Sitting members of the San Ramon City Council scored big on Election Night, with councilmen Phil O'Loane and Scott Perkins finishing one-two in the race among four candidates for two seats on the dais and Mayor Bill Clarkson closing out a successful uncontested re-election bid.
O'Loane sits as the top vote-getter as of the latest update from the Contra Costa County Registrar of Voters' Office, with 10,058 votes or 36.51% of the vote as of Wednesday afternoon. Perkins followed closely with 9,204 votes, or 33.41% of the vote.
Challenger Sabina Zafar, a business technology director and member of the city's Transportation Advisory Committee, finished third at 17.43% with 4,802 votes. Susmita Nayak, a local engineer, rounded out the balloting with 3,383 votes or 12.28%.
O'Loane acknowledged that the election results released thus far are still unofficial with some vote-by-mail and provisional ballots to be counted, but added that with the current margins, "there's no reason to assume anything is going to change dramatically."
Set for his second consecutive term, the 58-year-old O'Loane said Wednesday his top priorities include "making sure that we continue to be a really safe city to live in" and "making sure residents are heard and feel heard."
"I would also like to see us continue to permanently secure publicly accessible open space on both sides of the city (eastern and western)," he added about his upcoming four-year term.
O'Loane, who works full-time as a medical program director for Kaiser Permanente, was first elected to the council in 2011.
He and the other council members were given an extra year on their terms when city voters in 2013 approved a series of ballot measures that switched city elections to even years instead of odd years -- a cost-saving move that lined up San Ramon election cycles with other Contra Costa County cities and regular elections.
Perkins, who is wrapping up his 13th year on the council, also acknowledged the race isn't technically finalized but he is comfortable with his second-place position to date, nearly 4,400 votes above third place with a vast majority of the ballots counted.
"We're not quite there yet, but it would be remarkable to overcome that (gap)," Perkins said Wednesday, adding that he's "pretty comfortable" the Election Night margins will hold in his favor.
Perkins, 63, said meeting the needs of all San Ramon community members is among his top goals for his upcoming four-year term.
"The City Council and the city programs need to move toward more inclusiveness of all the people, the ethnic diversity and all the areas of the city," he said.
Alleviating traffic congestion in the city, especially along Bollinger Canyon and Crow Canyon roads, is another priority for Perkins, as is enhancing the city's open space. He said he hopes the city can take advantage of the work done by the Open Space Advisory Committee and regional partners "to preserve additional open space on our east and west borders."
A retired mechanical engineer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who still works there part-time, Perkins added that he's also looking forward to seeing the transformation continue along Bollinger Canyon Road near the new City Hall, planned City Center at Bishop Ranch and under-renovation San Ramon Library.
In the mayoral election, incumbent Clarkson appeared on the ballot unopposed and received 96.91% of the vote, with the rest going to write-in candidates.
"It was very gratifying to see Phil O'Loane and Scott Perkins re-elected comfortably. I think it is a clear signal from most residents that the city and council are doing a pretty good job at keeping the city safe and well-managed," Clarkson, 64, said Wednesday.
Clarkson, who has 34 years of experience working in the San Ramon Valley real estate industry, began elected public service on the San Ramon Valley school board in 1998. He served on the Board of Education until 2010.
His upcoming two-year term will mark Clarkson's third straight term after first being elected in 2011.
San Ramon mayors are limited to a maximum of four terms, while there are no term limits for City Council.
The unofficial election results include totals reported by the precincts on Election Night and tallies for vote-by-mail ballots through Tuesday night. The election figures will likely change in the coming days as final vote-by-mail ballots, provisional ballots and other qualifying ballots are processed, according to the California Secretary of State.