Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Community Post: Choice Words at The Indie

I was a little surprised myself at Mollie Vandor's choice of words in describing Third District candidate David Smyser -- an avid reader sent this community post. -- Sara

===========Community Post==============

In her (usually) weekly opinion column "Eye on Isla Vista" featured at the Santa Barbara Independent web site, Mollie Vandor profiles the five candidates for Third District County Supervisor, up for election on June 3rd, with the top two placeholders to be in the County runoff election in November.

Vandor offers this succinct description of candidate David Smyser from Colorado... uh, I mean Solvang:

"[He] has spent the last few years of his political career as --for lack of a better term-- Brooks Firestone’s bitch.

He was Planning Commissioner and Chief of Staff for the outgoing 3rd District Supervisor, and since Brooksie’s reign included crackdowns on I.V.’s Halloween celebration, his record of choosing big business over environmental concerns and his well-known waffling when it comes to tenants’ and students’ rights, that does not bode well for Smyser. Especially since he has said he plans to continue the work of his predecessor. He also got busted allegedly accepting donations from development interests."

Is Smyser his metaphorical Bitch? Discuss.

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Anonymous Do my eyes deceive me? said...

I'm glad to see this post because I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that column and the use of the "B word" to describe the work that Mr. Smyser did for the County. It is offensive on so many levels that I wouldn't know where to begin. The word "Bi***" alone is crass and so demeaning to women. I'm no fan of Smyser, but to describe the work of anyone who is appointed by or hired to work for ANY individual--elected official or otherwise---as a "Bit**" totally unexcusable. I hope that the Independent realizes their error and edits the article before daylight.

5/20/2008 11:10 PM  
Anonymous it is INDY, not IndIE said...

Smyser cannot be his Bitch because Smyser moved to Colorado and was a resident there until enough money was waved under his nose to run for Supervisor here in his abandoned home.

5/20/2008 11:32 PM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

Well, language evolves. Bit** is more commonly used among young people, get used to it.

Mollie Vandor usually writes a good column, but in this case she has gotten too extreme about things she has considerable ignorance about.

Firestone actually did better than Gail Marshall for tenants... there is more public housing on Picasso because of Firestone (down by Camino del Sur), and he got the County to do way more for those displaced by the Conquest conversion on Picasso then Salud Carbajal wanted. Mollie is utterly ignorant that it is the RDA Board AKA the Supervisors who could have laid out even more money for displaced, and the other two South Coasters (Carbajal & Wolf) who wanted to stick it to Firestone so they didn't help. IV always gets screwed by *both sides*; either intentionally by the North County swing or in a backhanded way by the South Coasters.

Doreen Farr did not help at all 7 years ago in trying to get IV into the City of Goleta. Now I bet she supports rescinding the revenue neutrality agreement that is the only fig leaf for the screwing of IV by Goleta back in 2001. How anyone in IV can ignore her record there escapes me.

Bearman at least knows IV. But he is, frankly, lazy.

Smyser is not a bad guy, but he has his problems too.

5/21/2008 6:17 AM  
Anonymous said...

OK, let's get our facts right. Marshall got a housing inspector for IV. One of Firestone's first actions was to get rid of the inspector. And all the new sidewalks in IV are the result of funding Marshall secured.

IV was not included in Goleta's incorporation because both previous times it was included, people voted down incorporation. If it had been voted down this time, Goleta would have been under Firestone's heel. In all his time in office, Firestone has held NOT ONE community meeting in Goleta.

A proper use of the word "bitch" is in reference to a female dog. It has been clear that Smyser has been Firestone's lap dog as his chief of staff, as his planning commissioner and as his anointed successor. I say, if the muzzle fits, wear it.

5/21/2008 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Generation Disrespectful said...

Perfect example from our new generation of voters. Kids way too young and way too cute and way too full of themselves.

5/21/2008 4:43 PM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

Well, infomaniacal, I often went to visit that housing inspector in his old office down by the clinic. Usually he wasn't there. He was definitely a nice guy, and he did some good, but his main activity was to point out how little the County could do. He stopped showing up 6 months prior to Firestone assuming office.

Marshall did help with funding for some sidewalks. Some more sidewalks have gone in under Firestone... look at the westernmost end of Sabado Tarde, north side. The IV Master Plan, love it or hate it, progressed a lot more under Firestone than under Marshall (or Wallace).

