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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 6:24 pm | Fair 58º


Peter Adam: Salud Carbajal a Poor Choice for Congress

As a colleague of Salud Carbajal on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, I feel it is incumbent on me to point out how Mr. Carbajal acts in his own interests. I will give you a concrete example of how he operates.

Peter Adam Click to view larger
Peter Adam

Back in 2012 I proposed local Measure M, which would have required our county to prevent county-owned roads, parks and buildings from deteriorating any further. During the debate on Measure M, Mr. Carbajal was the author of an Anti-M campaign. The central theme of their campaign was “No on M, No New Taxes.” This was a disingenuous distortion because there were no taxes in Measure M.

As an alternative, Mr. Carbajal came up with a cynical proposal that could only come from a professional, career politician. He proposed that the county adopt a budget policy that required “18 percent of unallocated new revenue” be assigned to maintenance.

Of course, if all of the money was allocated, there wouldn’t be any unallocated. He touted this “solution” as committing $100 million over the next 10 years for maintenance. We have been on this program now for two years and have committed a hopelessly inadequate $3.7 million so far. At this rate, we’re not going to see any good part of the $100 million that Mr. Carbajal and his allies promised.

The thinking that Mr. Carbajal exhibits here is revealing. He proposes an illusory and deceptive solution that, if it ever materializes, will not have any real effect until long after he is gone. In the meantime, he gets to continue to spend our limited tax dollars on raises and exorbitant pension contributions because these public employee union members who benefit are useful to him during election cycles, providing him with money and labor to walk precincts, hang door cards and the like.

In addition, he gets to say that he solved the problem while he quietly sneaks out the door before it all blows up.

Mr. Carbajal is the sort who gives that sort a bad name. He is exactly why people distrust and disrespect politicians. He has shamelessly advanced his own agenda at the expense of the hard-working taxpayer. He has steadfastly refused to create a responsible budget that deals with our deferred maintenance of more than $350 million and our unfunded pension liability of more than $850 million.

In the meantime, over the period between 2007 and 2015, county nonsafety employees have seen their total compensation increase at twice the rate of the people who pay their salaries. It’s three times that of the private sector for the safety groups.

Meanwhile, Santa Barbara County is projected to be running deficits for at least the next four years. This is not the type of leadership that we want to send to Congress.

Mr. Carbajal has been a county supervisor for 12 years. Before that he worked in the Public Health Department and in the office of the previous First District supervisor for many years.

All told, he has been affecting policy in Santa Barbara County for almost 30 years. He has left this county in shambles, and he should bear a great deal of responsibility for the way things are today.

I am asking you to support Justin Fareed for Congress. He is a young businessman with good character and a great head on his shoulders. He will be looking out for the taxpayers and future generations in every decision he makes.

Justin is not a career politician. He is a citizen statesman. He has actual Capitol Hill experience and knows how the parts fit together in Congress. He will serve the 24th Congressional District with honor. He is the superior choice.

Peter Adam represents the Fourth District on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. The opinions expressed are his own.

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