The three candidates for Placerville City Council waited on Main Street for results from the election — two of them in a wine bar and one of them playing poker in a cigar bar. By Wednesday morning, according to the semi-official election night final report, Trisha Wilkins and Carol Patton had become the new council members with 35.27 and 33.70 of the vote, respectively. George Lowry, the third candidate, had 30.67 percent of the vote with 66 percent of the votes counted.
Surrounded by family and friends at the Old Town Cigar Co., Trisha Wilkins, 33, heard the news of the first returns when a friend called her. While the group peered at their cell phones for results, Wilkins jumped up and down at the sight of the returns on an Ipad, saying, “By golly, I am in the lead!”
Patton and Lowry, along with family and friends, waited for results at the Wine Smith. Councilman Carl Hagen and Mayor Mark Acuna dropped by. “Some of them showed support for me on my election night and I thought I’d return the favor,” said Acuna. “I want to see who’s going to replace me on the council.”
Acuna is retiring when his term of office expires in December.
The waiting at the Wine Smith was low key and calm. “The community will decide,” said Patton, 53. Lowry and Patton said they are polar opposites politically, but are friends.
“I’m excited about the possibility of working together,” said Lowry, 58, “but the voice of the people will be heard.”
Wednesday morning, Lowry said he had already sent his congratulations and best wishes to Patton and Wilkins on Facebook. He plans to continue his involvement with city projects. “I’ll keep plugging away — it’s all about the city.”
“It’s a bittersweet victory,” said Patton. “I think George would have been a good asset to the council.”
Patton said her first steps as a new councilwoman will be to build relationships with city staff and fellow council members. “It’s important that we walk together. That’s how we can get things done. I ‘m looking forward to the next four years of frugal spending and pulling together as a team.”
Wilkins and her supporters closed down the cigar bar at 11:30 p.m.
“We forgot to open the champagne, we were so excited,” said Wilkins on Wednesday morning.
Her first steps toward being a new City Council member will be to get involved with finding a new location for the homeless camp, Hangtown Haven. “And I want to work with Laurel Brent-Bumb from the (county) chamber of commerce and the Placerville Downtown Association to promote the downtown area and events out into the region.”
Patton and Wilkins, who will be sworn in to begin their terms of office at the Dec. 11 City Council meeting, will join Vice Mayor Wendy Mattson, Councilwoman Patty Borelli and Councilman Carl Hagen on the council, replacing Mayor Mark Acuna and filling the vacancy left by former councilman Dave Machado.
Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or [email protected] Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.