Last December, Santa Barbara City Councilman Randy Rowse had to convince six council members that he deserved to be appointed to the position, but by running in this November’s election, he’ll have to persuade thousands more that he deserves to keep the seat.
Rowse formally announced his candidacy Thursday evening at De la Guerra Plaza in front of supporters and fellow council members.
In his business life as owner of the Paradise Café, he’s used to being the one on whom the responsibility falls and who everyone comes to with feedback — good or bad.
In government, Rowse said, the City Council is where the buck really stops, and the seven members are responsible for the performance of all services and departments.
Rowse was appointed to a one-year term to fill the vacancy left by Das Williams after he was appointed to the Assembly, and Councilman Frank Hotchkiss had nothing but praise for the newest member, saying Rowse approached his decisions with a valuable practicality.
Rowse’s message on Thursday was simple: “Keep the city safe, keep the city clean and don’t spend all the money. That’s it, that’s my platform,” he said.
Funds for cultural and recreational services are available only if bed and sales tax revenues are healthy, which he said connects back to keeping Santa Barbara a safe, clean city.
Rowse said people have told him they don’t feel safe coming downtown or vising the Milpas Street corridor, and he has supported hiring more police officers to “reverse a decade-long trend” of dwindling numbers.
Acknowledging the hefty price of sworn officers, Rowse said the lack of uniforms on the street has proven even more expensive in the big picture.
Three seats are open in the election. Joining Rowse as candidates are Councilwoman Michael Self — who was elected to serve the remaining two years of Mayor Helene Schneider’s second council term — and former Councilwoman Iya Falcone, Safe Parking Program coordinator Nancy Kapp, Planning Commissioner Deborah Schwartz and Cathy Murillo, KCSB-FM radio station’s news and public affairs director.