EUREKA- The Eureka City Council Ward 3 race is tight, while Ward 5 has a more than 20 percent difference between the two candidates.
Incumbent Council Member Mike Newman currently leads Kim Bergel by just over 100 votes. However, election officials say there are about 750 Eureka City ballots that have not been counted yet. Newman took steps as a council member to consolidate different city departments, saving the city money. Kim Bergel is one of the founders of Redwood Coast Montessori School in Manila and is running for the first time.
"We want to increase sales tax which means that we have to have new businesses and families locating here in order to have greater commerce. City government, the city of eureka derives most of its taxes from sales tax. So it's very important to move forward and have a prosperous and more business friendly area here so that's what we're going to be working on," said Council Member Newman.
"If I'm elected, I see a lot of change in our future, a lot of positive changes. I see us building on what's working in our city and creating a more healthy, vibrant environment by drawing community into being involved. I think that's such a paramount and important piece to get people involved and to get us more community oriented instead of this lopsidedness that we've experienced for quite a while now," said Bergel.
In the 5th Ward race, Natalie Arroyo is leading Incumbent Council Member Chet Albin by about 24 percent of votes. Arroyo moved to the North Coast eight years ago to be an AmeriCorps National Service Member. Chet Albin was appointed to the council following the death of Council Member Lance Madsen. Albin has served on the Eureka Planning Commission and Housing Advisory Board.
"My top three priorities are a fair and informed government that really listens to the people and is transparent, a more diverse and functional economy that pays people a living wage and finally, safer streets. So both transportation safety and public safety in our neighborhoods," said Arroyo.
"The main goal is to get the cruise line in here. We know that every time a cruise ship comes in here it will bring in about a million dollars in circulated dollars. That equates to about 80 or 90 thousand dollars in new tax dollars. So we're excited about that happening and also the other things we're working on, we're working on the homeless community improvement project here, we're working on getting another airlines into eureka," said Council Member Albin.
Official election results will be available by December 2nd. However, election officials expect the official results to be released before Thanksgiving.