With an emphatic nod toward change, Redding voters elected two new City Council members and an incumbent Shasta County supervisor who has represented west Redding for 20 years was unseated.
Erin Resner, who co-owns eight Dutch Bros. coffee stands in Redding, Anderson and Palo Cedro, and Michael Dacquisto, an attorney and bankruptcy trustee, were the top vote-getters in Tuesday’s general election. They will be seated next month along with Mayor Kristen Schreder, who received the third-most votes.
Incumbent Councilwoman Francie Sullivan, who served on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors prior to two terms on the council, finished in fifth place out of five candidates. She saluted the winners in a Wednesday morning tweet: “Congratulations to Erin, Michael, & Kristen. I wish you the best in making Redding an even better place to live, work & raise a family. I'm proud of our courteous & respectful campaign. Civility is alive & well in Redding.”
Resner received 12,007 votes (25 percent); Dacquisto received 11,230 (23.8 percent); Schreder received 8,669 votes (18.4 percent); Shasta College instructor James Crockett received 7,943 votes (16.8 percent); and Sullivan received 4,222 votes (15.3 percent).
In the District 1 Board of Supervisors race, Joe Chimenti, executive director of the Shasta Builders Exchange, outgained incumbent David Kehoe by a 55-45 margin.
Dacquisto said it was clear to him that voters were eager to see a change. Votes for Dacquisto and Resner indicated that “50 percent of the people were unhappy with the incumbents, and if you add James Crockett, it’s up to two-thirds,” Dacquisto said.
What was on the voters’ minds? “I knocked on 500 doors, or more, and I learned that people are sick and tired of ‘quality of life’ crimes. Transients, the homeless, whatever it is, they’re sick of it and they wanted something done about it,” Dacquisto said.
Dacquisto said revenue from Measure C, the citywide cannabis tax that passed Tuesday by a 74-26 margin, could be used to help pay for more police officers and jail beds. “The lack of jail beds is the critical factor at the moment, and that’s a community problem, not a city or a county problem.”
The cannabis tax is projected to generate about $750,000 annually.
Schreder said she’s committed to continuing efforts to both ensure accountability within the criminal justice system—by reducing the disproportionate number of repeat offenders who gobble up law enforcement resources—and directing more services to the community’s most vulnerable members.
Schreder said she’s “worked across the aisles” with colleagues who don’t share her philosophies and she’s happy to continue. “There’s a lot of work to be done and we all need to share in the efforts to find the solutions that will be the most impactful in the community.”
Resner said she’s eager to continue discussions between Redding and Shasta County on development of a “low barrier” shelter to help address homelessness and related quality-of-life issues.
Resner added that she wants to use the skills she’s developed as a business owner to help “shift some of that reputation or culture that we have of not being business friendly … I think people really value somebody with a business mind, who has operated a business with multiple locations and hundreds of employees.”
Her experience as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for children in foster care, as well as her service on the Community Services Advisory Commission, “have given me a lot of knowledge of the inner workings in the city and how things play out” that she said she can use as a council member.
Shasta County elections chief Cathy Darling Allen said Tuesday’s election went well despite the high volume of voters. She said a line of voters at the downtown elections office extended out the door throughout the day. Voters continued to file in right up to the 8 p.m. deadline.
Some 42,816 ballots were cast from Shasta County’s 101,701 registered voters for a preliminary voter turnout of 42.1 percent “with many thousands of ballots still to count,” Allen said. “It’s gone well but it has been very busy,” she said at 1 a.m. Wednesday while distributing the day’s final returns.
Allen said it will take another two weeks to tabulate all the ballots but she did not expect the remaining votes would alter any of the outcomes. A dramatic increase in the number of vote-by-mail ballots has added to the workload, she said.
Shasta County has 65,000 permanent vote-by-mail or absentee voters and another 10,000 requested vote-by-mail ballots for Tuesday’s election.