Incumbents win Atascadero City Council race

Fonzi and Kelley forge a significant lead over challenger Ketcherside in City Council contest

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comNovember 7, 2012 

  • Total votes % of vote
    Roberta Fonzi 6,087 41.46%
    Bob Kelley 5,485 37.36%
    Ann Ketcherside 2,854 19.44%
    Write-in votes 255 1.74%

The two incumbents on the Atascadero City Council were reelected Tuesday, giving the pair four more years in city leadership.

Mayor Bob Kelley was running for City Council along with incumbent Councilwoman Roberta Fonzi. Business manager Ann Ketcherside ran as challenger.

Based on 100 percent of precincts reporting, Fonzi won with 41 percent of the vote, while Kelley had 37 percent. Ketcherside was in third place with 19 percent.

Meanwhile, midterm councilman Tom O’Malley ran unopposed for the city’s first elected mayor seat, locking him into the position.

Until now, Atascadero has been the only city in San Luis Obispo County that rotates the mayorship among its five council members. Local voters opted to change that in 2010, making this the first election under the new policy.

O’Malley’s empty seat will be filled by the council in a manner yet to be decided.

With Atascadero’s future Wal-Mart project snarled in litigation, the City Council will be faced with finding ways to build up the city’s dwindling reserves.

Atascadero has been using reserve funds to cover its budget gaps since at least fiscal year 2008. Budget declines are projected to continue until fiscal year 2014, when the city hopes the Walmart store will open, bringing new tax dollars with it.

Fonzi ran on a platform that included issues such as economic development, fiscal responsibility and public safety.

Kelley, who publicly agreed not to run for mayor this election so he wouldn’t have an unfair advantage as the incumbent, focused on ways to make it easy for people to bring business to town.

Ketcherside also pledged to bring new business to town, saying her experience in property management gave her an edge.

The city didn’t have any qualified write-in candidates this election.

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