City Council Race: Live Updates

Check in here for news and information throughout the night.

Welcome to Novato Patch’s Election Night update for the Novato City Council race.

It’s an exciting night for the candidates and their supporters, who have logged many hours on the campaign trail for the past few months. Congratulations to all the candidates — incumbents Madeline Kellner and Jeanne MacLeamy along with challengers Manny Fernandez, Jerome Ghigliotti, Eric Lucan, Leslie Peterson Schwarze and Eleanor Sluis — for working so hard to state their platforms and for their willingness to serve in a mostly thankless capacity on our behalf.

This story will be updated and saved regularly until all precincts are reported by the Marin County registrar’s office. We’ll not only check in with the candidates to hear how they’re feeling about, but we’ll also upload photos from campaign parties around town as they are sent to Novato Patch. Anybody with a camera at one of those get-togethers can send shots to brent.ainsworth@patch.com or upload them directly to this story.

If you’re interested in watching election results from all races in the county, you can refresh the election returns regularly by clicking here.


10:52 p.m. — Jerome Ghigliotti, who finished fourth in the unofficial voting: “It has been my opinion that the council should heed the electorate.  It seems that the electorate has returned affirmation of the continuation of current council policies.”

10:51 p.m. — Madeline Kellner, on Jeanne MacLeamy: "I look forward to serving with her for another four years. She’s a good colleague. Her heart and head in are in the right place."

10:42 p.m. — Madeline Kellner, reached at a party at : "I’m happy. I had a lot of wonderful supporters here tonight, and wonderful supporters in Novato. I’m looking forward to serving the city another four years. ... I think the message is that we still need a steady hand in our city to get us through these continuing challenging times. I think I bring that steady hand."

10:26 p.m. — With 30 of 30 precincts reporting: Lucan 4303 (21.6%), MacLeamy 3974 (20%), Kellner 3555 (17.9%), Peterson Schwarze 3469 (17.4%), Ghigliotti 2000 (10.1%), Sluis 1347 (7.7%), Fernandez 1015 (5.1%).

10:16 p.m. — With 21 of 30 precincts reporting: Lucan 3731 (21.4%), MacLeamy 3482 (20%), Kellner 3089 (17.8%), Peterson Schwarze 3065 (17.6%), Ghigliotti 1761 (10.1%), Sluis 1536 (7.7%), Fernandez 895 (5.1%).

10 p.m. —Jeanne MacLeamy, on Eric Lucan: "I think it would be wonderful to have Eric on the council. Not only is he a bright young man, but I think he has the background that could really be of help to us as we go forward the the challenges we have.”

9:47 p.m. — With 18 of 30 precincts reporting: Lucan 3542 (21.4%), MacLeamy 3320 (20%), Peterson Schwarze 2937 (17.7%), Kellner 2932 (17.3%), Ghigliotti 1664 (10%), Sluis 1295 (7.8%), Fernandez 861 (5.2%)

9:34 p.m. — Leslie Peterson Schwarze: “I don’t think appropriate to comment … it’s too close."

9:22 p.m. — Numbers keep getting updated, but not for the Novato races.

9:07 p.m. —Jeanne MacLeamy, from a gathering at her Pacheco Valle home: “I’m very pleased … I’d be very honored to serve another term if I stay as one of the top three. It’s been kind of confirmed for me over the years that what voters are looking for are people who don’t have an agenda, who a really just trying to deal with the issues that come before them in a very practical way, listening to folks and then coming up with solutions that are best for the city overall. I’m heartened that the voters seem to acknowledge my service and I’d be pleased to be able to serve again if that’s what they’d like me to do.

8:22 p.m. — Eric Lucan, from his campaign party at : “I’m ecstatic. We’ve got this place packed tonight. We’re all hovered around the computer. I announced the results and everyone cheered. Now we’re just watching for the updates. I feel good … I want to see it through. Meantime, we’re enjoying good friends and family here.”

