Following a low-turnout election, three new city council members are poised to take office.
On Tuesday, voters selected Helene Schneider, Das Williams and Brian Barnwell from a field of nine candidates for the Santa Barbara City Council. Schneider came in first with 17 percent of the votes, Williams had 16 percent and Barnwell had 15.7 percent. Incumbent candidate Babatunde Folayemi came in fourth with 13.8 percent of the votes. Only 20,483 of Santa Barbara’s 59,408 registered voters cast their votes Tuesday, a turnout of 34.48 percent.
“We’re ready to forge a new vision for the city,” Schneider said. “This will be a diverse council. Das and Brian are vibrant and strong, and I’m looking forward to working with both of them.”
Williams said his goal as city council member is to make Santa Barbara more environmentally sound.
“In the short term, I want to make some headway on the water quality. I’m a surfer, so this is a very personal issue to me,” Williams said. “I also want to work on the regional rail authority in the long term so we have more transportation solutions and accelerated bus service to more parts of the region.”
At her victory party Tuesday night, Schneider said her campaign began one year ago.
“This process has been interesting, challenging and weird, but we did it,” she said.
Also elected Tuesday were Louis Panizzon and Paul Ekstrom for the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District and Tom Menna and Joseph Carastro for the Embarcadero Municipal Improvement District. Measure Q2003, a parcel tax to benefit the Hope School District, failed. The measure needed two-thirds approval to pass and only received 60.66 percent of the votes.