By LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Petaluma voters sent a clear message Tuesday as three business-backed candidates appear to have won City Council seats over three others supported by progressive interests.
Also, Measure X, a $52 annual parcel tax to fund a variety of parks and recreation improvements, was losing with 61.1 percent of the vote. The 15-year tax needed a two-thirds majority to pass.
With all 24 precincts reporting, incumbents Mike Healy and Gabe Kearney and Healy’s running-mate, Kathy Miller, led the pack of six candidates seeking three seats on the seven-member council.
Trailing were incumbent Tiffany Renée and challengers Jason Davies and Alicia Kae Herries.
Healy led all candidates with 25.1 percent of the vote, followed by Kearney with 16.9 percent and Miller with 16.4 percent.
They were followed by Renée with 14.5 percent, Davies with 13.8 percent and Herries with 13.2 percent.
The election of Healy, Miller and Kearney tilts the council in a more moderate direction, installing a potential 5-2 majority that, with Chris Albertson and Mike Harris, could be more accommodating to business, growth and development.
Mayor David Glass and Councilwoman Teresa Barrett represent more progressive views on the council.
Healy said he sees a bloc including himself, Miller and Kearney siding at times with the more conservative Harris-Albertson side and at times with Glass-Barrett. Harris is the council’s only Republican, though the board is nonpartisan.
“We have clear direction from the community that this is what they want, council members that will work together to make sure this community moves forward,” Kearney said.
Healy was seeking a fourth term and Renée a second. Kearney was appointed in 2011 to fill a vacant seat. The race was Miller and Herries’ first, while Davies ran in 2010.
You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 762-7297 or firstname.lastname@example.org.