Welcome, voters

Welcome, voters, to this special election section of the Santa Ynez Valley Star. Although the election date is Nov. 6, we’re publishing it now because the many people who vote by mail are scheduled to begin receiving their ballots in the week of Oct. 8.

In these pages you will find information from candidates seeking seats on the Buellton and Solvang city councils and the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District Board of Trustees. We focused on these three jurisdictions because they are the largest in the valley and because those races are much more heavily contested than in most election years.

At the high school, the crowd of candidates includes 11 people seeking three seats on the school board. If you want to meet them, come to the Star’s election forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the Little Theater on campus. We’ll be asking the candidates questions and videotaping the event for replay at www.santaynezvalleystar.com.

In Solvang, City Councilman Ryan Toussaint is challenging incumbent Jim Richardson for mayor while eight other people are seeking three seats on the City Council. You can meet those candidates at an election forum from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, in the Parish Hall of Bethania Lutheran Church. We will also be videotaping that Q&A session for replay on www.santaynezvalleystar.com.

In Buellton, Mayor Holly Sierra is unopposed for re-election but seven other people are running for the other four council seats. A forum for those candidates is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the Oak Valley School multipurpose room at 595 Second St. in Buellton.

As a newspaper staff we are grateful to the candidates who have taken the time to send us the responses that you can read in this section.

Voters have until Monday, Oct. 22, to register in time to vote on Nov. 6. For more information about the election, including how to register, go to www.sbcvote.com and click on the “Elections” tab at the top of the page.

Voter Guide: Buellton City Council

Voter Guide: Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District

Voter Guide: Solvang Mayor

Voter Guide: Solvang City Council