BCL: Spink, Mueller clear winners; Coughlin has 30 vote lead over Ashby

November 09, 2012
Santa Paula News

With only 30 votes separating two candidates, the race for the Blanchard Community Library Board of Trustees still might be up in the air although there were two clear winners.

There were three seats up for election, including two that were empty due to longtime Library Trustees Ed Geis and Ninette Sena declining to run.

First-time candidate Linda Spink, a now retired longtime Santa Paula teacher, was the top vote getter garnering 2,746 votes or 22.35 percent of the votes cast. Two-term board incumbent Beverly Mueller will serve a third four-year term after she came in second with 2,508 votes, 20.42 percent.

Maureen Coughlin’s 2,014 votes, 16.40 percent of the total, have put her in third place, but running close behind is Kathy Ashby. Ashby has 1,984 votes, 16.15 percent of the total, 30 votes less than Coughlin. 

Juan Corona Jr. had 1,697 votes, 13.81 percent of the total. Lisa Sorenson garnered 1,299 votes, 10.57 percent.

The race for the five-member board of the independent library district had been an unusual one, not only because it drew a large number of candidates - over the years library board elections have ranged from lackluster to non-existent when no candidates stopped forward - but also public criticism of library practices, policies and management. An individual opposing one candidate created a Facebook page that used a photograph of the 8th Street library building as its identification to urge that one candidate be defeated. 

Spink said she is ready to work on behalf of the community, but was surprised by the support she received from voters. “I was overwhelmed by the support of the electorate. Beyond mere face recognition, I think those who voted for me - former students, parents, and community members - know me as a person of passion and commitment and trusted that I would help move the library forward.”

The Ventura County Elections Division still has an estimated 20,000 absentee and provisional ballots to count countywide, an unknown number representing Santa Paula ballots.

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