Santa Cruz County Clerk Tricia Webber on Election Day
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Downtown library timeline, inside the vote count, Soquel school board confusion

Mornin’, folks! It’s Monday, Nov. 21, and Santa Cruz County is in for a mix of sun and clouds, with highs in the 60s.

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We’re still digesting Election 2022 results as we head into Thanksgiving, and Wallace Baine is first up, scoping out the timeline for the downtown Santa Cruz library/mixed-use project that was at the center of Measure O. With O seemingly defeated, it’s full speed ahead, though as Wallace writes, speed is a relative term in a project of that scope.

Meanwhile, Christopher Neely checks in with Santa Cruz County Clerk Tricia Webber, whose office is still churning through the ballot count. Voting by mail is part of the equation for why the tally is taking a while, but more generally it’s voter behavior behind the extended timeline.

In the Soquel Union Elementary School District, some parents and the unions that backed a challenger for a school board seat are looking for answers as incumbent Phil Rodriguez, who resigned from the board in the middle of his reelection campaign, seems set to prevail, and says he will serve.

And in case you missed it, Wallace Baine wrote about Cabrillo College’s imminent name change in his Sunday column; he’s taking suggestions on what the new moniker should be, so read along for your chance to weigh in.

Monday’s headlines also include news from the picket lines at UC Santa Cruz and from the sentencing in the 2021 vandalism of the downtown Black Lives Matter street mural, so let’s take a look, shall we?

With Measure O decided, expect new downtown Santa Cruz library in 2026

A rendering of the proposed new library/mixed-use project, as seen from Cedar Street at Cathcart Street.
(Via Jayson Architecture)

Buildings take time. Though planners did work on the downtown Santa Cruz library/housing/parking structure before the Measure O vote and continued during the campaign, the new construction probably won’t open for four years. Soon, it will enter a “design” phase, followed by a 2024 groundbreaking. Wallace Baine scopes out the timeline.

ELECTION 2022 VOTE COUNT CONTINUES: Cummings maintains lead over Kalantari-Johnson in District 3 supervisor race (Lookout)

Santa Cruz is still counting ballots. What’s taking so long?

Ballots piled up at the Santa Cruz County Clerk's office.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

More than any other factor, Santa Cruz County Clerk Tricia Webber says voter behavior is the reason for the prolonged ballot tally in the wake of the Nov. 8 election. Here’s her full Q&A with Christopher Neely.

MORE LOOKOUT Q&As: Hear from local newsmakers in their own words

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And that’s what I know as we kick off the week. Keep it tuned to Lookout to stay current on everything going on in Santa Cruz County — follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up here for breaking news alerts and our other newsletters.

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Now go attack this Monday with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz