It is easy to get lazy or cynical about elections. All of that political hype and advertising makes me want to pull the plug on the television, telephone and Teletype.
Yes, I have a Teletype in every billiard room of my mobile home. All newspaper employees do.
Kidding aside, your vote can make a difference.
By its nature democracy is a messy process. Totalitarianism is orderly and frankly I’ll put up with a little messiness in an election to avoid that.
Nebb Eldwayen found out how close an election can be when he won a city council seat by one vote.
The candidates in their post-election comments also set a standard for good will that I wish all could.
On Nov. 14, 1986, Telegram-Tribune reporter Carol Roberts told the story.
Pismo’s Eldwayen wins by one
Mayor Nebb Eldwayen of Pismo Beach will keep his seat on the City Council thanks to only one vote.
An unofficial count of absentee ballots Thursday put him one vote ahead of the other incumbent, Scovil Hubbard, who is concluding his first term.
“I feel sorry,” Eldwayen said.
“Scovil is such a fine gentleman and an excellent council person.
“I think it’s too bad we can’t share this council seat together. I hope he runs again in two more years.”
Hubbard hadn’t decided Thursday evening if he would ask for a recount. He was disappointed with the election results, but said, “That’s politics.”
He praised the winners, saying, “at least three good men have been elected who will do a fine job for the city.”
He plans to stay active in city government, “to some extent,” and pointed out “someone has to win and someone has to lose.”
City Clerk Terry Briscoe announced the results Thursday afternoon, after more than 40 more absentee ballots had been counted at the county Government Center. The ballots had been turned in at Pismo Beach precincts on Election Day, Nov. 4.
Before the latest absentee count, Eldwayen led Hubbard by three votes. After it, Eldwayen had 1,099 votes and Hubbard got 1,098.
Dick Morrow still is the top vote getter with 1,318 votes and Gerald Baker won his council seat with 1,229.
The losers were Williams Seagrave, 747; Gordon Curzon, 694; Shirley Metcalf, 672 and Karl Stahl, 274.
Though the totals are still considered “unofficial,” Briscoe said she doesn’t expect them to change before county supervisors certify the election. She plans to seat her new council at 7 p.m. Dec. 3.
Eldwayen, 74, has served on the council 12 years. “It would have been such a complete change in my life, if I’d lost,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with a new council. It’s going to be very interesting.”
The gregarious councilman gave himself the nickname “Landslide Nebb” after the election.
He was mayor or councilman for almost 17 years and the photo that Tony Hertz shot above was used at his memorial at Ocean Park when Eldwayen died in 1999 three weeks short of his 87th birthday. In 2000 a portion of the Pismo Beach boardwalk was named for Eldwayen.