Come December, two of the five members of the Napa City Council will be new to the realm of city government.
At Tuesday’s election, Napa voters elected retired fire captain Scott Sedgley and credit union manager Alfredo Pedroza to the council, and re-elected Mayor Jill Techel. Defeated in his re-election bid, Councilman Jim Krider will leave the board, as will Mark van Gorder, who did not seek re-election, instead running — apparently unsuccessfully — for a seat on the Napa County Board of Supervisors.
Sedgley, Pedroza and Techel will join Councilmembers Juliana Inman and Peter Mott.
Mott unsuccessfully challenged Techel for mayor this year, but will remain on the council because he is not up for re-election until 2014.
“With the majority of the council still there, I see us all working together well,” Sedgley said Wednesday morning. “I don’t see any real differences as far as ideology. We all have what’s best for Napa at heart.”
The final, certified election results will not be available until the end of the month, but based on the substantial early counts, Sedgley received 22.7 percent of the vote, while Pedroza won 20.4 percent. Doris Gentry and Krider followed, receiving 18.2 percent and 17.6 percent, respectively. Techel received 60.3 percent of the early tallies, while Mott received 39.7 percent.
More than 600 votes separate Gentry from Pedroza, while more than 3,300 stand between Techel and Mott. Some votes still need to be counted, but Registrar of Voters John Tuteur said there is no reason to think the results should change after the final tally.
On Wednesday morning, Pedroza said he was happy to see he seemingly had enough votes to be a councilman.
“It’s been really uplifting to see the lead hold,” Pedroza said. “We continue to feel blessed with all the support we’ve received across the board.”
Pedroza described the new council as “a really strong one.” He said Techel will bring leadership and continuity; Sedgley will bring experience in public service; Mott brings business experience and tenacity; Inman is a go-getter; and he, Pedroza, the council’s first Latino member and at age 25 perhaps the youngest councilmember in city history, will add diversity.
Techel said she is saddened to see Krider leave the council, but believes the new group will be productive and work well together.
“(Sedgley) and I served on the school board together,” she said. “(Pedroza) has been out there, been involved and we’ve been getting to know each other.”
She pointed out that the campaign had no mud-slinging and said that positions the city to keep moving in a positive direction.
“The council candidates really handled themselves well,” Techel said. “The campaign was positive, it’s something we can be proud of. I think it bodes well for our city.”
Mott, though disappointed that he will not be mayor come December, said his spirit was lifted by the election of Pedroza, whom he has taken under his wing.
“I’m ecstatic that he’s doing so well,” Mott said of Pedroza’s strong showing. “I’ve worked with (Pedroza) through this whole campaign, we talk almost daily and I am really proud of him. He ran an exceptionally good campaign. It’s really important to me that we find some representation for the Latino community and I think he’s the perfect person for it.”
Mott also praised Sedgley, whom he described as a good guy who will bring hometown experience to the council.
“I’m excited about that,” Mott said. “I think we will work really well together.”
The candidates who received less-than-optimal results said they will keep doing what they can to help the city and its residents.
Krider, who said he was not so much surprised by who won but by his lower-than-expected tally of votes, said he’s not yet sure what he will do after he leaves the council in December.
“I’ve got to take a little time to let it sink in, then I’ll move on to something else,” Krider said. “I have to stay busy.”
Gentry said she wasn’t surprised that Techel and Sedgley won, but she didn’t expect to see Pedroza, a newcomer to city politics, elected.
“I was very surprised that (Pedroza) got elected on his first time out because he is not as well known,” said Gentry, who ran for state Assembly in 2008 and 2010. “He has not done the due diligence in this community. He’s a nice young man, but he hasn’t made his mark in Napa.”
Gentry said she thinks the new council will “be good friends and play nice together.” She has no idea whether she will seek office again, she said.
“I just want to end this campaign, pick up all my signs and get back to daily life,” Gentry said. “Now I’ll be able to put my feet up at night and read a book.”
For Alex Pader, who received 9 percent of the vote, resting does not seem to be in his future.
“I’m not committed to running for City Council today, but I’ll still be engaged and pursue the platform I stood on,” Pader said. “I was able to bring the issue of education up and hopefully the council will work to pursue that.”
Pader said he will do whatever he can from the outside to see that the city explores the possibility of bringing some education programs, like recreation and community classes, under its wing in an effort to free the schools up to focus on core education.
Bill Bopf, a former Napa city manager who received 7 percent of the early votes, said he ran to give voters the option of electing someone with experience in city government but added he has plenty of things to do to keep occupied. He said he will most likely serve as an interim city manager if a city needs him.
“It was very good to get back into some of the activity in Napa,” Bopf said. “A lot of good things are happening in the future for this city.”
Charlie Rose, an attorney who received 5 percent of the votes, said while disappointed, he plans to keep volunteering in Napa. He currently serves on two nonprofit boards and commissions for the city, county and court.
“The results are not what I had hoped for and a lot of it was probably directly related to fundraising and time constraints,” Rose said. “I really thought Jim Krider would win. I’m disappointed in that.”
Techel and Mott said they’ve worked well together during the campaign and expect that harmony to continue. On Wednesday, the pair both attended an event at Napa’s new movie theater and spoke and had pictures taken together.
“We’ve always handled ourselves professionally, collegially,” Techel said. “I don’t see any reason why that wouldn’t happen.”
“It’s over, it’s time to get back to work,” Mott said. “I’m going to do what I do and work collaboratively with the council but also pursue the projects I’ve started.”
Techel said this will be her last term as mayor.
“I’m not planning on keeping my signs,” Techel said, explaining that she has reused large signs from previous elections.
The new council could be sworn in at noon on Dec. 4 during a special meeting, City Clerk Dorothy Roberts said. The date could change if there is a delay in the certification of results.