In response to Barney’s column about the upcoming Montecito Fire District election for a proposed expanded Board of Directors, Barney misses the main point of this election. Apparently we have some candidates who have never even attended a District Board meeting who now feel they should have the power to say how the MFD is being run. Some of these same candidates also are seemingly very privileged folks who find a fire station an unworthy neighbor (a proposed new station is one of the background issues_. One candidate things his logistically precarious neighborhood with its substandard roads was slighted in the Tea Fire. One of two candidates may simply be looking for a “power base” in Montecito, however small it may be, to begin cityhood talks again or seek combining of services districts to serve their own purposes. Since they have shown no interest to date in the district and its governance once has to wonder what is really the prize here. There would be no hubbub if these candidates had not creates it to suit their purposes.
The column in the Independent suggests Mr. Jensen is a problem; however, the truth is that he has served long and honorably. He, his fellow board members, and the highly skilled pas chiefs should be congratulated for guiding this department to the point that it is recognized as one of the very best in the state. The best costs money. This department has been compared to other coastal towns, but what other towns, coastal towns, can you think of which also are tasked with saving the “mega-mansions” which dot our precarious hillsides?
Montecito always demands the best – some say, “as long as we don’t have to pay for it.” Yet the Montecito Fire Dept. has never asked to raise the tax rate. Several of the current candidates seemingly do not recognize that their hands will be tied by all sorts of state and federal regulations; and, by the demands of Montecito residents.
What will happen to the District when whose who only want to have their own special agendas addressed lose interest in the welfare of all Montecito residents? The department has spent tend years in budgeting and planning for the future needs of the Montecito community, as well as looking toward giving the residents in the East end of Montecito the same response the rest of the community enjoys.
For all of these reasons, I will vote for the candidates our highly skilled, recently retired chiefs endorse. They know best what this very critical, scientifically based, public entity needs in the way of leadership. I don’t think an election should be bought by big bucks which paid for a negatively slanted, Florida-based phone survey, or by angry people who have their eyes on their own agendas and not on public safety for all.
I will vote for: Jensen, Denson, Collins, and Owens.