No on 415 signs

Campaign workers for the No on 415 campaign gather outside the Bullhead City branch of the Mohave County Public Library on Tuesday afternoon. A disagreement about where these advocates were supposed to stand came up at one point but was resolved. There also were reports that Yes on 415 had one or more advocates outside this ballot replacement center as well in a final attempt to influence voters.  

BULLHEAD CITY — Proposition 415 is too close to call.

And it could remain that way until next week.

Both Bullhead City Manager Toby Cotter and Shawn Bradford, EPCOR Water Arizona’s vice president of corporate services, were cautious about Tuesday night’s partial vote totals that currently puts the “Yes” total less than 3 percentage points ahead of the “No” total: 4,549 (51.2%) versus 4,335 (48.8%) — a difference of only 214 votes from a total vote count of 8,884, according to an online posting from the Mohave County Elections Department.

“For a city election, this has been a record-breaker because it’s an important issue,” Cotter said. “There are strong feelings on both sides.” 

He said the small gap between supporters and opponents is remarkable because of the difference in campaign budgets between the two political action committees, H2O Committee and Taxpayers Against City Takeover. 

H2O, a community group, raised a total of about $26,000 while TACT had deposits this year from EPCOR USA of roughly $400,000, according to campaign finance documents.  

“This was a hard-fought campaign. Neither side left anything on the table,” said Bradford. “I think at this point no matter the outcome, it’s clear to us this is an important and emotional issue for the voters in Bullhead City.”

One of the H2O members was optimistic about the results.

“I don’t think there’s enough votes that came in today that would change the result,” said Royanne Ortiz. “I’m very, very positive we won this one. The community came together and secured the future.”

The department posted preliminary unofficial results of the mail-only election seconds after the 7 p.m. ballot deadline — even though ballots from the Bullhead City branch of the Mohave County Library hadn’t arrived at the elections office in Kingman.

That was according to plan; earlier in the week, elections officials indicated that the numbers posted on the county’s election website would reflect ballots already received by mail or in person in Kingman. Replacement ballots were available at the library and completed ballots were dropped off there, too. It was the only replacement center for the Bullhead City ballot.

Mohave County Elections Director Allen Tempert said that his department would be working on the ballots that were dropped off at the ballot replacement centers and he expects it all to be done by the beginning of next week. 

Tempert said that he hoped to post final, unofficial election tallies by Nov. 12 or 13. Election results will not become official until they are canvassed by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors.

Proposition 415 asked voters to approve or reject authorization for the City of Bullhead City to pursue acquisition of the local water system from EPCOR Arizona Water. The bond question capped the amount to be financed at $130 million; EPCOR has reported its system is worth more than that while the city has countered that it is worth considerably less.

County officials said that 22,772 ballots were mailed to eligible Bullhead City voters; the 8,884 votes counted as of the 7 p.m. posting represented a 39% voter response.

In the only other election in Mohave County on Tuesday — also a mail-in question — Kingman Unified School District voters appear to have soundly defeated a bond issue. The measure, which would have authorized issuance of $35 million in bonds to fund repairs to district buildings, drew 7,806 “no” votes (63%) and 4,498 “yes’ votes (36%).

(8) comments

BillParks

I call B.S.

Ive talked, not in length, but in General, with 100's of people, and NONE voted yes.

Brian Allen

And I have yet to have anyone show where a government operated anything better, more efficiently and for less money than a private enterprise.

BullheadTopDog

We all know that we need all levels of the government to protect us from ourselves.

Newsome wants CA to take over PG&E. Way to go CA! you lucky people....

Medicare for all. That's another Win-Win. Feds have done a great job with VA healthcare.....

Let's talk about the USPS.....That's the model of efficiency.

Now, let's add Bullhead City owned water utility to our rich history of accomplishments.....WooHoo.....

Weggy

The last thing we need is this city running the water system. What happened to all those in favor of smaller government?.

rogerk

No, the last thing we need is a Canadian corporation running our city water system.

The Ratt

What we need is good water in our pipes. Maybe this is the first step. Epcor won't do it.

Georgie girl

The city would not be able to improve the water, they couldn’t afford what that would take so get that right out of your head. Just think about it .... who do you think is going to be paying for all this the money fairy??? No we are our watt bill is going to be so high you will move as fast as you can because they add surcharges and misnaming monthly fees till your paying at the least amount of $110.00 before you even turn on your tap with 130 $ million and counting (who do you think paying for the court costs)? You will be paying paying paying out the nose. They do not care that you can’t afford it, it’s a big big moneymaker for the city, profits are in the billions. You know how I know?? I use to work at a city water department and the fat get fatter and fatter. Don’t let them do it to Bullhead City, Don’t let them do it . I can’t warn you enough. If you let them do this what’s next??? You will have nothing. Don’t do it!!

Mitch

Can the city save us from gasoline prices,buy fast trip .I would be happy then.now this says eligible voters? If you are the one paying a water bill you should be eligible my household did not receive a booklet or ballot ,which is not fair ? My friend got the booklet and it was addressed to resident. Why did I not get one,we pay water bills we pay taxes.we own this place outright,,,so why did we not get one?it would have been a NO vote

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