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Local News

For Candidate Iya Falcone, the Time Is Right for a Return to City Council

Disqualified in the 2009 mayoral race, she stepped away from politics and now feels a sense of renewed energy and focus

[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series of profiles of the 10 candidates running for three Santa Barbara City Council seats in the Nov. 8 election.]

                              |  2011 Election Coverage |  Complete Series Index  |

Former Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Iya Falcone is back running for office after being disqualified in her attempt to be mayor when she failed to collect enough signatures in 2009.

“When I made a mistake as novice-like as that — and I’m no newbie — I found out exactly how tired I was,” she said.

She lost her husband of 27 years, Vince, in 2008 and “just unplugged” for two years after her term expired. Now, she has “re-emerged” and considered going back to each of her past professions, which include crisis counselor, mediator and attorney, but decided to pursue the City Council again.

“The big question was whether I wanted to put my life, which is now private, back in the fishbowl,” she said, referring mostly to her partner. “He is my new best friend. I got lucky; I get it twice.”

She said her priorities are the same — public safety, infrastructure and the community’s young people — but she pledges a fresh reserve of energy and spunk.

“I treated council as a full-time job, working 60 hours a week, and it’s my intention to do that again,” Falcone said.

She wants to add police officers and work on making law enforcement more accessible to the community.

“We need to get back to the human side of policing,” Falcone said.

She said a piece of that is infrastructure such as roads, sidewalks, sewer, water and lighting, which helps residents live and travel safely.

Educating and encouraging the community’s youth is a critical part in the effort to combat gang participation, according to Falcone. A college education is usually the goal, but realistically, students need to learn skills so a gang life isn’t the alternative if college doesn’t happen. She added that community policing, coordination with local schools and a trade school would help that effort.

Falcone said her experience would be invaluable in city budgeting and building relationships among jurisdictions for larger regional issues. Her experience as an attorney and mediator has trained her to reserve making a decision until all of the information is considered, she said, but then she has no problem fighting for what she believes in.

“I’m diplomatic until I get pissed off, then I’m pretty direct,” she said with a laugh. “I have a long fuse, though. Loss really puts your life into perspective. I can be passionate and determined and forceful without being hysterical — not that I ever was.”

Her endorsements show a broad base of support, and she continues to campaign and fundraise heavily as the election nears.

“You can raise all the money, put up signs and attend forums, but at the end of the day, it’s up to voters,” Falcone said. “Pledging a vote is the most important.”

                              |  2011 Election Coverage |  Complete Series Index  |

Additional Resources

» Click here for Iya Falcone’s campaign Web site.

» Click here for more information on the city of Santa Barbara’s Nov. 8 election.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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