Castaic Area Town Council member returns to serve

Past Castaic Area Town Council member Bob Lewis is sworn in by Rosalind Wayman, field deputy for Supervisor Kathryn Barger. Ryan Mancini/The Signal

A previous Castaic Town Council member will return to represent his region again for the remainder of 2018.

Bob Lewis, who represented Region IV from 2001-08, will fill the vacancy of Jim Idleman until the term expires in December, the council announced Wednesday.

Before his original election, Lewis was already a staple at council meetings as an audience member, asking questions in regards to projects the council was working on.

“People liked my input, and a couple council members eventually suggested I consider running for the next term,” the 29-year Castaic resident said on Thursday. “I looked into it and felt that it was an opportunity to give back to the community and so I said, ‘Sure, why not?’”

During his two terms, Lewis worked on issues such as protesting the building of a 24-hour truck wash across from the Castaic Sports Complex.

He served as council president for two consecutive years while it established Castaic’s standards for community preservation.

“That was during a period when ridge tops were being flattened and trees were being ripped out,” he recalled. “But people moved to Castaic for its rural feel, so we asked, ‘How do we protect that while balancing the needs for single family homes and parking lots?’”

Previous Castaic councils had difficulty getting the standards codified and approved by the county, he said. But with Lewis as the main liaison, the county eventually approved the Community Standards District.

“I was just the facilitator though,” he said. “I don’t want to take sole credit for that district. The council worked very hard to make sure we were representing the community for what they want and what they didn’t want.”

Lewis originally left the council after two terms because the original bylaws only allowed a member to serve two four-year terms. The council later revisited the bylaws, mandating that if someone sat out for a term, they’d be able to run again for another two terms.

Lewis said he wasn’t able to return to the council after 2008 because he was busy with his work in the motion picture industry, where he worked as an assistant director and safety instructor.

Lewis’ retirement in January meant he now had time to to be in the community to deal with issues coming before the council, he said.

He was the only person who formally applied for Idleman’s seat.

“They didn’t want to hold a special election this time (to fill the vacancy), and it was for a short period of time,” he said. “So I offered my services, obviously I’m very familiar with the council, and so it wouldn’t have to be someone they’d have to educate on the runnings.”

“He’s very well educated on matters and would dive into things,” said Councilman Lloyd Carder, who was elected to the council the same year as Lewis and served alongside him. “He was our front man during negotiations with the county for the Community Standards District, and he was making sure things got done.”

Lewis hasn’t decided if he will formally run for re-election in November.

“I’m just looking to do the best job I can between now and the end of the year.” he said. “We’ll take a look at what the community wants and needs when we get to election time.”

Idleman resigned June 1 after missing multiple meetings.

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