All polling data available at the time in 2001 indicated a city of *West* Goleta + IV would be voted in. The nettlesome issue was always *East* Goleta aka Noleta... still is. So `Noleta' was omitted.

But the omission of IV contradicted the polling data, and a number of people (Bearman included) noticed that; the Goleta Roundtable did too.

Doreen Farr showed no leadership for IV in 2001, and remember, 4 young people were killed on a street without a sidewalk in February 2001. The one thing IV would get from being in a city is vastly more road money, but she didn't care, know, or care to know.

5/22/2008 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Bitch in the eye of the Beholder said...

Why do I think this forced outrage about calling Smyser Firestone's Bitch, which is not the same connotation as calling someone A bitch, is about as sincere and inter-generationally skewed as the purported national outrage when MSNBC reporter David Shuster said that the Hillary Clinton campaign was "pimping out" Chelsea "in a weird sort of way"?

Of course, the Hillary campaign was and Smyser is.

5/22/2008 11:27 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

While this Third District election is just a spectator sport from here in the First, one still wonders why the Bearman supporters here keep dwelling on who was for what during Goleta Cityhood formation seven years ago.

Doreen Farr at that time was deep into her own Patterson Ave. neighborhood issues, dealing with and fighting the County government in issues that still matter today.

The Bearman Bunch is a running joke in their campaign strategy here. Isla Vista will not become part of Goleta for many more years, if ever. And even Isla Vista and UCSB voters care more about issues than access to marijuana. Those potheads do not vote anyway.

A pot-haze retrospective about Isla Vista citihood is only of interest to Bearman and his eight friends.

Also, Smyser is still Firestones bitch.

5/22/2008 5:28 PM  
Anonymous infomaniac said...

Dear Augusto Den,

Of course you are entitled to your opinion. But you are flat wrong about the polling data you site. All the polling data showed that West Goleta Voters would vote against cityhood if IV were included.

I know this because personally, I strongly favored including IV. As a student, I was very disappointed at the unfair negative attitude of Goleta voters toward students.

You also give Marshall no credit for making an impassioned plea at LAFCO to include IV in the cityhood proposal. It was LAFCO that voted NO.

Yes, Firestone picked up on the work of his predecessors and finished the IV Master Plan. He also shoved the entire County quota for affordable housing into IV by rezoning an already dense area with even more density! And the sidewalks built during Firestone's administration would not have been possible if the funding source hadn't been secured by Marshall.

I'm believing that you are an honest person and that you will agree with this factual account of history. We don't need revisionism in the name of politics.

5/22/2008 6:00 PM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

Sorry, the Goleta Roundtable poll was quite clear that West Goleta + IV would pass at the ballot box. That was actually the only large-scale poll taken on the issue, in 2000, I believe.

Marshall made an impassioned plea and then proceeded to vote against inclusion of IV... see

Only John Fox voted for inclusion of IV. I was in the room for the whole thing.

The funding source for the Sabado Tarde sidewalk was not secured by Gail Marshall.

In any case, the main point is Doreen Farr. She didn't lift a finger for IV during the Goleta Cityhood. Now she wants to terminate the one thing IV won during the Cityhood campaign... the revenue sharing agreement. Of course, so do all the 3rd district candidates. That shows how important IV really is...

first district streetperson... you got doobies on the brain.

5/22/2008 10:31 PM  
Blogger Syrah Swigger said...

I had decided not to vote for Davis Smyser, as I just didn't like the association with the owner of the Bacara (who built a faulty hotel- sues the builders and now wants permission to build 65 condos?????)- but last Sundays SBNP had small interviews with each canidate, and damnit- I liked what he had to say!

I am pretty sure I know at least half of the folks in his commercial, the Giorgis, Jones, Hollister, and a bunch of Valley people to boot- all people I respect.

I am still going to vote for Farr, as I think she has the most experience and reasoning.

I do think Smyser is Firestones Bitch, though there are worse things you could be, to be sure!

5/23/2008 8:32 AM  
Anonymous infomaniac said...


Once you cite the Goleta Roundtable, all credibility is shot. That was a group taken over by the Committee for One which wanted to merge Goleta (or parts of it) with the City of SB.

Anyway, sorry, there was another poll that proved definitively (and sadly) that West Goleta voters would not vote for a city that included IV...And there were 2 other "polls" - the 2 previous elections where Goleta Cityhood was shot down.

