Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Desperately Seeking Supervisor

Community Post written by Joe Armendariz

Like many of you I was both surprised and disappointed by Brooks Firestone's decision to retire after serving only one term on the Board of Supervisors. Brooks was a fantastic supervisor and remains one of the great business and political leaders our area has produced. His work ethic was incredible and his mastery of county issues, within a very short period of time on the board, exceeded my wildest expectations.

Personally, I wish Brooks would reconsider his decision, serve another term and finish what he started, particularly in the areas of reforming the county’s land use policy, process improvement and operational effectiveness; important issues all.

But Brooks has been a public servant for many, many years and if anyone deserves to retire and spend more time enjoying his wife, kids and grandkids, its Brooks Firestone. Therefore, I have resisted the
request from many of my friends to join the chorus and call on Brooks to change his mind. Brooks made his decision and I respect his decision. These decisions aren't made lightly.

The question now is who should run to replace him?

There are some potential candidates out there who might be persuaded to run, Goleta City Council members Michael Bennett and Eric Onnen for starters. Another potential candidate that I think would be a compelling choice is Goleta Chamber of Commerce CEO Kristen Amyx. Unfortunately, from what I have heard, both directly and indirectly, none of these stellar individuals are interested in running.

Maybe a draft Bennet or Amyx campaign is an option. If they refuse, who then?

This question is bedeviling many of us who desire common sense leadership for our county. Indeed, it's utmost on our minds as we spin our collective rolodex in search of the perfect candidate. I might have a solution to all of this.

Rather than search for the perfect person who also lacks "baggage", which, by the way, might also mean they lack experience and maybe passion too, why not reach out to the person who has the right experience, knowledge of the issues and is eager to run for the seat as well?

Why not, in other words, try something novel for a change and support a person who is the most qualified, ready and willing to run?

That is what I intend to do...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok...based on those comments I would speculate he is talking about either Jim Thomas or Willie Chamberlin. Possibly Jim Anderson since he reportedly owns property in the 3rd...

9/16/2007 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Good Grief said...

I have this feeling of nausea. Are you recommending and nominating yourself? good grief. maybe we should ask patrician Brooks to reconsider!

9/16/2007 4:15 PM  
Anonymous GVG said...

Onnen, Bennet, Amyx? Mr. Armendariz, you too must be on the Mike Towbes payroll. Come clean.

9/16/2007 4:47 PM  
Anonymous LOL said...

Sorry, Joe, you lost me at: "Brooks was a fantastic supervisor and remains one of the great business and political leaders our area has produced. His work ethic was incredible and his mastery of county issues...."

LAUGH OUT LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe YOU, Joe, should rent a crash pad in Buellton and run yourself. That would be fun.
Your whole note here is set up like Dick Cheney in charge of the search committee for a Vice Presidential running mate.

9/16/2007 4:50 PM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

I thought I was long winded.

O.K. Joe A. your post is one of suggestion if not one of I'll bite. Let's see who should it be. Perhaps a current Carpenteria fiscally conservative and populist councilmember who would lobby on behalf of the poor vicitimized commuting masses to spend close to a billion dollars to completely widen 101 to Ventura? Oh but then that councilmember does have other baggage so I'll be polite and not mention any of that.

9/16/2007 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't worry joe, there are good candidates already declared. Doreen Farr is tops on the list.

So don't worry your pretty little head

9/16/2007 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy, da Nipper, Barry or Travis? I think in light [or in spite?] of their recent public baggage, could you find a more focused group with a united vision of what's best for Santa Barbara? All the water quality and workplace ex-per-tise between them may be just what we need. A fresh, non-tire, non winery voice for our future. Who would dare sue the county with A.Barry on your side? the legal savings alone ..... Open your mind and hearts and consider it!

9/16/2007 7:26 PM  
Blogger artuzi said...

Doreen Farr is a great choice and if you don't like her maybe we can draft John Buttney to run again

The one guy that might choose to run and would clearly be a disaster for the 3rd District not to mention the entire county is Mike Stoker but in the real world, his chance of getting elected with the baggage he brings to the table is about nil.

9/16/2007 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Tired in the 3rd District said...

Oh, Joe, what a kidder you are! No one can say you have no sense of humor, that’s for sure.

Let’s see what a swell job Firestone did. Or better yet, let’s start with what he didn’t do. I live in the 3rd District in Goleta and he did not call even one community meeting since he has been Supervisor to ask for our input, not even a survey or a newsletter to keep us informed. As ash was raining on us for days, he didn’t issue even one email notice on what was going on with the Zaca fire. Recently I did get an email on Goleta's sphere of influence discussion…but it came from 2nd District Supervisor Wolfe, NOT from my Supervisor, Firestone.

