Goleta Mayor Roger Aceves officially announced on Tuesday his candidacy for Santa Barbara County supervisor. A press conference was held at Goleta Beach.
Aceves had the following remarks:
“Thank you all for attending today's event. I'd specifically like to thank members of Friends of Goleta Beach for attending and supporting our efforts, as well as the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriffs Association who has just given me their endorsement.
“I'm Roger Aceves, and if you haven’t guessed by now, I'm running for county supervisor.
“As a lifetime resident, I'm proud to call Goleta and Santa Barbara my home. I’ve served as a Goleta council member and am currently mayor. I chose to make Goleta my home many years ago and, with my wife, Debby, supported my son, Tim, through local elementary and high schools in what is now the City of Goleta. I was a law enforcement officer for the City of Santa Barbara for almost 30 years, served as El Presidente for Fiesta and was a gubernatorial appointee to the board of Earl Warren Showgrounds.
“I know and understand the Second District because of the opportunity and trust that so many have given me. Although some would make light of my careful decision-making as to whether to enter this race, I want you know that I don’t take the public’s trust lightly. I have been careful and deliberate because that is the kind of leader I am. I seek opinions, even if they are not necessarily my own, so I am sure I am not missing anything. I study the issues and want to hear all sides — because that is the only way I know how to represent the community from which I live.
“We are standing here at Goleta Beach — kind of accidentally-on-purpose. I really want to send a message: I believe in preserving open spaces and protecting the environment, and I also want to make sure an open, transparent county government works for the people, not the other way around. Hundreds of people use this park every day to walk along the beach, let their kids play on the playground, take a walk on the pier or even take just a couple-minute break from their day to look out toward Surfer’s Point. Yet, no one has really taken the time to explain what the proposal to pretty much close Goleta Beach to the public really means.
“Euphemisms like 'managed retreat' have been used that few understand, public hearings have been brushed aside and our present Second District supervisor has been coy about where she stands — even though she represents this beach and many of the families that use it every day. Don’t get me wrong, I want to protect and preserve our coast, but we need to also include and consider the opinions of those that decisions like this would impact most.
“Many of us take it for granted but not everyone knows that the City of Goleta itself is primarily in the Second District, unlike decades past. As Goleta’s mayor, I see much of the sales tax revenue our small, medium and large businesses generate go to the County of Santa Barbara rather than back into the community from which it was generated.
“Another euphemism, 'revenue neutrality,' is something our current supervisor has refused to address, discuss or really even acknowledge — even though the bulk of the people she represents are affected by the policy and will see little of this tax money spent in the city in which they live. As mayor of Goleta, I’ve asked several times — our current supervisor won’t sit at the table and talk about what we can do to make a more equal policy.
“The unincorporated area of the Second District, affectionately know as Noleta, needs better representation as well. Noleta needs a land use management plan, an increased law and code enforcement presence and simply a county government that will take responsibility for taking care of their needs as they do not belong to a city of their own.
“The City of Santa Barbara, of course, is also in the Second District and deserves as much attention as Goleta and Noleta. Land use planning, law enforcement, parks and recreation and so much more are areas where I’d be happy to work with Santa Barbara City Council to address.
“I was born in Santa Barbara and graduated from Santa Barbara High School, I live in Goleta and am proud to serve as its mayor. I live in the Second District and would like to serve as your supervisor.”