SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Six people are hoping to become the next mayor of Santa Barbara. Former city councilman Randy Rowse hopes his experience sets him apart from the other candidates
“The reason I’m running is so we can return the focus to Santa Barbara, city issues away from partisan issues,” Rowse said.
Rowse is a Santa Barbara businessman who previously served on the city council. During that time he worked on various boards and commissions.
“I was always a city-involved activist. And I think I have a lot of background. I know a lot of the systems, I know a lot of the reasons why things can happen. I know a lot of things that can prevent things from happening,” he said.
Rowse views the pandemic as a medical issue and thinks health leaders at the county level should make the decisions for the city.
But he says the city could have a better business approach.
“The mayor’s job would be normally to go and see how the different businesses were surviving during the pandemic, particularly the small businesses that were the hardest hit. And I heard a lot of feedback from them that they felt a little bit ignored.”
Rowse says helping businesses is one of his main focuses. He wants to make it easier to get permits and he wants to make sure downtown is welcoming.
“The pro-business atmosphere is going to be needed to be prodded by making sure that State Street is clean, making sure that State Street is safe and secure and making sure the area is well lit.”
If elected, Rowse wants to conduct a major state street cleanup, add better lighting and remove gum from the sidewalks.
“Once we get those two things done and we’re ready and open for business, the rest of it will fall into place.”
Rowse says he’s determined to focus on the city and its issues rather than getting wrapped up in partisan politics.
WATCH: 2021 Santa Barbara City Mayoral Forum
WATCH: Extended Interview with Randy Rowse