But Firestone DID do a lot. When he got into office, he tore up the recently negotiated Oaks Protection compromise, putting Oaks at risk again. His frequent disrespect for speakers at Board meetings sort of reached an all time high when he yelled at Sister Janet. He cast the only vote against funding child health care. And he tried to ram through changes in ag rules, until forced to recuse himself for his massive conflict of interest.

While in office Firestone did little to address the main 3rd District issues, the need for affordable housing, saving Gaviota and preserving ag. He was pretty low energy.

If 3rd District residents were writing Firestone a letter of recommendation for his next job, we would have to say something like the following:

"He could not care less about the number of hours he had to put in. You would indeed be fortunate to get this person to work for you. His performance is always effortless. I can assure you that no person would be better for the job. I would urge you to waste no time in making this candidate an offer of employment. All in all, I cannot say enough good things about this candidate or recommend him too highly.”

9/16/2007 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smyser's good and experienced.

9/16/2007 9:23 PM  
Blogger Dirk Brandts said...

Armendariz and Caldwell already have their candidate picked out and they're just trying to prep the soil for the transplant.

9/16/2007 10:04 PM  
Anonymous city watcher said...

Doreen Farr is the answer to the question: "Why not, in other words, try something novel for a change and support a person who is the most qualified, ready and willing to run?"

9/16/2007 10:53 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

good grief/LOL -- Joe lives in the first district in Carpinteria and can't run. Don't think he'd give up his council seat for the race for a crash pad in Buellton but it is a funny thought.

9/16/2007 11:36 PM  
Anonymous still LOLing said...

Sara de la Guerra de la Mancha:

To borrow a phrase from another Blogabarbara post, Armendariz also soon will be a political corpse once the Carpinteria City Council elections starts. Gee, how would his character and judgment be shredded?

No reason that record also would not also resonate with Third District voters, but he can dream, can't he?

9/17/2007 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Asked and Answered said...

Question answered: Doreen Farr.


9/17/2007 12:43 AM  
Blogger johnsanroque said...

Wait a minute. I think that everyone missed the joke. Joe A. isn't serious. This is just some self-deprecating humor because Joe knows that no one would ever consider someone that fit his idea of being qualified for that job.

Good one, joe. I didn't realize you had the ability to make fun of yourself. The only sad part is that your supporters won't get the joke.

9/17/2007 6:35 AM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

good/greif/LOL back at you sara de guerra. We've seen many tactics by the conservative right wing. Stealth candidates, bullet voting, swift boaters etc. A temporary position on the Carpenteria council is no reason to be married to it. Nothing is implausible with these people seeking dictatorial power.

9/17/2007 6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I have heard, only one City Council person is considering stepping down from their seat in order to climb up the political ladder...

9/17/2007 6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about some backup info and energized advocacy from the Doreen Farr people? I vote in that district (absentee) and don't know who to support. I don't know much about Doreen other than that she moved to the Valley from Goleta and hasn't lived there all that long.

9/17/2007 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is something Firestone did for affordable housing in the Third District... an actual purchase of an apartment building for low-income folks.

There is something else... a park purchase that Gail and Bill never managed to pull off. All sorts of political smoke was blown over that, but the fact remains, Gail and Bill didn't get it done, but Firestone did. Some say that he only responded to protests from the community... well, why didn't Gail and Bill respond to those protests?

I've never understood the oaks issue well. I suspect that Firestone has planted a whole lot more oaks than just about everyone who howls about the issue. That doesn't mean I agree with him, necesarily, but there *has* been a conspicuous effort to generate heat and smoke on the issue, so much that I don't believe either side.

I don't like Farr. Buttny would be fine, but he is ill, I think. Smyser is OK, Chamberlain about a C, but better than his hysterical opponents give him credit for. Funny how neither Margaret Connell, Cynthia Brock, nor Jack Hawxhurst work... Goleta has not yet got its act together; its politicians are still midgets.

Bennett, Onnen, and Blois' support for vacation-timeshare condos for the ultrarich at Bacara pretty much shows them to be in the palm of Bacara, and unelectable. What in the world are they thinking? It's one thing to change `shall' to `should'... not great, but hardly the stuff that keeps you out of office in the Third District.

But supporting high-end development right on the beach? There is no constituency for that in the Third District. A huge portion of the electorate south of the mountains and a whole lot in the SY Valley would vote them down for such obvious support of Bacara. What next, high-end timeshares on Chumash land?

9/17/2007 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doreen Farr?

Um, great. Let's see if we can spread the NIMBY love to all parts of the County.

Her latest protest was of minor changes to Rancho San Marcos golf course on the pass. What a horrible project. Now that all the work is complete, haven't all of our lives been terribly effected?

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my...

Maybe, just maybe there's someone that will emerge that has true LEADERSHIP skills, rather than being credentialed in just protesting against things.

