Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, November 21 , 2018, 8:41 am | Mostly Cloudy 60º


Santa Maria Will Accept Applications for Council Vacancy

The open seat on the Santa Maria City Council will be filled via an application process — assuming that council members can overcome a deadlock and agree on an applicant.

The City Manager’s Office planned to send out a press release Wednesday calling for those interested in filling the remaining two years of Mayor Alice Patino’s four-year term to fill out applications to be returned by next Tuesday.

Council members voted 3-1 during Tuesday night’s meeting in favor of the process, with Patino dissenting, according to City Manager Rick Haydon.

City Councilman Bob Orach caved from a previous unmovable stance he shared with Patino, which was to fill the seat by appointing Etta Waterfield, who narrowly lost her election bid for the council as the third-highest vote-getter.

The council has been deadlocked on the issue since new members were sworn in two months ago, although all seem to agree a costly special election shouldn’t be an option.

Council members Terri Zuniga and Jack Boysen have consistently voiced support in an application process, as does the City Manager’s Office.

As a result of Tuesday’s vote, the city is advertising the vacant fifth seat for any city resident and registered voter of at least age 18.

Applicants to the post, which pays $1,050 per month, must include a letter of interest of no more than 400 words explaining reasons for applying, prior government experience, and past or current involvement in community organizations.

Application questionnaires can be picked up from the City Clerk’s Office at 110 East Cook St., Room 3. They must be returned to that location by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

At the Feb. 19 council meeting, each applicant will be allowed to give a five-minute oral presentation during open session, at which time council members can ask questions and make an appointment.

Haydon said although that meeting will be past the Feb. 16 deadline, which puts the council in violation of the 60-day government rule that states an appointment or special election must take place, he doesn’t consider it an actual deviance because Feb. 16 is a Saturday and the Monday before the meeting is President’s Day.

“We feel that we’re still in the spirit of the government code,” he told Noozhawk.

If the council again deadlocks and continues the matter, they will be in violation of the rule, and any interested person could force them to call a special election.

Questions regarding applications can be directed to Chief Deputy City Clerk Rhonda Garietz at 805.925.0951 ext. 307.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >