Eight people have already thrown their hats into the ring — and many more are expected — seeking an appointment to the Santa Barbara City Council to fill the vacancy that will be created when Councilmember Das Williams is sworn in next week as a member of the California Assembly. Of the eight, one — Gerry DeWitt — is a former councilmember; he cited his involvement in the city’s 1970s historic down-zoning. Another — John Jostes — is a member of the Planning Commission; he crafted the compromise language adopted by the Planning Commission for the new General Plan.
Al Pizano, a former gas company executive and a founding member of Latinos for Better Government, argued that without greater Latino representation, the council will be out of touch with the community it seeks to govern. Pizano ran for mayor before. Likewise, Cruzito Cruz ran for City Council two years ago. Real estate agent Chris Casebeer has been active in local athletic circles and has campaigned against domestic violence.
Also seeking the appointment are Willie Shaw, Audrey Addison Williams — who has spoken out forcefully on matters of homeless rights and responsibilities — and Andy Rosenberger, a County Fire division chief. Also expected to apply are planning commissioner and former mayor Sheila Lodge; Planning Commissioner Michael Jordan; former planning commissioner Bill Mahan; Loretta Redd, who ran for council before; Cathie McCammon of Allied Neighborhood Association; real estate broker John Thyne; and former council candidate David Pritchett, a member of the city’s Transportation and Circulation Committee.
While the city charter requires that the council fill the council vacancy within 30 days, it remains uncertain — given the 3-3 split on the council — if any candidate can garner the four votes needed to win the appointment. Deadline for applications is November 29. The first interviews are scheduled to take place December 7. The appointment, should one occur, is scheduled for December 14.