Local Politics

Plan to fill Santa Barbara City Council seat will be discussed in January

Open seat created as Murillo becomes new Mayor

Santa Barbara City Council will decide in January how to fill the vacant seat when council member Cathy Murillo becomes mayor. (KEYT photo)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara City Council has a vacant seat to fill immediately.

It was created in the election on November 7 when council member Cathy Murillo successfully won the Mayor's race.

She takes over January 9, 2018 in a swearing in ceremony that is expected to fill the council chambers.  It ends the term of Helene Schneider who leaves after eight years.

The process to replace Murillo on the council can be by appointment or a special election.

The city charter has guidelines, but the issue remains in the hands of the new council which will include incoming members Eric Friedman and Kristin Sneddon.

The replacement has to live in the same district as Murillo, (District 3) on the westside of town.

Murillo had two years left on the term.

It's possible a new council member could be in place within 90 days.

The last time this happened was in 2009 when Helene Schneider was elected mayor.  Michael Self was appointed to fill the remaining portion of the two years left in the term. Self had run unsuccessfully for the council but was the fourth highest in votes.

Prior to that,  Marty Blum's replacement in 2002 when she took over as mayor from her council post,  was community leader Babatunde Folayemi who also had been a council candidate in the 2001 election. He served on the council from 2002 to 2004.







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