The Big Picture

I applaud candidate Joan Hartmann’s efforts over more than a decade to keep Santa Barbara County a truly special place.

Joan has had her hand in many community projects that will give us a better future. I’m thinking of successes like the Buellton Urban Growth Boundary Initiative, the Gaviota Coast General Plan update, and Goleta’s Wetlands Recovery Project. This kind of work takes an especially patient and thoughtful person who can give a little here and there while keeping her eye on the big picture.

During a forum last spring, she was asked about trucking oil out of Gaviota until the ruptured pipeline was fixed. Her opponent suggested compromise. But the thousands of truck trips per month that would have been required would foul the air, clog the roads, and risk more spills. Joan reasoned correctly that the interim revenue wasn’t worth the risk. Bravo!

Increasingly, we as a county face tough resource allocation issues. More people are competing for scarcer resources — water, tourist dollars, and development opportunities, to name a few. These competing interests risk carving up our proverbial golden egg laying goose. Someone must make difficult choices in order to preserve our quality of life on behalf of those who do not have a seat at the table.

As a Santa Ynez Valley resident, I am more comfortable with Joan Hartmann making these judgments on the board of supervisors than her opponent.

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