The two candidates running for the sixth district for Santa Barbara City College’s Board of Trustees have few things in common. Ethan Stone is retired. Jonathan Abboud is a recent UCSB graduate. Stone is a former business owner, served on the Hope District school board, and is an active volunteer. Abboud served as UCSB student body president and is currently involved in efforts to bring greater representation to Isla Vista. SBCC switched to district elections in 2010, and this is the first election for the District 6 seat, which represents Isla Vista and Hope Ranch.
Stone cited his financial background as beneficial for the Board of Trustees, especially if the $288 million facilities bond known as Measure S passes. Stone supports Measure S because he sees the need for facilities upgrades on campus, though he said he would have liked to see more information available earlier to justify such a large number. Abboud, on the other hand, has taken a neutral stance on the measure, citing lack of community input — from Isla Vista residents, for instance — as a key reason.
“I care about Isla Vista being represented accurately, and I have a passion for higher education,” Abboud said. If elected, Abboud said he would focus on improving student services, mental health, diversity on campus, as well as fighting sexual violence. Stone said his primary reason for running is to help all kids who desire higher education to have the opportunity. “My number one thing would be helping the underserved,” he said. “It wasn’t to be in politics.”
In terms of campaigning, Abboud takes the cake. He has been registering voters in Isla Vista. As of press time, close to 5,000 Isla Vista residents or UCSB students — who tend to move often and have to re-register — had registered to vote. He has also gone door-to-door throughout the district. Stone has not done much campaigning. “If through various sources the community decides they want me, I am happy to do it,” Stone said.
The two have not debated publicly, though they both were interviewed by the Democratic Party of Santa Barbara County. The Dems picked Abboud because they believed he would bring a fresh perspective and not be a “yes man.” Outgoing president of the Board of Trustees Lisa Macker endorsed Stone.