By Katta Hules and Terry Miller
The votes are in and Arcadia has elected two new members of the city council. Peter Amundson and April Verlato are all set to fill in the two empty council seats.
The final outstanding votes were counted Thursday morning, April 21:
April Verlato received 4,077 votes and Peter Amundson received 4,122 (25.8 percent and 26.1 percent of the votes, respectively).
The race between the two was neck and neck. At the end they were only 25 votes apart, with Amundson edging out Verlato for the lead.
Amundson described the election as “nail-biting,” as he watched the scores for each precinct being posted in the council chambers. “Most people thought it was a three-horse race and they were right,” he said, including the runner-up Bob Harbicht in his statement. Amundson is a former councilmember and mayor of Arcadia.
Verlato called it a “very competitive campaign” in a phone interview after the results were in, going on to say, “I credit all the candidates for a good fight.” She is “excited about serving my community” although, she says she will have a lot to learn and warns she will not “be able to change that much at first.” Verlato is the former president of the Save the Highlands group and current president of the Downtown Arcadia Improvement Association.
The other candidates did not garner so many votes. Harbicht, a 20-year veteran of the city council and former mayor was the next runner up. “I’m proud that I ran a clean campaign, never mentioning another candidate in any of my literatures or comments,” said Harbicht in an email from his timeshare in Hawaii. He was nearly 500 votes behind the winners.
Amundson and Verlato will be sworn into office at a special city council meeting on Tuesday, April 26. They will join Councilmembers Tom Beck, Roger Chandler, and Sho Tay on the dais.