For the first time in recent memory, the race for the Goleta Water District Board of Directors — serving 85,000 customers west of Santa Barbara — will be a contested one. Bob Geis, the county’s former auditor-controller who stepped down after 25 years in March, is challenging one of the three incumbents up for reelection in November, including Lauren Hanson, Rick Merrifield, and Bill Rosen. Geis said he is not critical of the current board but that his background could help their long-term planning. Jean Blois, a former director of the district and former longtime Goleta mayor, said she is seriously thinking about running but has not yet filed papers. She has until Friday to do so.


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