Thursday, October 18 , 2018, 4:04 pm | Fair 78º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Letter to the Editor: Political Rhetoric and Phony Credentials

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal announced his candidacy for Congress recently on Noozhawk. I noticed that he stated one of his highest priorities as a congressman would be the national infrastructure. I assume the candidate meant roads, bridges, power distribution, public facilities and buildings, federal highways, rail and railway construction, aqueducts, dams, maintenance, etc.

Of course, the candidate did not mention any of the million and one tasks that must support his national infrastructural initiative, nor the taxpayer money that would be involved, much less the overloaded budget of our nation’s treasure.

What really struck me about this “pledge” was that last year Carbajal performed a circus act in a television commercial (with Supervisor Steve Lavagnino) jumping fences in opposition to Measure M. This measure, first proposed by Supervisor Peter Adam, called for Santa Barbara County to allocate sufficient money to fix the county infrastructure and many of the aforementioned deficiencies, including maintenance.

One wonders what precipitated his 180 degree-turn of mind. I think I know the answer: he wants to get elected and will say anything to impress potential voters of his dedication to their interests.

This “flippage” is common to would-be office holders, and it is hoped that thoughtful voters will recognize it and oppose those who would engage in this nonsense. In fact, do we want a representative of this congressional district flipping all over the place, playing games with our interests?

It is well known that Carbajal for a number of years has been collecting credentials from participation in more than 16 organizations that would give him an aura of public service dedication and help propel him into Congress. These credentials are so numerous that one wonders how he could execute his responsibilities to the county and his district while doing the same for all 16 organizations in which he claims some participation.

Having a seat on an organizational board requires a great deal of time and dedication. Unless one is simply warming a seat or collecting plaques for hanging on office walls, this responsibility is a big deal.

So, how does a supervisor of a large and complex county find the time to collect the aforementioned credentials?

Simply lending one’s name to the masthead of organizational stationery is not much of a credential. Claiming four for one (as in the case of NACo) seems a bit of a stretch.

To check it out, click here to see Carbajal’s webpage.

One last concern I wish to identify is the dual responsibility of a supervisor. They are elected by a district and must listen to district concerns. There is always the staff and the Planning Commission (on which each supervisor has a designated member) to lean on.

But, then there is the county as a whole. Having attended many hearings and watched our supervisors’ behavior, more often than not they play to their district. This bifurcation leads to many diversions away from county business, except, of course the thousands of burdensome ordinances, permits and other time and money pits they create.

The one supervisor who seems to have the county in mind is Peter Adam. The poor guy has consistently borne an almost unanimous and continuous dismissal by Carbajal and the other three supervisors, while he fights for broad county issues.

Thus, we end up with a condition that is intolerable: a politically defined North and South County with self-interested liberals in the south and at least one strong conservative voice in the north.

By the way, however you stretch it, I am on the left. Odd, isn’t it, the bedfellows we choose when we want to get big things done.

Lee Rosenberg
Santa Ynez

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