‘I’m not a politician’: Solvang councilor Mark Infanti announces his candidacy for mayor | Government and politics
Mayor Pro Tem Mark Infanti has announced that he is running for mayor of Solvang and is running as a follow-up leader to the current mayor, Charlie Uhrigwith whom he shares similar goals.
“The current council has taken over the old council and corrected a number of bad decisions made, and I want to continue on this path,” said Infanti, 74. “My goal is to get the city back to fully efficient operation.”
While a run for mayor de Solvang had never been considered before, Infanti said an encouraging nudge from Uhrig was responsible for his change of heart.
“It’s not to oppose Charlie, but to replace him at his request,” he said. “Besides, everyone loves Charlie.”
According to Infanti, Uhrig will not seek a second term for personal reasons and will complete his two-year term as mayor later this year.
Infanti – who moved from Orange County and retired to Solvang in 2013 with his wife, Gay Infanti – won a four-year council seat in November 2020 and will arrive in the second year as he vies for the the “next seat” on the stage.
Infanti’s main focus as mayor will be to continue to develop a budget that will carry the city into the future, and to protect and preserve the city’s infrastructure such as water resources, sewage treatment plant sewage, streets and buildings. He said he also plans to tackle downtown Solvang’s parking lot — or lack thereof — and work to adequately fill city staff positions to support city residents and business owners.
Infanti said he intended to achieve these goals simply by engaging with the community he described as “safe and friendly”.
“We have smart people here,” he said, “the locals will tell us what they want.”
In addition to being a city councilor, Infanti served for over four years on the Solvang Architectural Review Board (now called the Design Review Board) and is a member of the Board of Directors of the City’s sustainability agency. Groundwater for the Eastern Management Area and Santa Barbara Air Pollution. Control district. He is also a member of Solvang’s general plan advisory committee.
Infanti earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Texas at El Paso and is a retired project management consultant, having worked for more than 40 years with the federal government and major government contractors.
A woodworker by hobby and a certified California naturalist and UCSB Sedgwick Reserve guide, Infanti said his decision to run for city council two years ago was driven by a desire for change.
“I am not a politician,” he said. “I got involved in the city because I didn’t like what was going on.”
Solvang will invest an additional $10 million in its wastewater treatment plant, including tools that could support future wastewater recycling, after the council voted unanimously on Monday to back the cheapest of four potential options .
Solvang’s annual Music in the Park series returns downtown with a lineup of musical performances held every Wednesday through August 31 at Solvang Park, located at 1630 Mission Dr. at the corner of Mission Drive and First Street.
Lisa André covers lifestyle and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record, editions of the Santa Maria Times.