This year’s race for the three available seats on Isla Vista Recreation and Park District’s governing board will have implications for many of the activities that go down in the little college town on the bluffs.
Six candidates—Steven Efada, Katie Kasatkina, Leif Dreizler, Michael Podell, George “Boombox” Boulos, and Diane Conn—are running for the two four-year-term seats. Two other candidates—Omid Niroumandzadeh and Roger Lagerquist—are running for the two-year term seat.
(Conn is the only incumbent. Ken Warfield is not in the running for his seat, which still has two years to go on it; he has decided to run for a spot on the Goleta Water District Board. Niroumandzadeh is a semi-incumbent, having been appointed to fill, for two months, the seat vacated by graduate student Josh Cataldo. The seats not up for grabs in this election round are filled by Liz Buda and Bruce Murdock.)
This race gives voters a chance to vote directly for the people who manage the funding and grounds at all 24 parks in the little community. This week, The Independent spoke with a number of the candidates and got a sense of what they feel will be at stake during the race.
Conn, Kasatkina, and Niroumandzadeh will be running as one slate. Kasatkina identified active involvement and student awareness as key to their vision for the board and Isla Vista as a whole.
Efada, a UCSB student who has been a resident for a decade, considers Isla Vista his home. He said he has hopes of making “Isla Vista one again,” and has set most of his focus on parking regulations, park renovations, and bringing in more music and fairs to the many venues available.
Podell, also a UCSB student, voiced efforts to bring student art to the parks on a permanent and temporary basis. Michael told The Independent that his volunteer experience in the San Fernando Valley gives him a special insight into the bureaucratic processes of running parks and recreation.
Dreizler, another undergraduate at UCSB, said that at times some of the parks in Isla Vista are uninviting and need to be more accessible. He hopes to revamp Anisq’Oyo’ Park and focus on the Frisbee golf courses.
Conn is running to “carry on the projects that we have laid the foundations for.” Some of these projects include the skate park, a proposed community center, and a reconfiguration of Anisq’Oyo’ Park.
Lagerquist declined to comment. The Independent was unable to reach Niroumandzadeh and Boulos.