Arriving with 20 minutes to spare, clad in a dark suit and followed by a television camera, Dr. Dan Secord filed his paperwork with the Santa Barbara County elections office Friday afternoon, beginning his second bid for the 2nd District supervisor’s seat.
Secord — an eight-year veteran of the Santa Barbara City Council — ran unsuccessfully against Janet Wolf, who was elected to the position in 2006. During his previous election campaign, he continually cited what he said was Wolf’s lack of experience in elected office, although Wolf countered that her 12-year stint as a Goleta Union School District trustee qualified her for the position.
This time around, Secord’s rallying cry is focused on the county’s ailing budget. Now facing nearly a $40 million gap, department heads — including those from the Sheriff’s and Fire departments and the District Attorney’s Office — are waiting anxiously for the Board of Supervisors’ budget-cutting recommendations, which are expected to be announced at Tuesday’s board meeting.
“It’s all about county finances and the (proposed) layoffs at the Sheriff’s Department,” Secord said as he turned in the last of his paperwork. “The county needs a budget champion — that’s me.”
Wolf also filed her election papers earlier Friday, vowing to continue in a second term the work she started in her first.
“We have been especially challenged in the past three years, both by fiscal constraints and massive wildfires that impacted our community,” Wolf said in a statement. “And through firm and steady leadership, we have weathered these challenges.”
Wolf enters the race as chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors. Pointing out accomplishments from her three years in office, she expressed confidence in her ability to juggle various challenges. Long a champion of environmental advocates, Wolf took tough stances on issues ranging from potential development at Naples on the Gaviota coast to the preservation of More Mesa.
Secord and Wolf have been polar opposites regarding the fate of Goleta Beach County Park, with Secord pushing for the permeable pile pier approach armoring project — rejected by the state Coastal Commission last year — and Wolf often siding with environmental groups asking for an erosion management approach that involves moving parking and structures at the park to allow a natural buffer zone.
— Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at email@example.com.