If IV would be such a big financial benefit to Goleta, and if IV really wants self-determination, why doesn't it incorporate today.

Marshall explained her vote against including IV as her attempt to get the future cooperation of LAFCO members in getting some self-determination for IV. But IV never followed up on it...which we all regret.

5/23/2008 8:51 AM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

I'm not aware of any poll other than the Goleta Roundtable that included IV in the polling. The `Yes' votes from IV needed to be included in the analysis, and the Goleta Roundtable was the only one that did that.

The 2 previous elections also included Noleta, and the 1992 one included only the R1 in IV, nothing east of Pescadero. That means Noleta going `no' was the real problem.

Most of IV's commercial traffic now goes out to Camino Real Marketplace. Lots of sales tax generated at the Marketplace comes from IV residents, and there is no way IV incorporation will recover that sales tax.

The method of recovery agreed to at the time of Goleta Cityhood was the revenue sharing agreement.

Doreen Farr wants to abrogate that agreement. That shows how much she really cares about Isla Vista.

Yes, Marshall voted against including IV. That is the most important thing to remember. Asking `IV to follow up'? What? The only elected official IV has is the Supervisor. It is up to the Supervisor to lead.

Bearman at least gets all that. It is really deceptive for Farr to claim she cares about IV when she is doing her best to screw IV through supporting abrogation of the revenue sharing agreement.

5/23/2008 12:02 PM  
Anonymous infomaniac said...


Oh, so you're a Bearman supporter. That explains a lot. Bearman has been going around rewriting history. He claimed that Farr opposed Maravilla, without mentioning that he r opposition resulted in more parking more environmental protections, etc.

But now at least it's clear why you want to tear down Farr. But be careful. If you and Bearman succeed in tearing her down, you could get Smyser instead, who will redistrict IV into the 2nd District. Then, in a District with Hope Ranch and San Roque and much of downtown SB, IV will REALLY be minimized. And there will be 3 law 'n order North County Supervisors who will basically back IV landlords, not the kids.

Be careful what you wish for.

5/23/2008 3:10 PM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

Well, Bearman also wants to abrogate the revenue sharing.

The truth is all the Supe candidates are bad for IV. That's nothing new. For IV, though, Bearman is the least bad, because at least he can find El Nido...

Tear `em all down, at least w/r to IV. They're all a bunch of mendacious southern diplomats.

Now outside of IV, that is a whole different story. Farr might well be the best for the Gaviota Goast.

I don't think she has any of the rat-like cunning needed to have a successful relationship with the folks north of the mountains, and the sharks who are lining up to develop the Coast. Smyser doesn't either. You know, Bearman might actually have the most rat DNA.

I actually like the idea of IV in the 2nd District. Puts us in common interest with the City of Santa Barbara, and the best course for IV is annexation to Santa Barbara.

5/23/2008 6:04 PM  
Blogger Syrah Swigger said...

Mr Augusto- I live North of the mountains, and I am insulted that you think everyone N of the mountains is a shark- the beauty people drive over the "Chumash Hiway" to see, is over the mountain...all the wine you folks under the mountain like to drink, is from over the mountain. The Santa Ynez Valley is full of folks who want the rural place we love, to stay the rural place we love.

It's the South County folks who love to drive to the Casino, its the South County folks who won't build homes for the folks who work in South County- so they move to North County- we don't wan't them either, they CLOG OUR NORTH COUNTRY ROADS!!

Just sayin'.

South County needs a huge ass adjustment, and not only for their spine!

5/23/2008 10:33 PM  
Anonymous elevate the discourse said...

This race is confusing enough without bringing it down to the level of debating swear word semantics.

The third district needs a true leader, and unfortunately, none of the candidates qualifies without an asterisk or two. Doreen Farr seems like a smart choice despite her lack of experience.

And for the record, the only person who truly fits the definition of being someone's bitch in SB is Travis Armstrong.

5/24/2008 6:56 PM  
Anonymous augusto den said...

Well, syrah, I didn't exactly say that those north of the mountains are sharks. I said that sharks are trying to develop the Gaviota Coast.

Hey, I get along fine with a bunch of the north of the mountains crowd. But they pull their stunts too... Joni Gray's financial investigation of the IVRPD being one... it turned up nothing.

5/24/2008 10:17 PM  

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