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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on November 7th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 36 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 36

Lompoc's Jenelle Osborne becomes first woman mayor in 20 years

By Spencer Cole

For the first time in 20 years, Lompoc's mayor will be a woman. 

"I really wanted to give the community an opportunity to have a choice in who the voice and face representing them was," Councilmember Jenelle Osborne told the Sun before capturing more than 50 percent of the vote to seal her victory just before midnight on Nov. 6. 

A group of Jim Mosby for Mayor supporters wait for results at his watch party in Lompoc during the Nov. 6 election.

Osborne was pitted against fellow Councilmember Jim Mosby, who managed to wrangle 48 percent of all 5,821 votes cast but ultimately fell short by 148 votes. Mosby will now return to his seat on the council for another two years. Once Osborne is sworn in as mayor, she and the council will choose a replacement for her seat.

The victory for Osborne concluded what was at times a bitter campaign between the two. While the two are known to trade barbs at council meetings over various issues, it was Mosby who largely took aim at his political foe this election cycle. 

"I've always been a budget hawk who believes it is the responsibility of those elected by the people to provide thorough oversight and leadership when it comes to taking more money from the hardworking families," Mosby wrote on his website to kick off his candidacy. 

Mosby could not be reached for comment by press time. 

Osborne said it was a "conscious choice" to run a "clean" campaign from the get-go. 

"There's a voluntary code of conduct you can sign when you pull your papers and apply to run for council, and I signed that, and I take it to heart," she said. "Plus, I don't think our community deserves or needs a negative campaign. Jim has his qualities and we need somebody who is a budget hawk, I just don't see that as being the mayor's role or the only role of the mayor." 

Osborne added that bringing the community together was equally as important as being judicious with the biennial budget. "It's about providing a vision and leadership and talking positive about your community so we can recruit new visitors, businesses, residents, voters, and taxpayers," she said. 

Osborne and Mosby will be joined by two familiar faces on the council after incumbents Victor Vega and Dirk Starbuck cruised to victories with margins of more than 300 votes each over their challengers. Vega captured 66 percent of the vote over Shirley Sherman in Lompoc's 2nd District, while Robert Cuthbert managed to only snag 40 percent to Starbuck's 60 in District 3. 

The city's ballot measures on the other hand were a mixed bag. Measure E, the $79 million Lompoc Unified School District bond, failed by around 300 votes, with 4,746 "no" votes to the 4,498 "yes' votes. Meanwhile, the city's proposed cannabis tax passed overwhelmingly, with 4,433 voting in favor compared to just 1,424 voting against it. 

Weekly Poll
What do you think of the county's new permitting process for hoop houses?

Farmers already have too many regulations to adhere to.
It was necessary to clarify the permitting process.
The process will help protect wildlife.
Cannabis growers are the problem, not other farmers!

| Poll Results