The races for a seat on the Pacifica City Council remain razor-close this morning, but semi-official results reported late Tuesday night show council veteran Sue Vaterlaus leading in District 1 with 52 percent of the vote and Tygarjus Twyrls Bigstyck leading by a similar margin in District 4.
Both races are separated by about fewer than 110 votes. Neither is final. San Mateo County elections officials said the last count available did not include mailed ballots that arrived on or after Oct. 29. The next update is not expected until 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
For the first time, Pacificans voted by district. Mayor Deirdre Martin, a supporter of environmental causes and social justice issues, decided not to run for re-election. That opened up a seat in District 4
Bigstyck is a member of the Planning Commission, where he has frequently been an advocate for more housing, including affordable housing. He serves as vice president for the Pacifica Resource Center board and was a member of the city’s rent advisory task force. A lifelong Pacifican, he’d like to get the sea wall built, fix roads and attract businesses.
“I am honored to be allowed to serve this community, listen to every voice, and strike a balance that will enhance the quality of life for all of Pacifica,” Bigstyck said before the count.
His closest challenger is Mike Cohen. He ran for office after opposing overnight RV parking, a ban that was recently passed. He seeks fire breaks cleared and a plan to reopen small businesses after Covid-19.
Vaterlaus, the incumbent in District 1, is a Realtor who has served on many city committees including the Planning Commission and the Economic Development Committee. She took the lead for her fellow councilmembers to adopt the city ordinance to ban RV overnight parking. She is also outspoken on improving infrastructure and for more housing, including affordable housing, as a long-term goal.
“For the city of Pacifica, I would love to see a new sea wall built for the protection of our coast, infrastructure, homes and businesses. I would like to see us finish our Local Coastal Plan, Sharp Park Specific Plan and the General Plan,” she said. “I have always said that I want Pacifica to be a destination so that people stop here, play here, stay here and shop here.”
Mayra Espinosa is not far behind. She is also a Realtor and a Skyline College instructor. She said she wants to be the voice of District 1 on City Council to bring balance, trust, transparency, fairness and more resources to the neighborhood. She would advocate for Covid-19 testing.