GOLD BEACH The public safety levy proposed by Sheriff Kent Owens was defeated Tuesday 4,394 votes to 3,582.

The 804-vote margin of defeat was almost identical to Owens previous levy, which was defeated by 812 votes in September 1999.

Im disappointed it didnt pass, as I was before, said Owens late Tuesday night.

We reduced the number of deputies, the costs, he said, and people turned us down a second time. I really dont know what to make of it.

The people have spoken twice, and well have to do the best we can with what weve got. At least people did turn out to vote, and I appreciate that.

Owens said hes heard rumors that someone might start a drive to annex Harbor to Brookings if the levy failed.

He didnt know if that was true or not, but said the annexation of Harbor still wouldnt address the needs of the rest of the county.

Voter turnout was 58.6 percent, with 7,978 ballots cast out of 13,609 registered voters.

That was up slightly from the 1999 election, when 7,783 ballots were cast out of 13,999 registered voters for a turnout of 55.6 percent.

The ratio of defeat in the two levy elections was almost identical.

No votes garnered 55.1 percent in Tuesdays election, against 44.9 percent yes.

In 1999, the ratio was 55.3 percent no to 44.7 percent yes.

The vote in the two elections was also remarkably similar within precincts.

As in 1999, this years law levy won in the Harbor, Cape Ferrelo, and Winchuck and Chetco rivers precincts.

It was defeated in all the north and central county precincts. It passed in only one Brookings district.