A recent opinion piece by columnist David Brooks made me think of our upcoming election for county supervisor. His topic was how the experience of political candidates “distills life into instinct.” He contrasted two approaches.

One approach is: “If you interpret your life as a battlefield, then you will want to maintain control at all times. You will hoard access. … You will close yourself off to those who can help.”

The second is the “gracious leader”: “If you treat the world as a friendly and hopeful place, as a web of relationships, you’ll look for the good news in people and not the bad. … Gracious leaders create a more gracious environment by greeting the world openly and so end up maximizing their influence and effectiveness.”

Candidate for 3rd District County Supervisor, Joan Hartmann, is clearly a “gracious leader.” Her experience of successfully working with Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project, Buellton Is Our Town, and the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission highlighted her collaborative decision-making style. Joan brings together individuals and groups with divergent needs and works with them to get things done. People appreciate her honesty, and her willingness to listen, learn, and find common ground.

I am actively supporting Joan Hartmann for 3rd District Supervisor because her lifetime of public service has demonstrated the character and leadership needed to work with all residents and to meet our district’s and our county’s challenges.


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