Oceano's fire tax Measure A-20, which would have funded its end of the Five Cities Fire Authority joint powers agreement, was 11 votes shy of meeting the two-thirds requirement to pass.
The Oceano 911 Committee for Measure A-20 requested a recount on March 30.
- Photo By Jason Mellom
- ANOTHER GO Oceano's proposed fire tax is getting a recount after primary election results showed it was 11 votes away from passing.
Committee member Karen White told New Times via email that the final vote tally announced during the fourth week of March showed 1,294 voters, or 66.12 percent of the community supported the measure.
The proposed parcel tax would have secured rapid response times for medical emergencies and fire protection services, 24/7 staffing, and a third full-time firefighter. Securing emergency services and fire protection through the joint-service agency would cost homeowners in the district an annual amount of $180, about $15 a month, which would have brought in approximately $422,000 a year.
Funding for the recount will come from committee volunteers.
"We have been told by the county the vote will probably not change, but we owe it to all the folks who voted yes to try," White said.
According to Clerk-Recorder's Office officials, the recount will cost $808 a day.
SLO County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong told New Times that the committee felt compelled to request the recount even though there have been two recounts over the years—a 2012 Grover Beach road improvement measure and the 2014 Pismo Beach mayoral race—that concluded with the same numbers as the initial result.
The results of the recount will be posted online once it's completed.
The recount will begin April 2 at the clerk-recorder's office, but Gong told New Times he is ensuring his staff adheres to social distancing guidelines while conducting the recount. He said a recount board consists of about four people, and each individual will be working at a long table to create the necessary distance.
Gong has been speaking with the California Secretary of State's Office and The National Association of Election Officials every day about the responsibility of keeping the staff in his department safe and possibly changing voting procedures for the upcoming November election.
One of the changes could be a push to get voters to vote by mail.
"If it comes to fruition that every voter gets a ballot in the mail then we would really have to get the messaging out there. You know, due to public health and safety, we would recommend voters utilize that vote-by-mail ballot for the November election," he said.
Gong said that 80 percent of SLO County voters have already opted to vote by mail.
"It's the other 20 percent that we would have to really educate and encourage them to take advantage of it," he said. Δ