations and upgrades.

Measure T, which will allow the Redwood City district to issue $193 million in bonds, passed with 62.5 percent of the vote, while San Mateo-Foster City’s Measure X, a $148 million bond measure, passed with 57.5 percent of the vote. Both measures required a 55 percent majority to pass.

The Menlo Park Fire Protection District’s Measure Y, which would raise the district’s appropriations limit, or amount of tax revenues it can spend, to $50 million for the next four years, also passed. The measure, which required a simple majority for approval, received 77.3 percent of the vote.

The closest races came in San Bruno, where voters appear to have narrowly approved measures making the positions of city clerk and city treasurer appointive rather than elected. Measures R and U, which both needed simple majorities, passed with 50.3 percent and 50.9 percent.

The state Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown last year authorized San Mateo County to hold an all-mail election for any upcoming election that does not include a state or national office on the ballot.

The county must report back to the state on the election’s cost, voter turnout and demographics, the number of ballots not counted and any evidence of voter fraud.

According to the county’s elections website, 71,131 ballots were cast, 19.9 percent of the 357,191 registered voters in the election.

Three states — Oregon, Washington and Colorado — currently have statewide all-mail elections in place. While California has authorized such elections only in San Mateo and Yolo counties, lawmakers are considering expanding the practice to the rest of the state.

More information about the election can be found on the county’s website at www.shapethefuture.org.