Okanogan County voters handily approved a proposed sales tax increase to support a countywide bus system in last week’s general election.
Proposition 1 drew 5,134 “yes” votes, or about 56 percent, compared to 4,002 “no” votes among the ballots counted by Friday, Nov. 8. The measure will add an additional four-tenths of 1 percent to the county sales tax (see related story, page A1). The county auditor’s office said about 300 ballots remained to be counted this week.
In Methow Valley results, Winthrop Town Council member Rick Northcott was re-elected to Position 1 with 124 votes, or 79 percent, while challenger Vern Herrst drew 33 votes. Sue Langdalen was elected mayor and Michael Strulic was elected to the Town Council in unopposed races.
In Twisp, former Town Council member Dwight Filer was elected to fill Position 5, with 225 votes or 79 percent. Former council member Clay Hill, who had earlier resigned to take a job outside the community, drew 42 votes. Write-in candidate Vern Nations had 12 votes. Council members Bob Lloyd and Clint Estes were re-elected in uncontested races.
Methow Valley School District board members Dana Stromberger and Gary Marchbank were re-elected. Both were unopposed.
In Hospital District 1 (Three Rivers Hospital), Jerry Tretwold, Mike Pruett and Cherryl Thomas were elected to the board in uncontested races. All were elected unopposed.
In Okanogan County Fire District 6, Darold Brandenburg was re-elected to the board of commissioners. He was unopposed.
Within the county, state Initiative 517 related to collection of initiative signatures was supported by 51 percent of the voters, while Initiative 522 related to labeling foods containing genetically modified organisms was opposed by 60 percent of the voters. Both measures lost statewide.
While county Proposition 1 drew support from throughout the county, many Methow Valley precincts voted overwhelmingly for the proposal. Winthrop’s precincts voted 123-42 in favor, while Twisp voted 216-74 in support of the measure. In selected precinct results, the tallies were: Mazama, 55-30; Twisp rural, 51-14; Wolf Creek, 49-17; Winthrop rural, 50-25; Edelweiss, 60-21; Libby Creek, 58-33; Poorman Creek, 62-31; Twin Lakes, 56-30; West Chewuch, 49-12; Moccasin Lake, 62-13; Patterson Lake, 72-27; Carlton, 26-23; Beaver Creek, 30-20. Meanwhile, Brewster voters opposed the measure, with 22 votes in favor and 54 opposed.