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Thursday, February 21 , 2019, 6:56 pm | Partly Cloudy 50º


Jim Farr Handed Gavel to Start Term as Mayor of Goleta

His rehabilitation continues after stroke suffered in August; Tony Vallejo voted mayor pro tempore

Jim Farr receives congratulations from Councilman Roger Aceves Tuesday night after being unanimously voted mayor of Goleta.
Jim Farr receives congratulations from Councilman Roger Aceves Tuesday night after being unanimously voted mayor of Goleta. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Sitting in a wheelchair behind the City Council dais Tuesday night, Goleta Councilman Jim Farr was unanimously appointed mayor and handed the gavel that he will wield for the next year.

Farr, who was elected to the council in 2012, suffered a stroke on Aug. 8 that resulted in paralysis on his left side, though he said his cognitive abilities were not affected.

After two months of rehabilitation, Farr returned to his council duties in October, and on Tuesday night, he was unanimously backed by the council for the job. 

Farr told Noozhawk that he is able to walk with a cane and use his left hand, and that his recovery is continuing.

“I’m very confident I’m going to get it all back,” he said.

Unanimous praise was issued for outgoing mayor Paula Perotte, who will serve out her tenure as a council member.

Councilman Tony Vallejo was voted to the position of mayor pro tempore on Tuesday night. 

Farr spoke to the audience, sharing that the condition that struck him down in August was a “calamity” in his life.

Recovery is ongoing, however.

“I’m not out of that yet, but I’m making progress,” he said, adding that watchers of the city meetings will be able to check in every two weeks and see how he’s doing.

“It has been a delight for me to be here, and even more of a delight to be chosen” as mayor, he said. 

Farr commended the residents of Goleta for their support as well as that of friends and family.

He also thanked his girlfriend, Christina Wilson, “who literally saved my life the first time.”

Farr said that Perotte kept him informed and visited him frequently while he was in rehabilitation.

“She’s given me a lot of support and for that I am grateful,” he said.

The other council members also issued their support for Farr in his new position.

“All of us are ready to help… All you need to do is make the call,” said Councilman Roger Aceves.

Before enjoying some celebratory cake, Farr said his priorities for the next year include looking at the civic center plans and reorganizing and beautifying Old Town.

Farr jokingly said he’d like to see the butterfly on the city’s logo replaced with a coiled rattlesnake and the words “Don’t tread on me” placed beneath.

When asked whether that statement was a jab at Santa Barbara County officials, Farr said that he had been joking, but admitted that the city's revenue-neutrality agreement with the county is something that needs to be renegotiated.

“We have to appeal their higher selves,” he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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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