8:10 p.m. — First results in, with five of 30 precincts reporting: Lucan 2811, MacLeamy 2701, Kellner 2367, Peterson Schwarze 2267, Ghigliotti 1334, Sluis 1056, Fernandez 714

8:03 p.m. — As usual, there's some lag time getting the first results posted ... Pins and needles ...

7:48 p.m. — Minutes away from the first results of the night ...

7 p.m. — This should be fun. I participated in two council candidate debates — one as a moderator and one as a questioner — and I can’t imagine what it’s like being in their shoes. I bet it will be a huge relief for all candidates to get through tonight, win or lose.

T. Allen November 09, 2011 at 07:21 PM
Pebes, you are hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.
Edwin Drake November 09, 2011 at 07:34 PM
Pebes: Do you want a Wal-Mart on North Redwood? I myself am a deep-green environmental radical who believes in STRONG gov't regulation of development, of any kind. I don't want another single-use, low-density commercial area like Hamilton or Vintage Oaks, with a sea of parking and buildings, requiring auto trips and wasted space. I want to demand amenities from developers. And you?
Pebes November 09, 2011 at 07:35 PM
Actually I equated Leslie's supporters with JG, although to be fair i should have said *some* of her supporters. It may be anecdotal but hardly a distortion, or do we not read the same "novato patch"? Lucan's stances may be similar but definitely not the same as Peterson-Schwarze. He said that the housing element should be submitted, she said that apartment complexes don't belong in Novato and "neighborhoods should be preserved". He presented a more cogent view of the challenges that this town faces, while hers was appealing more to the emotional backlash over the Affordable Housing issue. Also, just about every issue impacts the city budget, you think the council should hold two city-wide referendums a month? No, they are elected by the city residents to make those decisions.
Pebes November 09, 2011 at 07:42 PM
What a laugh. A deep green environmental radical? one who hates bicycles, LOVES cars and nice wide highways, and uses the name of America's first oil tycoon as a nom-de-plume. ...in favor of STRONG gov't regulation, who complains about the government every single chance he gets. ...wants no single use, low density commercial, but no moderate density transit oriented development. good lord, man. pick a position and stick to it.
Susan Clark November 09, 2011 at 07:44 PM
Edwin, my guess is that Pebes is a wallmart type.
Edwin Drake November 09, 2011 at 07:54 PM
Pebes: Think for yourself for a change. The "party line" isn't always right. I prefer higher density mixed use, in specific accessible locations. Local bike paths, not from Santa Rosa to Larkspur, bus lanes that are faster to build and cheaper to operate, even with electric buses. Cars yes, internal combustion NO! (We've spent over 100 years building infrastructure, why toss it?), I complain about the local Novato gov't in the pocket of developers, Council doesn't demand enough. I'm in favor of transit development supporting the town and not Fireman's Fund. Read my previous posts about North Redwood, and you want a Wal-Mart? Resources = Money, and it's scarce, so decisions must be radical, not usual liberal vs conservative. You need to think outside the box. Do you even read what people write or stop after you've made up your mind? As for nom de plume - exactly!
Pebes November 09, 2011 at 08:11 PM
The reason i can pick you apart is because i DO read what you write. well, enough of it anyway. and, I'm still waiting for one of these radical, deep green environmental ideas you claim are coming. why would you think i want a wallmart?
Marcus Griffin November 09, 2011 at 08:27 PM
A Marin IJ article says there are 8,000 to 9,000 ballots uncounted across Marin County. They won't be fully tallied until next week. Sounds like there is potential for Schwarze to overtake Kellner.
Tom S Baker November 09, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Marcus, You are correct as this could change a couple of totals in the races . its Going to be Interesting in the few days . I say Kellner will be gone and guess who will be in in
Marcus Griffin November 09, 2011 at 11:35 PM
It would not bother me at all if Schwarze overtook Kellner. Everyone deserves representation. I'm just glad it would be a scraping in third rather than a dominant result because it indicates she is backed by a vocal minority of citizens.
Cathy November 10, 2011 at 12:14 AM
