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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 4:02 pm | Fair 64º


Goleta Voters Will Decide On Mayoral Election Process, 2 City Council Seats

Five candidates are vying for two seats in the Goleta City Council race

The five candidates running for Goleta City Council include, from left: Dave Haws, Stuart Kasdin, Kyle Richards, Aaron Swaney and Tony Vallejo. Click to view larger
The five candidates running for Goleta City Council include, from left: Dave Haws, Stuart Kasdin, Kyle Richards, Aaron Swaney and Tony Vallejo.  (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk file photo)

Registered Goleta voters will soon decide how the city elects its mayor, and choose two city council members in the first contested election since 2010. 

Measure C asks voters if they want to elect a mayor separately, instead of the position rotating among elected council members each year. 

If the measure passes, the first mayoral vote will take place in 2018.

Residents are also asked to decide if the mayor's term should be a two-year or four-year period. 

Goleta has five people running for the two seats on the City Council currently represented by Mayor Jim Farr and Councilman Tony Vallejo.

Farr has decided not to run again and Vallejo is running for re-election.

The candidates include​ VallejoStuart Kasdin, Kyle Richards, Dave Haws and Aaron Swaney.

Vallejo, a certified public accountant and former Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce board member, was appointed to fill a vacancy on the City Council in 2014.

He voted to put Measure C on the ballot and has supported development projects such as the Village at Los Carneros, which will provide affordable residential development for low-income families.

While the Goleta Valley Water District has control over the city's water, Vallejo wants to pursue efficient technologies in the water system and provide incentives to businesses and residents to do more with less, according to his campaign site. He supports the preservation of the Bishop Ranch and the Gaviota Coast and terminating the Ellwood Onshore Facility.

Elected and appointed officials who support Vallejo include Farr and council members Michael Bennett and Roger Aceves.

Local organizations that support Vallejo include the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and Santa Barbara Association of Realtors.

Kasdin is a public policy consultant who worked 11 years in the White House Office of Management and Budget.

He said four areas he would champion if elected are: a sustainable growth rate, rational water policies under Goleta’s control, promoting fiscally responsible leadership and increasing public involvement in city government.

Kasdin’s supporters include Democratic Party of Santa Barbara County, Friends and Neighbors of Goleta and the Sierra Club. State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Councilwoman Paula​ Perotte and Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf are community leaders who endorse him.

Richards, a city Parks and Recreation commissioner and UC Santa Barbara policy analyst, said he is committed to protecting the vision of Goleta as described in the General Plan, which lays out its goals for urban growth.

He also wants improvements to Old Town’s sidewalks, landscaping, and bike accessibility.

Richards is endorsed by multiple local organizations such as the Planned Parenthood Central Coast Action Fund, Santa Barbara Democratic Party, Sierra Club, CAUSE Action Fund and Tri-Counties Central Labor Council.

His list of support from elected officials includes Goleta council members Perotte and Michael Bennett, State Assemblyman Das Williams and Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider.​

Haws, a Goleta native, graduated California State University, Northridge in 2001 and holds a bachelor's degree in radio, television and film.

He said his priority, if elected, would be to end the Revenue Neutrality Agreement with the County of Santa Barbara.

“Our contract with the county runs in perpetuity,” Haws said. “In good faith, I would attempt to negotiate one last time. I feel this issue is larger than our problems with development because the development will eventually stop. Unless this issue is addressed, it will never go away.”

Businessman and Army veteran Swaney wants to see more sustainable policies undertaken to control the pace of growth seen in Goleta, he said.

“You will find that I make decisions based on the best outcomes that can be achieved for all of us and not just to satisfy any particular group or their agenda,” Swaney said.

Click here for more information about the November election in Goleta and here to see candidate campaign donation information. 

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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