Pacific Grove got a new mayor when the city’s current councilman Bill Peake captured 42 percent of the nearly 5,000 votes counted as of early Wednesday morning, the day after the Nov. 6 election
He outpaced Pacific Grove Councilman Rudy Fischer (33 percent) and Dionne Ybarra (25 percent).
Peake, 67, who has served on the PG City council since 2014 and chose to skip a second council term in favor of a run for the mayoral role, said he was relieved the campaigning was over.
The former engineering consultant for Chevron also served four years on the city’s recreation board and various other regional boards. He strongly endorsed Measure M to limit the city’s short-term rentals and was in favor for raising the transient occupancy tax.
“I’m very happy to be taking on a new role for the community,” said Peake, noting that the city council wins of Jenny McAdams, Amy Tomlinson and Joe Amelio would really change the council make-up going forward.
“We’re losing folks with a lot of years of experience and bringing in new people with very different backgrounds and viewpoints,” said Peake. “It’s going to take time for the new council to gel and for people to understand each other and figure out how we’re going to do good things for the city.”
Peake’s platform focused on supporting public safety agencies, ensuring the Pacific Grove’s financial stability, advocating for environmental protection and adding rental housing stock.
In terms of the environment, protecting the coastline is especially important to him and he hopes to help the city partner with more environmental groups.
He also believes Pacific Grove can increase rental and affordable housing with an inclusionary housing ordinance that encourages mixed-use buildings and gives variances to developers. He would also like to form a housing trust and use developer fees and transient occupancy taxes for developing affordable units.
As for fellow mayoral candidate Fischer, he said he gave the run his best effort. “None of the issues are that big. We live in one of the most beautiful places to live,” said Fischer, about his appreciation for residing in what’s known as “America’s Last Hometown.”
Three New Pacific Grove City Council Members
In the city council race, Amy Tomlinson (19 percent), Jenny McAdams (18 percent) and Joe Amelio (15 percent) were the top three vote getters among the seven candidates for the three available seats.
Tomlinson said she felt confident in all seven people running – that they’re all “really talented and that the city couldn’t go wrong with any of them.”
Still, she was more than pleased about her own win.
“I’m happy and excited,” Tomlinson said Tuesday night from an election event at the Monarch Pub and Restaurant in Pacific Grove.
The mood was also celebratory at The Wine Experience, on Cannery Row in Monterey, where McAdams’ gathered her community of supporters, friends and family.
“I’m feeling very grateful, proud, and exciting,” McAdams said. “It’s been the most amazing experience.”
McAdams was also celebrating that Measure M, the short-term rental bill, had also taken an early lead and noted her desire to start a renters assistance program.
“I want residents to feel supported and listened to,” she said.
Amelio, 65, who also gained a city council seat, grew up in New Monterey, worked as a police officer in Gilroy and then went on to be a business owner and work as a teacher, principal and superintendent in the Bay Area. He moved back to P.G. six years ago where he currently serves as vice chair of the city’s recreation board and on the board of directors for the Italian Heritage Society.