NEWARK — Measure L, the city's proposed utility users tax, has been defeated by 10 votes.
The tally released this afternoon shows that 2,354 residents voted for the measure, but another 2,364 voted against the tax, which would have added a 3.9 percent charge to almost all utility bills in the city.
All the ballots have been counted, but the election will not be certified until later this month, after officials conduct a normal 1 percent audit of all ballots, said Guy Ashley, a spokesman for the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.
City Councilman Alan Nagy, who was re-elected on Tuesday, said the result of measure's rejection by voters will be a loss of jobs.
"The city is going to lose a lot of good people because of this," he said. "It's really sad."
Dean Lewis, a member of the group opposing the measure, was nearly speechless when he saw the results.
"It's very apparent the city is divided on this; it's really incredible," Lewis said.
Lewis and Nagy both said close races like these show the importance of every vote.
Reach Ben Aguirre Jr. at 510-353-7011. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/benaguirrejr