Today is Election Day, and nine candidates are competing for three seats on the Santa Barbara City Council.

Bob Hansen has dropped out of the race, but Brian Barnwell, Scott Burns, Bob Cawley, Babatunde Folayemi, Michael Magne, Charles Quintero, Bruce Rittenhouse, Helene Schneider and Das Williams are all on the ballot for city council this election. The group has already met publicly to debate policies on environmental protection, affordable housing and budget management.

Schneider, current human resources manager at Planned Parenthood, said the main issue this election is how to keep Santa Barbara beautiful with less money.

“The community is losing its vibrancy because of the high cost of housing,” Schneider said. “We need to create more housing opportunities while protecting the environment, keeping our creeks and drinking water clean and preserving our open space and parks.”

Burns, a retired business owner, said for the short term, the council should focus on staying within its means.

“The state budget is in such bad shape,” Burns said. “We have a fiscal responsibility to make sure we don’t spend money we don’t have.”

Burns said that for the long term, he is mostly concerned with a regional plan for land use and transportation.

“The main problem with such large issues is the parties need to talk about a solution, not just fight about it,” Burns said.

Williams, a master’s student at UCSB in environmental science, said he is also concerned with the fiscal responsibility of city government.

“With the economy being so sluggish, it means we need a government taking action, not government doing nothing,” Williams said.

Planning commissioner Barnwell said he is most concerned with the preservation of Santa Barbara neighborhoods.

“Neighborhoods are the core of our community,” Barnwell said. “Our ability to protect public safety, improve education, address the housing and transportation crisis, and improve the economy will depend in many ways on our ability to preserve our neighborhoods.”

Though retired, Rittenhouse has run for city council five times and once for the Santa Barbara Board of Education. He has never won.

“I am free from special interest,” Rittenhouse said. “I have spent the past 20 years as an advocate and activist in the community.”

Local barber Quintero also said he stands apart from the other candidates because he is not governed by special interests.

“I don’t have a puppeteer and I don’t have any endorsements,” Quintero said.

Quintero said he is concerned with more than the high cost of housing and environmental protection.

“I’m looking to be more lenient with community service workers who are serving because of a DUI or other first offense,” Quintero said. “I want the young and intellectual members of our community to put their energy into finding solutions for the issues that have been bounced around forever.”

Voters will also elect two board members for the Embarcadero Municipal Improvement District, a division of Goleta West Sanitary District, and two board members for the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District.

Also on the ballot will be Measure Q2003, a $58 per parcel per year tax to benefit the Hope School District. The measure needs two-thirds approval to pass.