In a surprise move borne of a deadlocked council, Santa Barbara businessman Randy Rowse was selected to fill a Santa Barbara City Council seat vacated by Das Williams, who was elected to the State Assembly.
After Williams was elected, it was up to the City Council to fill his seat for the remainder of his term. The council had to choose from a sometimes colorful crowd of 46 applicants for the spot.
The council, which often finds itself polarized over land-use decisions in one of the hottest real estate markets in the nation, hit 3-3 ties over several candidates who had run for council before or had experience in city government. They finally settled on Rowse, who started the Paradise Café in 1983. Rowse has been involved with the Downtown Organization.