Eric Lucan was endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce, the IJ, and some other group as part of a trio including McLeamy & Kellner. PLUS Schwarze and her supporters were only endorsing her, until the 11th hour -- at which point they began endorsing a trio of Lucan, Schwarze, and Sluis. Why anyone is surprised that Lucan landed on top is REALLY surprising. If Schwarze (or her supporters) had been a bit more strategic, earlier, it might have turned out differently. If Eleanor Sluis had posted a few more comments on Patch and Ghilogetti a few less...they might have done better too. I ended up voting for Schwarze, when I mailed in my ballot last week but didn't make my other choices until the last minute due to having to choose the best from a pretty bad lot.
Tom S Baker November 10, 2011 at 12:56 AM
Cathy . If you picked your votes by comments I have A bridge to sell you .
Marcus Griffin November 10, 2011 at 01:44 AM
Last I checked endorsements like the IJ and the Chamber were positive indications about a candidates ability to lead. Also the Chamber has many conservative members while the IJ is a little more liberal, showing support across the political spectrum.
Tina McMillan November 10, 2011 at 08:35 AM
Pebes You know that is not the case. Your rhetorical statements are dismissive. This is part of the problem. To reduce the past year to an "emotional backlash" takes away from people with genuine concerns. The city knows that measure D contains a clause that says if the expense of either building or purchasing city offices goes above a certain amount they were to put it to a vote. They got around this clause by funding the project through the redevelopment district with a restrictive bond measure. They did not honor the intent of measure D or affirm that the people of Novato would rather build city offices for $16 million rather than buy them for $6 million. It was simple; all they had to do was ask.
Tina McMillan November 10, 2011 at 08:35 AM
continued As Lincoln said..."Government of the people, by the people, for the people..." City government is of us, by us and for us. If we don't take that to heart and participate in the process then it is our fault when poor decisions are made. Look at what happened in Bell California or closer still in Vallejo. Whether it is corruption or poor decisions it can happen anywhere. Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." The fact that so many people got involved in both the affordable housing debate and the recent election is significant. This was Leslie's first run for council and she came a hare's breath away from beating Madeline. Eric beat them all and it was only his second run. Please take to heart the diverse viewpoints expressed on Patch and understand they all have a reason to be heard.
Edwin Drake November 10, 2011 at 04:22 PM
Why Pebes? Because when I angrily wrote that Lucan's election would bring a Wal-mart to town you then made a derisive remark that all was missing was my fist in the air. If someone is against some thing, and you mock them, then that indicates you disagree with them and are in favor of that thing. Do you get that? That's why you appear in-favor of Wal-Mart.
Pebes November 10, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Tina- What is not the case? I described the candidates statements accurately. I guess we disagree on my characterization of the dissent from part of the public about the formulation of the housing element. It is possible You and I are talking about different things, applying the other's statements to the thing we care about but that the other doesn't intend. I don't think you would call the countless racist and classist arguments repeated over and over by some opponents of affordable housing "genuine concerns". It is these attacks that have hurt the fabric of our town more, i believe, than the submission of any housing element ever could have. Likewise, I did not mean that the city should not listen to the concerns of the people or carry out their responsibilities under measure D, but that the council has the charge AND authority to run the city services without coming to the public for approval. If the candidate one backs loses that doesn't mean their concerns become irrelevant, but if an issue was addressed in the campaign it does become a mandate from the voters one way or the other.
Tina McMillan November 10, 2011 at 05:39 PM
"Also, just about every issue impacts the city budget, you think the council should hold two city-wide referendums a month? No, they are elected by the city residents to make those decisions." Pebes This was the comment that I responded to. The rhetorical question is dismissive. Your posts do not take into consideration valid concerns raised without anger, racism, or emotional extremism. To act as if government will run itself without oversight is naive. The people who volunteered on the AH working group, the people who attend council meetings to talk about crime at Wyndover and making it safer for residents and neighbors, the people who signed the petition to revisit the decision about city offices, the people who post to Patch and the people who are your neighbors may see things in a different light. Do not dismiss them. It is part of the problem. Learning to listen, really listen would make a difference.
