Santa Paula Times

Jim Garfield declares he will run for second term on City Council

June 23, 2000
Santa Paula News
A desire to guide the city in a more positive direction and the urging of citizens has prompted Jim Garfield to announce his second run for the Santa Paula City Council. Garfield said he decided to run for reelection “Because I think the city is starting to go in a direction that is beneficial, and I want to continue to be a part of that.”Owner of Cal-West Real Estate, Garfield, a Realtor and former Mayor, has come under fire in recent years for alleged conflicts of interest.“I’ve not enjoyed the personal attacks because I never considered myself one who thinks ‘How can I gain by this?’ so the lawsuit and the complaint to the District Attorney [Garfield was cleared in both instances] were trying times for myself and my family. The decision to run again was not an easy one; I only really made up my mind this week.”Another controversy surrounding the city is the lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice over Latino voting rights and representation; the DOJ has filed a suit to force the city to implement district voting instead of the at-large elections.Garfield said the “overriding issue” guiding his decision to seek another four-year term of office was he’s belief that he can still contribute to the betterment of Santa Paula.In addition, “A lot of people have been telling me to run again and I’m certainly not in this to lose.”A native of Pennsylvania, Garfield has been active in the Santa Paula community and was selected “Citizen of the Year” in 1986.His campaign will be a wide reaching one, he said, but a number one issue is the “new growth areas that I think are important to our community,” primarily in canyons near the city and “off the floors of the river valley. . .it’s particularly important to keep the valley floor clean where tourists want to come.”President of the Heritage Valley Tourism Bureau, Garfield noted that “tourism is high my list, of course, as well as bringing employment to town, putting people to work and creating more disposal income to be spent in Santa Paula.”A proponent of clean air industries to help solve unemployment and underemployment, Garfield also wants to “make sure when people come into City Hall they are accorded respect and receive the help that they need in an atmosphere that promotes understanding,” one of his goals if reelected.
Another goal is to promote and celebrate the city’s diversity with celebrations that include “all of our people, such as the Santa Paula Mural Project,” and a grand and “many faceted” celebration for the city’s centennial anniversary of incorporation starting in 2002.When asked what he would like to see changed, Garfield’s answer centered on people’s expectations, “perhaps the most difficult thing to change, people’s expectations or nostalgia for the way it used to be. I hear so many people say they liked Santa Paula the way it was in the 1960s, the small clothing stores and those kinds of things. Life is not like that anymore. . .Oxnard and Ventura are too close at hand and I don’t know anyone who would put $60,000 into a men’s clothing store in Santa Paula.”What the city offers now are “museums, the train, the new downtown. . .” he added.A past president of the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce and Santa Paula-Fillmore Board of Realtors, among other organizations, Garfield has also been involved with the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Paula and numerous charitable organizations.Garfield is also an enthusiastic singer and a member of Les Classeeks and has been involved in the advisory council overseeing the new radio broadcasts centering on Santa Paula life and business.Married to Carol for over four decades, the couple has two sons and two grandchildren.