ORINDA -- With all but a handful of ballots counted, the results of close races for City Council and school board appear settled -- and unchanged from election night.
Sue Severson will return for a second term on the City Council after narrowly fending off challenger Scott Zeller. Amy Worth was also re-elected.
Current Planning Commission Chairman Dean Orr will also join the council, replacing incumbent Mayor Tom McCormick, who was defeated in his re-election bid.
Meanwhile, Julie Rossiter, Christopher Severson -- Sue's son -- and Tyson Krumholz will all join the Orinda Union School District governing board as newcomers following an election in which no incumbents ran.
While most other Lamorinda races were settled on election night, those in Orinda were too close to call. That left some candidates in limbo while the county elections office counted tens of thousands of mail ballots returned on or just before Election Day.
What remained was substantial. By Monday, the number of votes cast in both Orinda races had doubled since election night.
The elections office is still counting about 15,000 ballots, or about 4 percent of the total cast countywide, including about 11,000 provisional ballots.
The closest race was for Orinda City Council, where after election night a scant 59 votes separated Sue Severson and Zeller. That lead grew to nearly 500 votes by Monday as the remaining mail ballots were counted.
Coming out on the losing end of the close race was McCormick, who said he was "disappointed in the results, but that's the way it works."
McCormick, first elected in 2006, said a number of people told him the ethics complaint filed against him was a factor in their vote. The state Fair Political Practices Committee declined to investigate the complaint.
The Orinda school board election was also close.
Krumholz led Bekki Van Voorhis-Gilbert by 120 votes after election night. That lead grew to 159 by Monday.
Van Voorhis-Gilbert said she is happy the election is over but disappointed in the negative tone it took near the end.
"I will of course support the new board members and hope that they are willing to be responsive to the community and teachers, and am excited about a new board, to see what will happen when we've got three new people sitting there," she said.
Two of those new people said they are looking forward to getting started.
"I'm excited to be moving on to the actual work of being on the board and I want to just concentrate on school budget issues, and technology and really just making sure we're moving ahead in those areas and utilizing our resources to the best of our abilities," said Rossiter.
"The district has been very high -erforming and we hope to continue that and add some maybe some increased communication and understanding about "... how information is relayed and gathered," Christopher Severson said.
Contact Jonathan Morales as 925-943-8048. Read the Lamorinda Sun blog at www.ibabuzz.com/lamorindasun.
Orinda Election results
*Amy Worth (i) 25.5%
*Dean Orr 20.2%
*Sue Severson (i) 20.2%
Scott Zeller 17.8%
Tom McCormick (i) 16%
*Julie Rossiter 22.6%
*C. Severson 20.8%
*Tyson Krumholz 20%
B. Van Voorhis-Gilbert 19.1%
Sarah Butler 17.3%
Source: Contra Costa County elections office