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If late-night election reports are any indication, Arden Arcade will not be incorporated as a city.
At midnight on election night, Measure D was losing 75 percent to 25 percent. There are, however, still “tens of thousands” of ballots to be counted countywide, said Brad Buyse, Sacramento County’s campaign services manager
“I’m ecstatic,” said Measure D opponent Kristin Elser.
If Measure D had passed, Arden Arcade would have been Sacramento County’s newest city, with a population comparable to Rocklin or Citrus Heights.
“Measure D is going down in flames,” Elser said. “The fiscal viability just isn’t there. In this economy, sales tax is down everywhere.”
Elser claimed there would be no way for a proposed city of Arden Arcade to provide the services Measure D supporters promised without raising taxes.
“I think all the energy and effort put into the campaign on both sides could have gone to the county to fix those issues,” she added.
Supporters of Measure D argued that the level of services from the county was insufficient and that incorporating Arden Arcade would have gone a long way to solving them.
Joel Archer, one of the candidates for what would have been the Arden Arcade City Council, said he was most concerned with the problem of prostitution along Watt Avenue.
As of midnight Tuesday, Archer would have been one of the seven candidates elected to the council out of a pool of 21.
Archer said that problem could be better-handled by a city focusing on one specific area rather than a larger county government that oversees a bigger area.
Despite an apparent loss on election day, Archer said there are positive things to take away from the four-year push for cityhood.
“The one thing everyone in this room has said is the four-year process was worth it,” Archer said. “We’ve been able to come together as a community, and now people know there is a distinct Arden Arcade community.”
But will there be another push for cityhood?
“I think we’re going to step back and take a look at it,” Archer said. “I personally need to step back and probably take a little bit of a break and figure out. There are people that want to do it. Elk Grove had to go through it three times, and Rancho Cordova had to go through it twice.”
Measure D supporter Doug Lewis said Arden Arcade is financially viable and called the opponents’ messages to the contrary “propaganda.”
“The funds are there. We don’t need to raise taxes,” Lewis said. “I get so angry...nobody seems to pick up that it’s all propaganda.”
Mike Duveneck of the “No on Measure D” campaign called himself “a pretty happy camper” at the election party Tuesday night.
“We wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for the community coming together,” he said. “It was a unique situation. It was nonpartisan, and it was really about what was best for the community as a whole.”
Duveneck said there were many reasons he opposed incorporation, including it being a poor economic climate and what he termed “flawed” fiscal analyses of the projected city.
Before results started trickling in, Duveneck had said he was looking for a win of 55 percent or more. With close to 75 percent of voters rejecting the measure, Duveneck said he hopes the outside cities and interests stay out of Arden Arcade’s business.
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.