Santa Paula Times

Local races set for Council and school districts

August 18, 2000
Santa Paula News
Local races for elected offices officially kicked off on Wednesday, the filing deadline, with the stable of City Council candidates holding steady at four - although this week another person jumped in and then out of the race - and the two major school districts ready to rumble after it looked like both would not require elections. City Council candidates Jim Garfield, a Realtor and first term incumbent, agribusiness consultant Al Guilin, fire captain Ray Luna and electrician John Procter are in, and joining the list of the in and outs is Sergio Hernandez, who early this week pulled nomination papers and then changed his mind about a bid for the council.Hernandez, who eight years tried a write-in campaign for the council, joins the list of almost rans that includes former Mayor Jim McCoy and businessman Michael Odle, who both declined to run after pulling papers to file, citing career priorities.Top issues for council candidates seem to be common, with growth and expansion high on the list, City Hall accountability, public safety and spurring the economic machine all emerging as main topics for campaign debate.The Santa Paula High School District will be another interesting race: first term incumbents Eric Barragan and Robert Salas are seeking second terms but Dr. Steven Shuel filing after completing his first term on the elementary district Board of Trustees.
The Santa Paula Elementary School District was holding steady at two candidates - Chris Graham, a candidate for the office in 1998, and former SPESD Trustee Ofelia de la Torre - to replace Shuel and longtime incumbent Benjamin Saiz, but businessman George Morgan pulled papers late in the game, ensuring a race.The General Election is November 7. Santa Paulans will also have an initiative on the ballot, Measure I, that would give voters the power to decide on residential development in the 5,000-plus acres Adams Canyon and a parcel west of the city slated for commercial/industrial use.