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Langley voters buck countywide trend in Prop. 1 vote

Langley, alone, thought it was a good idea.

Proposition 1, the ballot measure that would raise property taxes to plug a multi-million-dollar budget hole in Island County and retain basic government services, was soundly rejected by voters across Whidbey and Camano islands in Tuesday’s primary. The tax increase went down in greater-than-landslide proportions, with more than 71 percent of voters opposing Prop. 1.

According to a review of precinct returns, however,

Prop. 1 received a majority “yes” vote in only two of the county’s 83 precincts: Langley 1 and Langley 2.

The proposal found its greatest support, with 54-percent approval, in the Langley 2 precinct, the area outside of downtown in the Village by the Sea that lies south of Third and Fourth streets.

Voters in Langley 1, the precinct that includes downtown, voted to approve Prop. 1 with a 51-percent majority, according to election results released late on Election Day.

Everywhere else on South Whidbey, voters shot down the tax hike. But if there is a silver lining to the results, Prop. 1 found its greatest support on the South End, as 19 of 20 precincts were below the countywide rejection rate of 71-percent disapproval. Just one precinct, Freeland, surpassed the countywide rejection rate, with 78 percent of precinct voters casting “no” ballots.

Though Central Whidbey voters also rejected the measure in each of the area’s 11 precincts, none reached the 70-percent level of voter disapproval.

Elsewhere in Island County, opposition to the measure to raise the county levy for the general fund was extraordinary.

On North Whidbey, six of nine precincts said “no” to Prop. 1 with more than 80 percent of voters shooting down the levy increase. The proposal found the fewest fans in the precincts of Silver Lake, Highland, Countryside and Polnell (all with an 83-percent “no” vote), then Dugualla (81 percent) and Soundview (80 percent).

Voters in all nine North Whidbey precincts also rejected the measure at a rate higher than the countywide average of 71 percent no.

The greatest opposition to Prop. 1 came in the Oak Harbor-area precinct of Fort Nugent.

Voters in that precinct, which lies south of Fort Nugent Road to Hastie Lake Road and between Zylstra Road and Highway 20, gave the measure a “no” vote of 87 percent.

The disapproval rate was higher than 71 percent in 17 of the 25 Oak Harbor-area precincts; Penn Cove (82 percent “no”), Scenic Heights (79 percent), Swantown (78), Hastie Lake (78), Fort Nugent (87), West Beach (72), Crosswoods (83), Oak Harbor 2 (83), Oak Harbor 3 (86), Oak Harbor 4 (72), Oak Harbor 6 (84), Oak Harbor 8 (77), Oak Harbor 10 (78), Oak Harbor 12 (72), Oak Harbor 13 and 14 (73), and Oak Harbor 15 (77).

On Camano Island, the “no” vote was 80 percent or greater in four of the island’s 18 precincts; Camano (81 percent), Maple Grove (82), Sunset 2 (80) and Triangle Cove 2 (81).

In 16 of 18 Camano Island precincts, the “no” vote surpassed 71 percent.

In other races on Tuesday’s ballot, Kelly Emerson, the Republican challenger to incumbent Democrat John Dean in the District 3 Island County commissioner race, outpaced Dean in the primary.

Emerson won 21 of the district’s 26 precincts.

Dean prevailed in his home precinct of Utsalady 2, and also picked up more votes than his opponent in the Camano precincts of Countryclub, Point Allen, Camano 2 and Triangle Cove.

In the three-way race for Island County clerk, Republican Carol Ann Fortune earned the most votes in 63 of the county’s 83 precincts.

Democrat Debra Van Pelt, who will advance to the November election under the state’s top-two primary, won the vote in 14 precincts. Democrat Patricia Terry, the incumbent clerk, got the most votes in four precincts.

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