Eder wins 2nd Sebastopol council seat, expanding new majority
By MARTIN ESPINOZA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Published: Friday, November 30, 2012 at 7:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 30, 2012 at 7:16 p.m.
In the final tally of votes for the Sebastopol City Council, John Eder beat out incumbent Kathleen Shaffer for the second open seat on the council.
Eder, a representative of Boise Mobile Equipment, won 1,992 votes, or 25.1 percent, while Shaffer received 1,930 votes, or 24.3 percent.
Robert Jacob, founder and executive director of Peace in Medicine, which has medical marijuana dispensaries in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, finished first with 2,335 votes, or 29.4 percent.
Eder beat Shaffer by 62 votes.
“Up until the final results were released I thought it was a tossup,” Eder said, adding that he was ready to get to work on issues related to downtown development.
These include revising the city’s downtown design guidelines, encouraging more small business, promoting mixed-use in-fill, and championing more bike lanes and bicycle and pedestrian safety.
The key issue in the election was the controversial CVS Pharmacy-Chase Bank branch that will be built at the site of the vacant Pellini Chevrolet dealership.
The council gave the developer, Armstrong Development of Sacramento, the final approval that it needed to go proceed in a 3-2 vote.
Critics hope that a council with a different makeup might still be able to derail the project.
Eder said that if the city had downtown design guidelines that were more clearly defined there would not have been such a controversy over the project.
The balance on the council is already assured to shift, with Jacob, who opposed the project, joining Vice Mayor Michael Kyes and Councilwoman Sarah Gurney, who were the two votes against it.
Shaffer was one of the three votes to approve the project, while Eder has been an opponent.
The other two candidates, Kathy Austin and Colleen Fernald received 18.8 and 2.4 percent of the vote, respectively.