9/17/2007 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a lifelong Democrat in Carpinteria and Joe Armendariz is my favorite City Councilman. I worked on two of the other council members campaigns when they first ran. Joe is kind, thoughtful and very funny. He treats me with respect and the staff also. Its a pity the progressives on this board are so rude and nasty. You are a notable exception Sara.

9/17/2007 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous members of the opposite party endorsing the charm and competence of elected officials on a blog is becoming a little passe'.....and hard to believe.

9/17/2007 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe's won over a lot of former political foes. He's been a good city councilman and has delivered on his promise to restore civility to the council. If he runs again he will win easily.

9/17/2007 7:26 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Late Night Anon -- the last sentence could have been YABBA DABBA'd by me but I'm a bit tired tonight. You got a laugh out of me but I didn't want to publish that....

9/18/2007 12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Vincent Armenta?

9/18/2007 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Yellow Tail Shiraz said...

Before the Revisionists of history get to spin too much here, these are the facts:

Joe Armendariz is a convicted drunken driver less than two years ago, while a sitting city council member.

But for the Grace of God, he crashed his car while drunk on a small side road and not when he got onto the freeway and could have killed a minivan full of kids instead.

Not even counting his extreme Libertarian political views, he is totally unelectable anywhere, any time. But his and the COLAB games trying to set up a Third District Supervisor candidate will be fun to watch.

Joe also works for an organization that lobbies and advocates for Big Oil and other industrial interests, which is fine for a job but not when he has a huge conflict of interest being on the the Carpinteria city council where he evaluates and votes as one of the five deciders about Big Oil project proposals from the same corporations that pay his salary.

Doreen Farr advocated against the clubhouse operations at Rancho San Marcos golf course because that expansion of late night liquor service was in violation of the rules the golf course developer and operator already agreed to follow, and because that would put more drunk drivers on the road, a very fast and narrow hwy. 154 mountain highway.

Carbajal caved in on the liquor prohibition at the golf course because it was the wish of the new owner as his pal from Montecito.

A hint that Armendariz is joking with this post here is that he proposes some neophyte Goletans as somehow ready to step to be Supervisor, when a moderate from Santa Ynez Valley really would be the political formula for success.

9/18/2007 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doreen Farr IS the moderate from Santa Ynez Valley!

What about Mike Stoker--he is a perpetual candidate from the extreme right. Think he'll throw his hat in?

9/18/2007 1:15 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

I'll vote for whoever UCSB wants me to. As long as they..."Just don't Taze me Bro!!"

9/18/2007 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sound of someone whistling past the graveyard. Dem's fear smart Republicans. They can't debate them so they hide behind the rock they live under and throw pebbles at them.

9/18/2007 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did Jim Anderson's event this weekend at the Biltmore go over?

9/18/2007 7:19 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I don't fear smart Republicans because the really smart ones will work with Dems and actually listen -- just like the smart Dems. Unfortunately, the Reps have a couple of key chances because of this dynamic....

9/18/2007 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, can you name a smart Republican?

9/18/2007 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Schwarenegger is a very smart Republican. Very smart.

9/18/2007 9:23 PM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

Harriet Miller is a smart Republican.....Now there's a candidate.... give her a second chance Joe A.

9/18/2007 9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Farr is a loony. She has no clue. Was a horrible Planning Commissioner - scary dumb at hearings.


9/18/2007 10:41 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I'm not sure if many Republicans or Democrats are that smart as they are in the business they are in :)

...what I look for is a smart way of dealing with constituents and the opposite party as more gets done that way. For all the maligning Joe A. gets, he is open to conversation and will treat you with civility and respect. I don't always agree with his politics but respect his approach. There are a few Democrats that vote the same way I would but are not open to others -- this is an important issue in a small "d" democracy that we often forget is an integral part of representing everyone.

9/18/2007 11:45 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I really don't want the 3rd District comments to be as bad as the 2nd district ones -- loony won't be tolerated from here on out.

Alas, Harriet is a Democrat and both her and Das live in the first or second -- why does everyone think it's so easy to carpet bag? Have you ever moved your family?

9/18/2007 11:52 PM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

gentle sara,

Caution about your intolerance and censoring the loony....and don't be surprised if some of the loony Anons aren't posted by those who you would normally expect to have a civil and respectful demeanor.

Alas, Harriet is a self described born and raised Republican and converted as a Democrat much later in life. I still consider Harriet to be a Republican.

How easy is it to Carpetbag? Ask Lanny. But how difficult can it be to get in the car and move yourself and a couple of poodles to your district of choice.

BTW I wonder how long Joe A. lived in the quaint small town of Carpenteria before he ran for office. Is there a test for longevity before one is no longer a carpetbagger?

How can a seclusive NIMBY living in little old Carpenteria ever civilly converse with those lobbying for environmental protection of bigger and burdened communities?

