In the race for three spots as directors of the Soquel Creek Water District, Bruce Jaffe, Rachel Lather and Carla Christensen led as as the top three vote-getters on Wednesday, with 27.83% (4,280 votes), 27.43% (4,219) and 24.33% (3,742) respectively. Challengers Kris Kirby (10.66%) and Corrie Kates (9.38%) were trailing.
Have something to say? Lookout welcomes letters to the editor, within our policies, from readers. Guidelines here.
A major question heading into the Soquel Creek Water District election was whether the three science-minded incumbents could hold off a push from two fiscally minded challengers.
As of Wednesday, the incumbents appeared to be in a strong position to continue in their roles as directors.
Bruce Jaffe, Rachel Lather and Carla Christensen were leading as the top three vote-getters with 27.83% (4,280 votes), 27.43% (4,219) and 24.33% (3,742), respectively. Challengers Kris Kirby (10.66%) and Corrie Kates (9.38%) hold the bottom two slots. Another 56 votes were cast for an unnamed write-in.
The Soquel Creek Water District serves more than 40,000 people across Aptos, La Selva Beach, Opal Cliffs, Rio Del Mar, Seascape, Soquel and portions of Capitola. In a moment in which more and more local elections are uncontested, the water district races drew a crowded ballot.
Igniting the interest has been Pure Water Soquel, the board-approved recycled water project that would take the water system’s sewage and, through an intense filtration and treatment process, turn it into clean drinking water.
The project’s cost — $145 million — has ignited some discomfort in the community. So has its yuck factor — drinking recycled sewage is a tough sell despite the proven technology. Kirby has said that fiscal and hygienic discomfort is what drew her and Kates to the race. The incumbents stood behind the project.
Jaffe, who has served on the board for 20 years, has said he expects Pure Water Soquel to be in operation within the next two years.