Wednesday, September 19 , 2018, 6:15 pm | Fair 69º

 
 
 
 

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Santa Maria, Lompoc Candidates Filing For First District-Based Elections

One week into the filing period for Santa Maria first district-based election, newcomers and incumbents have already pulled papers to seek seats on the City Council.

The filing period for all November city council races opened July 16 and runs through Aug. 10. If an incumbent does not seek re-election, the filing period for that race is extended to Aug. 15.

Santa Maria seats now filled by Councilman Jack Boysen and Councilwoman Etta Waterfield are up for grabs this fall. However, Boysen has said he will not seek a third term. 

While previous candidates were elected at large, council members now will be picked by voters in four segments of Santa Maria, with the first two districts on the Nov. 6 ballot.

For District 3, the southwest section of the city and Boysen’s neighborhood, four people have expressed interest in the seat, Deputy City Clerk Rhonda Garietz said.

They include local dermatologist and current councilman Dr. Michael Moats, former planning commissioner and defense attorney Adrian Andrade, Gloria Soto from Planned Parenthood California Center Coast, and Raymond Acosta, who unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Santa Maria-Bonita School District Board in 2016.

The four-year term Moats currently holds doesn’t expire until 2020 so he will remain on the panel despite the outcome of the Nov. 6 election. If he wins the District 3 seat this fall, the council would have to pick his replacement or hold a special election. 

For District 4, which spans a skinny strip along the eastern edge of the city, Waterfield announced her plans to seek re-election and has picked up paperwork. An attorney, Rafael Gutierrez, also pulled paperwork to seek the District 4 seat.

Elsewhere around the northern Santa Barbara County:

Lompoc

For Lompoc City Council, the job of mayor and two council seats are up for grabs in the fall when the voters will hold their first district-based election.

Maps of Lompoc’s new voting districts can be viewed by clicking here.

Citing health and family concerns, Mayor Bob Lingl told Noozhawk he has decided against running for re-election after 10 years on the council. 

Council members Jim Mosby and Jenelle Osborne have expressed interest in seeking the job. Their council terms don’t expire until 2020 so an unsuccessful mayoral bid would leave one or both still on the council. 

Lompoc has chosen to keep voting for mayor as an at-large position, but the four council seats will switch to district-based voting with two on the ballot this year.

Councilman Dirk Starbuck’s seat, for the newly created District 3, has at least one potential challenger in perennial candidate Robert Cuthbert, expressing an interest in the job.

Starbuck also confirmed to Noozhawk that he intends to seek re-election.

Councilman Victor Vega reportedly intends to seek another term for what will be the District 2 seat.

Lompoc City Clerk Stacey Haddon said the city does not keep track of the names of people who pull paperwork and that no one had returned completed forms as of Tuesday.

Buellton

This fall, the Buellton City Council is in the unique position of having all have five slots up for grabs this fall due to efforts to tweak its voting cycle and three resignations in 2017 by members who moved.

After voters agreed to directly elect a mayor to serve two-year stints, the council voted to tweak the cycle one time so future elections involve picking a mayor and two council members. 

So far, only incumbent Holly Sierra has picked up papers for the job of mayor, a two-year stint.

Three council member seats — four-year terms with the lowest vote-getter serving a two-year term, along with a separate two-year term — will be on the ballot.

For the four-year terms, three incumbents Dave King, Art Mercado and Ed Andrisek have pulled paperwork along with John Dorwin and Judith Dale.

Two people, Elysia Lewis and Megan DeCicco, have expressed interest in the two-year term created by Foster Rief’s resignation. 

None have returned paperwork or been qualified for the ballot as of Tuesday, City Clerk Linda Reid said. 

Solvang 

In the city of Solvang, the two-year term for mayor expires this year with incumbent Jim Richardson and Councilman Ryan Toussaint picking up paperwork to run for the role.

The 2018 filing cycle includes a pair of four-year terms held by incumbents Joan Jamieson and Neill Zimmerman along with a two-year term of appointed incumbent Karen Waite, who filled the vacancy created by the resignation of Hans Duus.

For City Council, those picking up paperwork are Waite and Jamieson plus Darryl Scheck, Daniel Johnson, Robert Clarke and Niels Djernaes, City Manager Brad Vidro said.

Guadalupe 

The filing period has opened for the city of Guadalupe’s mayor job, a two-year term now filled by John Lizalde, and  terms held by incumbents Virginia Ponce and Ariston Julian.

As of Tuesday, only one person, Manuel Estorga, had picked up paperwork.

There are also City Council seats in Goleta and Carpinteria on the November ballot.

Both cities have also decided to move to district-based elections, and Goleta will hold its first-ever mayor's election, rather than making it a rotating role among elected council members. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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