Two candidates running for Castaic Area Town Council

The Castaic Area Town Council during a meeting. Vivianna Shields/The Signal

Two candidates are officially running for the vacant spot in Region 5 on the Castaic Area Town Council in the council’s special election on March 14.

Christian Dittes and Richard Ortega are the two candidates who are on the ballot for the vacant spot on the board. The election is scheduled to be held at the Castaic Library on March 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m..

Only residents who live in Region 5, which is north of Lake Hughes Road and includes the housing tracts of Hidden Lake, Double C Ranch, Stonegate, Northlake and Paradise Ranch Mobile Home Park, will be able to vote for this seat, according to Bob Lewis, Castaic Area Town Council president.

At Wednesday’s Castaic Area Town Council meeting, both candidates attended to present their letters of interest to the board.

Christian ‘Chris’ Dittes, Northlake

Dittes has lived in Castaic since 1991, and in Northlake for the past 10 years. He is a managing partner for a manufacturing business in Los Angeles.

“I would like the opportunity to address the issues that concern our citizens,” said Dittes in his letter of interest to the board.

According to Dittes, as a board member, he wants to address failing businesses, the overall degradation in the appearance of the area and accessibility during traffic in Castaic.

“I believe that planning and all decisions should be made with an interest in improving the town, attracting families and businesses, increasing property values, protecting the environment and preserving individual property rights,” said Dittes.

Richard Ortega, Hidden Lake

Richard Ortega and his family have lived in Castaic for the past 21 years in Hidden Lake. In 1998, he moved his family to Castaic to raise his two sons in a small, family-friendly community with excellent schools, according to Orega in his letter of interest to the board.

“Even before moving to Castaic in 1998, I felt a connection to the area as these are the ancestral lands of the Tataviam People, my ancestors,” said Ortega.

Two years ago, he retired from the collision-repair industry to work full-time for his tribe as a tribal heritage and cultural preservation monitor. Currently, he is also a senator for District 2, which accounts for the ancestral lands of the Santa Clarita, Antelope and Simi Valleys.

“I feel it is an honor and a privilege to live and work on the lands of my ancestors,” said Ortega. “I would like to join the Castaic Area Town Council so I can help the council continue to make decisions in the best interest of the residents and families of Castaic.”

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