Elections

Pismo Beach: Higginbotham leading race for mayor

Shelly Higginbotham, left, at a post election party with current Pismo Beach mayor Mary Ann Reiss.
Shelly Higginbotham, left, at a post election party with current Pismo Beach mayor Mary Ann Reiss.

With Shelly Higginbotham leading early returns in the race for Pismo Beach mayor, the makeup of the five-member council could stay the same as it was before Election Day — with a new person wielding the gavel.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” Higginbotham said.

Voters were leaning toward electing Higginbotham — who was on the City Council for six years — over Rodger Gillespie.

Mayor Mary Ann Reiss and Councilman Kris Vardas ran unopposed for council seats.

The council will address issues including bluff erosion, improvements to sidewalks and other infrastructure.

They’ll also be tasked with deciding what to do about pigeons that flock to the Pismo Beach Pier. They have been blamed for a large share of the city’s water-quality problems in the immediate ocean and beach.

As mayor, Higginbotham has said, she’d also like to beautify some of the city’s entrances and prepare residents in the Pismo Heights area for a project to replace water lines in the spring.

Staff writer Stacy Daniel contributed to this report.

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