To a crowd of dozens at Goleta Beach Park on a foggy Tuesday morning, Goleta Mayor Roger Aceves officially announced his much-anticipated candidacy for 2nd District County Supervisor.
“I’ve been talking about this for a while,” Aceves said. “But something like this you don’t take lightly.” A former longstanding police officer, two-term Goleta city councilmember, and the city’s current mayor, Aceves was endorsed by the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association for the county position.
The beach park location for his announcement was chosen in part because Aceves supports “Friends of Goleta Beach Park,” a group committed to protecting and saving the park. Recent public debate has intensified about removing the rock revetment that keeps the park — which attracts 1.5 million visitors every year — from eroding. Avid park-goers also fear future access to the space, which includes a children’s play structure, park restrooms, and parking lots, are in jeopardy as sea levels rise in future decades.
Referring to the ongoing discussion, Aceves said, “If you can’t find eco-friendly alternatives, then the revetment stays, because obviously it’s working.” The issue will return to the Board of Supervisors in the fall.
Aceves highlighted other issues for the 2nd District, which included committing to public safety and ensuring Goleta sales tax revenue returns directly back to the community.
His son Tim Aceves told the crowd, “I think when we hear the word politics, it’s inherently polarizing.” But, he added, “He’s going to be able to bring a fresh and moderate view to a very polarized Board of Supervisors.”
Aceves is challenging current Supervisor Janet Wolf — a decision that prompted one audience member to ask: “What do you say to those people who blindly support Janet Wolf?”
“You know,” Aceves responded, “we are two different people with two different leadership styles. And I think the public needs to spend time and see how we’ve operated in policy making, and then make the decision for themselves.” He added that Wolf doesn’t understand the changed parameters of the 2nd District.
“She thinks she still represents just the eastern portion of Goleta,”Aceves said. In fact, he said, the 2nd District starts at Shoreline Park and stretches all the way to Winchester Canon. “Eighty percent of our city now is in the 2nd District. That’s why it’s critical that we have a member of the Board of Supervisors who’s going to represent the City of Goleta at that level because we need a partner.”