District 3 City Council Candidates Sit Down with Jerry Roberts
By Jerry Roberts
Key differences emerged among the four candidates for City Council in Santa Barbara’s Westside District during a one-hour Newsmakers TV roundtable discussion this week, over issues from rent control and granny units to how much population the city can support, at a time when each of them is calling to expand housing construction.
Each of the contenders also confronted tough questions that have been raised about their campaign: Oscar Gutierrez addressed charges he would be a puppet of Mayor Cathy Murillo; Elizabeth Hunter sought to explain how she could square the time commitment needed from a council member with the demands of being a full time college student; Ken Rivas explored reasons why he has not received major endorsements despite years of community activism; and Michael Vidal set forth some reasons why he has never voted in Santa Barbara.
At the same time, the rivals found common ground on immigration (they all think Santa Barbara should be a “sanctuary city”), State Street panhandlers (they don’t believe street people are a major cause of decline along the city’s main retail corridor) and the need to fight for more services and resources in District 3 (they say that City Hall has historically neglected the Westside).
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