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Clarkson, San Ramon ballot measures win

Terms of mayor, council extended by a year

San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson will serve another term and he'll get an extra year to serve.

Clarkson took home the vast majority of the votes despite a last-minute write-in campaign by Parks Commission Chairman Bill Meine. Clarkson pulled 6,006 votes, 94.6%; all other write ins -- which included both Meine and any others -- received 366 votes, 5.74% of the total.

A measure to extend the terms of the mayor and City Councilmembers also passed handily, receiving 83.64% of the votes, 5,915 in favor with 16.36%, a total of 1,157 opposed.

A second measure that would amend the city charter to allow for the extra year for Clarkson also won with 5,773 votes or 81.83% in favor and 1,282 votes, 18.17% opposed.

The push to move to even-year elections has been on the ballot several times before. San Ramon held a vote in 2008 to switch the mayor's election to even years. San Ramon officials also tried in 2002 and 2004 to move to even-year elections.

The switch will save the city about $142,000 every election cycle according to an estimate by interim City Attorney Robert Saxe. The savings come from being part of larger elections instead of being one of only a few elections and measures on the ballot on odd-years.

San Ramon is the final city in Contra Costa County to make the switch. Opponents argued that moving the elections to even years would cause city issues and eleections to be dwarfed by larger state and national elections.

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