SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The next Santa Barbara Mayor will be chosen in November and already two well known residents, both with political experience, are in the race.
This former Mayor and Councilmember Hal Conklin announced his plans to fill out paperwork in July when the contest officially gets underway.
Current City Councilmember Cathy Murrillo is already in and rounding up support from many areas both inside the city and in regional circles.
Conklin last served in 1995 when he stepped down in a dispute over being Mayor after four terms on the council and a new term limit rule in place. 13 months after serving as Mayor and court rulings against him, Conklin left the office and Mayor Pro Tem Harriet Miller took over.
Today in his comeback bid Conklin said, "leadership really requires having some knowledge of what is to come and what is, but also what has been before."
He said one of his successes comes from including the public in major decisions and not letting it all end up on the desks of city leaders. He recalled the shopping areas downtown that came about in the early 1990's. "It took a lot of public participation. In the end it was the people's decisions that built what you see in Santa Barbara, not City Hall."
Also in the race, current Santa Barbara City Councilmember Cathy Murrillo.
She wants to make sure local businesses can thrive at a time when vacancy signs are up on several downtown blocks. "I'm promoting a buy local, hire local program because sales tax goes elsewhere when we buy on line."
Outside of downtown, "I've worked to protect the environment and the character of our neighborhoods and dealing with a lot of difficult problems like the drought and homelessness. I am dedicated to bringing strong responsive energetic leaders as the Mayor ," said Murrillo.
The current Mayor Helene Schneider is in her final year and will be leaving in January, due to term limits.