Endorsements Part III

Carpinteria City Council: Al Clark, Brad Stein & Gregg Carty

Sure, 16 years sounds like a long time, but during those years, the moderate slow-growth majority controlling Carpinteria City Hall has done a stellar job. The city’s finances are humming along in tip-top shape; growth-and-development sensibly reflects the city’s uniquely small-town flavor; and Carpinteria’s abiding community spirit is routinely nurtured. Why mess with a good thing? To that end, we strongly recommend Al Clark, Brad Stein, and Gregg Carty for City Council. These three will form a new, collaborative, and environmentally minded council well equipped to deal with the challenges now confronting Carpinteria: Venoco oil’s proposed on-shore slant-drilling plant, the widening of Highway 101, and the host of over-the-top development proposals slated for portions of the Carpinteria Bluffs. Seasoned by his 16 years on the council, Brad Stein combines a man-on-the-street affability with political know-how and an invaluable institutional memory.

endorsements_cheatsheet.gifAl Clark’s community activism rivals that of Stein’s, but we also think his bouncy intelligence, sly wit, and attention to detail will bring fresh energy to council deliberations. At first glance, contractor Gregg Carty seems almost too nice to be running for political office. But his experience with the Architectural Review Board and the Avocado Festival, combined with deep roots in the community, give him a strong foundation for public office. Admittedly, we gave short-shrift to the other two candidates — incumbent Greg Gandrud and newcomer Ron Hurd — because of their vehement opposition to Measure D, the congestion relief measure facing voters countywide. While Measure D is by no means perfect, it’s the last best chance we have to solve some of our congestion woes. Given the urgency of the problem, we’d be hard-pressed to support any candidate opposing Measure D.

Goleta City Council: Margaret Connell, Cynthia Brock & Roger Aceves

At five years of age, the City of Goleta is still weathering growing pains. Only a few weeks ago, the City Council approved its first community plan, the blueprint outlining how much additional growth it wants, what kind, and where it should go. Until this crucial milestone could be achieved, Goleta’s ferociously protective stance toward growth and development — often confrontational and combative — made sense. But with the adoption of such a plan, we’re hoping the new council can relax just enough to consider Goleta’s role in the regional housing crisis. More importantly, we hope Goleta begins to respond more calmly to requests from residents for housing additions. Given the inflamed slow-growth sensibilities of the Goleta Valley, however, we recognize that small, incremental steps are required to achieve this rather than long, sweeping strides. To that end, we are endorsing incumbents Margaret Connell and Cynthia Brock, as well as challenger Roger Aceves. Brock’s environmental bona fides are secure, having worked long and hard to save much of Ellwood Mesa from development. Neighborhood advocates and slow-growthers can rest assured she will not give away Goleta’s open spaces without a fight.

Connell comes recommended by a lifetime of public service, coupled with a notably even-keeled disposition. The home she occupies was considered “affordable” when it was built in the late 1950s, so Connell knows first-hand the benefits of such programs. Longtime Goleta resident Roger Aceves brings a wide range of experiences and skills that will be great additions to the council — not least of which will be his years as a police detective and hostage negotiator in Santa Barbara. Such training might help the council navigate more smoothly the passions that so often erupt in the political life of Goleta. He also has led numerous organizations, including Earl Warren Showgrounds, through rocky, argumentative times, finding the common ground that allowed all parties to move forward together.

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