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The roiling political drama at the Peninsula Community Planning Board began innocently enough just as spring was beginning to wake.

Local writer Cal Jones was there.

He would later write:

At approximately 3:00pm on the second day of Spring, people gathered in the conference room on the twelve floor at the City Administration Building where a coterie of assistant city clerks proceeded to count the votes. There were four clerks in all: three counting and double counting. One would kibbutz back and forth and finally announce the progress at 100 ballots, then again at 200 ballots, and finally the total vote at 332 ballots.

Among the observers were several Board members, four at first (Cynthia, Maggie, Mignon, and Edwina). Shortly after, I arrived; then gradually the G guys showed: Geoff first, then Gregg. A quorum.

In all, 334 votes were cast, but two were tossed because of overvoting.

The vote was a coup of sorts: In an election where the top five vote-getters would earn a spot on the board, sitting Chairwoman Cynthia Conger finished sixth. She missed fifth place by a vote.

But, in the days following the election, allegations of ineligibility and manipulation would grip the Peninsula Community Planning Board. The uproar would cast doubts on the vote and bring attention to a mysterious bylaw. It would spur a movement to keep Conger, the long-time local activist, on the board and have another new board member thrown out.

Stay tuned for more. Next up: The Bylaw That Never Was.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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