Both propositions on the primary ballot of Aug. 29 passed handily. However, no candidates for city offices won outright, which necessitates a run-off election on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The first proposition, 442, had voters approving an extension of the Home Rule option by a substantial margin — 10,289 yes votes, or 66.27 percent; to 5,238 no votes, or 33.73 percent. That approval extended for four years the right of the City of Prescott to control its own budget rather than have it established by the state.
The second proposition, one which attracted the most attention, was Prop 443. It gives the City of Prescott authority to raise the municipal sales tax by 0.75 percent (three-fourths of a cent) for up to 10 years in order to pay down the current unfunded Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) liability, estimated currently to be about $78 million.
Voters approved Prop 443 by a vote of 8,719 yes votes, or 53.67 percent; to 7,528 no votes, or 48.33 percent.
Prescott native Ken Bennett, who served in the 1980s on the Prescott City Council and later as mayor, and then was elected to four two-year terms as an Arizona State Senator, and later, elected as Secretary of State in 2010, commented after the election about the passing of Prop 443, “The citizens of Prescott made a wise decision. They prevented what could have become a monumental debt from becoming even bigger. The majority exercised wise judgment.”
No candidates won outright
Because no candidate, either for mayor or for city council, received 50 percent plus one vote of the ballots cast, the Nov. 7 general election will have Greg Mengarelli opposing Jean Wilcox for mayor. Mengarelli received 6,628 votes (41.79 percent), while Wilcox garnered 4,695 votes (29.60 percent). A third candidate, Mary Beth Hrin, was eliminated, for she had only 4,503 votes (28.39 percent).
All six city council candidates whose names were on the primary ballot will run against each other again. They are (with the votes they received in the primary election in parentheses) Steve Blair ( 6,622), Connie Cantelme (5,677), Phil Goode (6,984), Gregory Lazzell (5,200) Alexa Scholl (6,869) and Joe Viccica (5,352).
Of those six council candidates, only the three who obtain the most votes will be elected in November.
Unofficial elections results as of Aug. 29 showed that 16,432 ballots were cast of the potential 29,156 registered voters eligible to vote in the city election.