LOS ANGELES — Status quo was the order of the day March 7 after City Hall incumbents were re-elected and voters handily defeated a ballot measure that would have changed development in the city.
Mayor Eric Garcetti led the way for incumbents as he received more than 80 percent of the vote to fight off 10 challengers and win a second term as mayor.
Six City Council members easily won re-election, while a seventh, First District Councilman Gil Cedillo is hoping to avoid a May 17 runoff in his bid to in a second term.
Mayor Garcetti proclaimed victory relatively early election night. He greeted supporters at a campaign party in downtown Los Angeles, touting his achievements over the past four years and vowing that more is to come.
“While other people are talking about doing big things, Los Angeles, we are doing big things right now,” he said. “My friends, big things don’t happen by accident. They require leadership. The job of the mayor is to get things done, and that’s what I’m going to keep on doing for each and every one of you here in this city.
“We’re breaking records at our port and our airport. We’re breaking records for tourism and filming. We’ve housed more homeless veterans than any city in America. We’ve paved more roads than ever before. We’ve confronted climate change head on, by cleaning our air, conserving our water and expanding our green spaces. We enacted the largest tax cut in our city’s history and we’ve seen more small businesses start in the last four years than we’ve seen in decades.
“So we are doing big things, but we have a lot more left to do,” he said.
Garcetti had almost 10 times as many votes as his closest challenger, Mitchell Schwartz. Schwartz had 20,561 votes (8.22 percent) to Garcetti’s 202,278.
No one else had more than 8,600 votes.
Measure S, an initiative aimed at limiting development in the city by blocking General Plan amendments for two years, was defeated by city voters with almost 69 percent of voters opposing the measure.
Measure H, a county initiative that will raise the sales tax one-quarter cent for the next 10 years to raise funds for programs for the homeless, appeared headed to victory with 67.44 percent of the vote after unofficial vote tallies. The measure requires approval by 66.67 percent of the voters to take effect.
In West Hollywood, incumbents John Heilman and John Duran were re-elected to the City Council. Heilman was the top vote-getter among 10 candidates, with 2,252, followed by Duran with 1,929.
Cynthia Blatt and Steve Martin finished deadlocked for third place with 1,532 votes each. No other candidate received more than 500 votes.
In Los Angeles City Council races, Mitch O’Farrell was re-elected to a second term in the 13th District, which includes Echo Park, Silver Lake and part of Hollywood. O’Farrell received 60.38 percent of the vote to defeat Sylvie Shain, a housing rights activist who received 13.87 percent of the vote.
Activist and organizer Jessica Salans was third with 2,387 votes.
In the vote for Los Angeles Unified School District, board President Steve Zimmer will face a May 16 runoff election against Nick Melvoin in District 6. Zimmer received 47.49 percent of the vote. Melvoin received 31.22 percent.
Turnout was expected to be low for and it was. Unofficial figures released by the county Registrar of Voters put the turnout at 11.29 percent.