Grover Beach’s first popularly elected mayor will once again return to the city’s helm.
John Shoals — who served on the council from 2002-12, eight of those years as mayor — will return to city leadership after beating incumbent mayoral candidate Debbie Peterson.
With five precincts reporting, Shoals received 55.3 percent of the vote while incumbent Peterson received 43.9 percent. Shoals could not be reached for comment.
This will mark Shoals’ fifth non-consecutive term as mayor. Of his four previous stints, two were served when the mayor's seat was rotated annually among council members, before the city switched to a directly elected mayor with a two-year term.
Shoals was termed out in 2012 because city regulations prohibited a representative from holding the seat for more than two consecutive terms.
But now he will return to the position to see projects including the Grover Beach Lodge and Conference Center to fruition.
As mayor, Shoals will lead a city that’s still recovering from the recession, play a role in efforts to attract more business to town and help determine how to provide services for its homeless population.
Shoals has also been a supporter of Measure K, a $48 million bond for street rehabilitation that narrowly missed the two-thirds majority needed to pass with 66.1 percent of votes cast in its favor as of 11 p.m.
Grover Beach City Manager Bob Perrault said Tuesday it would be disappointing for the measure to fail at that close a margin.
“If it doesn’t pass, it means the city won’t have the funding it needs to deal with the current road situation,” Perrault said.
Two candidates also ran unopposed for two council seats: Barbara Nicolls and Mariam Shah.