Former city council member Helene Schneider was the big winner in Tuesday’s election and will serve as Santa Barbara’s newest mayor.
The final ballots of the city-wide election were tallied by 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, with Schneider garnering 10,254 votes, or 44.8 percent of the total vote. Santa Barbara City Councilmember Dale Francisco came in second place with a total of 7,602 votes.
Schneider has served as a Santa Barbara City councilmember since November 2003.
Santa Barbara residents also voted against Measure B, which had only 46.7 percent on the vote in favor. If passed, the measure would have restricted building heights within the city to 45 feet.
This year was the city’s first ever vote-by-mail election. City residents were mailed their ballots in early October and had until Nov. 3 to return them to city officials.
The election encountered a few problems after several apartment residents reported never receiving their ballots. Current mayor Marty Blum sent an e-mail alert to city registered voters, informing them that their ballots might have been mixed up with junk mail.
Despite the setback, the election received a considerable turnout, with 49 percent of the 46,718 registered voters sending in their ballots