By Galen Patterson
At the end of a long and drawn out election, incumbent candidates Tom Beck and Roger Chandler have won the election.
In District 2, Beck beat former councilmember and Mayor Bob Harbicht by nearly 100 votes. The final count put Beck at 1,080 votes and Harbicht at 982.
In district 5, Chandler won a slightly more narrow victory over first-time candidates Joyce Platt and Jolly Wu. Chandler secured 804 votes, while Platt had 727 votes and Wu captured 303.
In the conference room of the council chambers on Friday morning, staff from the City Clerk’s office, assisted by a contracted election consultant, began counting and recording votes. The room had been filled with miscellaneous chatter until the first vote was read aloud and silence fell over the room.
The votes for District 2 were stacked neatly on the table as the city’s election official carefully selected each card, read the name out loud, turned it over and placed it in a separate pile. The election consultant watched over the official’s shoulder, carefully ensuring accuracy. Further down the table, two recorders recorded the votes on separate documents and simultaneously called out landmark numbers when a candidate’s votes had reached it.
The ballots were then gathered, aggressively shuffled into place by the consultant and placed in a box, sealed by a signed sticker stating: Counted Ballots.
After the District 2 votes were counted by hand, a large ballot counting machine was set up in the room. Shortly after, the final numbers were in.
Among the people who had gathered in the room were Mayor Pro Tempore Sho Tay, Councilman Roger Chandler and candidate Jolly Wu.
“I feel very happy I got 303 votes on my first run,” says Wu. When asked if she will run again she smiled and said “nobody knows the future.”
The next City Council meeting will be the council reorganization meeting, where the new Mayor of Arcadia will be chosen by the council. The meeting is scheduled for April 24 at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers and is open to visitors.