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SAN DIEGO COUNTY ELECTIONS : McClellan Wins Mayor's Post : Vistans OK Redevelopment--Finally

November 06, 1986|ERIC BAILEY | Times Staff Writer

VISTA — After two elections, one ballot recount and three court hearings, a proposal for redevelopment in Vista has been given the final stamp of approval.

In what should be the final act in a long-running drama, Vista voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to abolish the city's fledgling redevelopment agency. The measure, Proposition V, garnered only 38% of the vote.

Meanwhile, longtime Councilwoman Gloria McClellan bested two rivals in the race to succeed outgoing Mayor Mike Flick. McClellan received 44% of the vote, compared to 32% for businessman Roy Allen and 23% for Councilman Lloyd von Haden.

In the race for two council seats, Eugene Asmus, a former Vista city manager who now serves as assistant city manager of Chula Vista, and Jeanette Smith, a certified public accountant, emerged from a crowded field of 10 candidates to gain the top spots. Asmus and Smith finished in a dead heat, both recording nearly 20% of the vote.

But it was the battle over redevelopment that marked this election season in Vista.

After efforts to defeat redevelopment last year ultimately failed, Von Haden and two unsuccessful council candidates, Patsy Filo and Violet Keough, launched a new effort to abolish the agency in May. They faced a well-organized group of redevelopment supporters this year.

Redevelopment foes charged that tax dollars should not go to benefit the private sector. Moreover, they maintained that redevelopment strips money from other public services, such as law enforcement and health programs.

Supporters countered by pointing to the city's aging downtown and arguing that redevelopment is vitally needed to clean it up. Aside from improving the downtown environment, redevelopment would stimulate private investment in Vista, sending increased sales tax dollars and other revenue flowing into city coffers, they said.

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