Pebes November 10, 2011 at 05:43 PM
These quotes could be turned right around. The Council winners were elected directly by the voters, the people participated and the people have spoken. now just because some think the decisions made in the past were "poor decisions" doesn't mean we all think that. Some people just don't agree with the direction for the city that We have chosen- so be it. one last thing- while i agree that there are diverse viewpoints in any debate that should be heard, and people should remain open minded for the better of the commons, the viewpoints on Patch (the nature of many electronic forums) skew to some extreme or another. While there were some really worthwhile debates that surfaced, they can be counted on one hand, mostly it has been intellectual masturbation. I firmly believe that every crank in Novato that has a beef and a computer doesn't need to be accommodated, this includes myself. You are one of the people i have disagreed with on much but for whom i hold respect. Not that it should matter, but I welcome your ideas . Ghigliotti, Susan Clark, et al?- not so much.
Pebes November 10, 2011 at 05:46 PM
I think the prognostication that the election results will result in a walmart and the town turned into a slum, therefore i am in favor of walmart. great logic there, genius.
Pebes November 10, 2011 at 06:02 PM
You say it as if i just listen hard enough, i will start to agree. hypothetically speaking: if i have considered but don't share them, I am not dismissing your concerns. furthermore, if i disagree with the vision you have for the town and i work to oppose it i am not dismissing your vision- I am working against it.
Worry November 10, 2011 at 06:14 PM
Pebes, asking you to switch gears here.. Where do you stand on the current downtown city office plan?
Pebes November 10, 2011 at 06:19 PM
you mean i can't just argue hypotheticals? I have to express an actual opinion from time to time?
Pebes November 10, 2011 at 06:33 PM
I think leaving city offices where they are would continue to make the people see the city as largely irrelevant, out of sight out of mind. It is, in some ways. unlike many cities of this size, public services are split among several special districts. It seems like the city government wants to put itself on the map and regain some standing and trajectory that it has lost over the years. I'm not sure they can pull it off. I'm fine with bringing the offices downtown to the city's existing property, although I'm not crazy about the design. i would like "downtown" to be more or a city center with more restaurants and more activities, i bet moving city offices back there will help accomplish that. 16 million isn't extreme for a project like this, and the city could easily offset it by selling some of the Hamilton properties that don't seem like they'll every get the funding to restore.
Pebes November 10, 2011 at 06:39 PM
Edwin- I love you too.
Edwin Drake November 10, 2011 at 06:45 PM
Pebes - I knew you'd see the light.
Edwin Drake November 10, 2011 at 06:53 PM
The anger is over governance. Decisions are being made secretly, the Brown Act is being violated, elected officials are discussing public issues in private. The issue is transparency, being able to follow the decisions, not "the election's over so let's all go home." Examples: The original "out of the blue" list of Affordable Housing sites. Where did that come from? Or that City requires storey-poles on new construction, so why not hold themselves to same requirement and storey-pole the new City Bldg? Because it would raise ire and they're doing to build it hell or highwater. Likewise the Prop D vote. It may be technically legal to not vote, (and that's debatable,) but it sure stinks and ignores the spirit of the law. Time and again the city holds itself to a different standard than it holds its residents. That's bad governance. Secrecy is bad. This is the worst kind of "good ol' boy," with the Chamber steering things, and residents left to twist in the wind.
Pebes November 10, 2011 at 06:59 PM
it hard to argue with... "This comment has been deleted" . you make a strong case.
Worry November 10, 2011 at 07:27 PM
pebes.. i just typed about 32,000 words and lost it all. will be back. thx
Pebes November 10, 2011 at 08:41 PM
bummer. i look forward to reading you thoughts.


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