By Raiza Giorgi
The voters in Buellton decided to give incumbent Mayor Holly Sierra another term, according to the unofficial results from the November General Election.
Sierra, who retired from the U.S. Postal Service as the Buellton postmaster, faced two challengers, Councilman Ed Andrisek and Isaac Oltmans, a brand manager, in the race for a two-year term wielding the gavel. Sierra pulled a big lead, tallying 1,256 votes with Andrisek at 636 votes and Oltmans at 206 votes, according to Santa Barbara County Elections. This will also be Sierra’s last term as Buellton has term limits.
“I am so grateful to be given a final two years to work for residents of Buellton,” Sierra said to the Star. “We DO have a lot to accomplish. Caltrans and SBCAG are getting together with the city to present their ideas for Highway 246 safety in the next month or two. Creekside Village was approved for Avenue of Flags, and the Median 2 is almost done. Now we need to bring events like farmer’s market and car shows to the community. It’s a big work in progress.”
She added the city also has to set up districts after the census results come out.
“We will have District elections starting in 2022 and I want to help set it up,” Sierra said. “With the Land Use Circulation Element (LUCE) process starting we are finding that residents are most concerned with their quality of life. That means walking trails, upgraded parks and access to move around more (bikes, walking). There are so many wonderful things going on in our town, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it for a final two years.”
For City Council, two seats were open and incumbent John Sanchez filled one seat with 1,046 votes and newcomer Elysia Lewis was right behind him with 932 votes. Incumbent Art Mercado will sit this term out. Challenger Joseph Carter got 440 votes. Lewis is a public finance manager and is currently on the Buellton Union School District Board but her term expires just as she will take office for the Buellton council.
“I am humbled and honored people are putting confidence and trust in me,” Lewis said. “I look forward to orienting myself to council roles and hearing the needs of the residents of where they want us to take the city in the next four years.”