Voters in Rolling Hills headed to the polls Tuesday afternoon to vote in what is possibly the most significant municipal election in the past decade.
"This is the most exciting election Rolling Hills has had in the 25 years I've lived here," said longtime resident Bernice Rosenzweig.
Two seats are open on the Rolling Hills City Council, but only one incumbent—Thomas Heinsheimer, a 41-year member of the council—is running for re-election. The other three candidates are Jeff Pieper, a current planning commissioner; Deputy District Attorney Bea Dieringer; and businessman Spencer Karpf.
In addition to the city council race, two initiative measures—the first in the city's history—are on the ballot. Measure A would allow stables constructed before July 12, 2010 to be used for residential purposes with certain conditions, while Measure B would add more restrictions to the city's current view-protection ordinance.
Once passed, initiative measures can only be modified via another initiative, a point that Heinsheimer and Pieper have emphasized. They believe the initiative process usurps the authority and ties the and of the city council.
Both Karpf, who wrote Measure A, and Dieringer support the initiative process.
As of noon Tuesday, more than 150 residents had voted at Rolling Hills City Hall, the city's only polling place, according to poll worker Nancy Wildman.
Deputy city clerk Heidi Luce told Patch that more than 300 vote-by-mail ballots had been returned to city hall before Election Day.
The polls close at 8 p.m.