Perhaps I am wrong but I consider Joe A's deameanor to be, stalwart, two-faced and hypocritcal and that is a problem.

9/19/2007 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, all it takes is a politically orchestrated listening tour...

9/19/2007 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara: "Alas, Harriet is a Democrat and both her (sic)and Das live in the first or second --"

Both live in the 2nd District - remember, Das ran for 2nd District Supe. and beach skatepark-Miller lives in the hills above the west side, where (hurrah for term limits!) she can't again be mayor and also not 3rd district Supe. Perhaps Das will move again but it is not likely that Miller will.

9/19/2007 9:40 AM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Short memory Sara...Das carpet-bagged from the first to the second district prior to his embarrassing run for the board of supes last year.

But, shhhhh, don't talk about that race. City voters might remember how he campaigned for a supes seat before his council seat was barely warm. And they might remember his awkward and juvenile television ads. If you don't stir them up too much, the voters can have short memories too.

9/19/2007 9:00 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Bill -- no conspiracy here. Das could have done a few things differently and I agree with that AND I don't begrudge him trying. If someone wants to move to the Third -- do it! It would, howver, be an uphill battle.

9/19/2007 9:11 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

But, Sara, THAT'S the definition of a carpetbagger.

The term has a bad connotation because it demonstrates opportunistic and selfish character traits.

Public servants are expected to grow roots, develop relationships, and ultimately represent citizens who they've grown to know. You don't do that by moving to the next available political opportunity.

Das's biggest flaw is that he comes off as that guy who's looking for the next political opportunity.

9/19/2007 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Das went from being a renter in the 1st District to a condo owner in the 2nd. Not so much carpetbagging as it is "making it" in a tough housing market.

Now whether he picked his condo with a particular district in mind is open for discussion but it certainly doesn't compare with Lanny renting an apartment in the City so that he could try for mayor...

9/19/2007 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Donaldo, I am tempted to try and put you and Armendariz in the same room. you seem pretty tough...go get em tiger!

9/19/2007 9:25 PM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

O.K. this is my last and best suggestion.

Gil Garcia!

Qualifications=Local Architect. Natvie. Mexican decent. bi-lingual. Was republican untill he got tired of the idiotic right wing rhetoric...he got it much faster than the current idiotic republican head/butt scratchers. Promotes multi-model transporation, mixed-use developement, social justice. Did I say he promotes developement. He even supported oil...ugh...and once owned a classic Porsche and perhaps still does. He's an environmentalist. I did see him occasionally walking around with a backpack.

Come on Joe A. I dare you. Ask Gilberto to swap homes with Brooks so Gil can make a go of it. I'd even send Gil $50.00.

9/19/2007 10:10 PM  
Anonymous the missing one-tenth percent said...

Stoker tells supporters he'll run for Senate

by Nora K. Wallace
December 2, 2006

BUELLTON-- Former Santa Barbara County Supervisor Mike Stoker reached out to supporters Friday and announced his plans to run for state Senate in 2008. Mr. Stoker said he doesn't expect to make a formal announcement until next year.

The Buellton resident, who sought a congressional seat in 2000, said he considered running for the seat currently held by Rep. Elton Gallegly, when Mr. Gallegly retires. But, he explained, without congressional term limits, he believes a politician needs decades to gain seniority and clout, and he's not yet willing to make that type of time commitment.

Instead, he's opted to try state office. Mr. Stoker has, for the last three years, been the district director for state Sen. Tom McClintock, who will be out of his 19th Senate district office in 2008 due to term limits.

Mr. Stoker, 51, said after discussing the idea with his family, he decided "that I am the right person and this is the right time to run for the state Senate seat. While this is not a formal announcement and I could change my mind, I am 99.9 percent committed to running."

9/19/2007 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Das walked out on his supporters two years after being elected to the city council by running for County supervisor, he committed political suicide. No one has been able to do that and survive subsequent voter rejection.

He was warned and he ignored those warnings to slow down and do at least one job right. Now he may have to suffer and season a bit because voters rule; not his own personal political agenda.

Voters want someone who is for them; not for themselves. And that move stunk.

9/20/2007 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barnwell's bombing in the debates. Das lost his base. That means two openings on the SB city council. Francisco and Hotchkiss are the best bets to fill these slots. And Hotchkiss would make a darn good mayor in another year as well. We are ready to put a real "man" in the job.

9/22/2007 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody still remember when Barnwell claimed to care about neighborhoods? Then he voted for every single luxury development that came in front of him--and now claims to care only about housing. Sad to say, he's lost a lot of support of people who once believed in him. Say bye, bye, BBB.

9/22/2007 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

still think donaldo and armendariz should throw down.

9/22/2007 9:18 PM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

The Political Play of the Week was this post?

9/23/2007 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete Wilson is a smart Republican.

10/01/2007 11:07 AM  

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