As the second anniversary of the Montecito Debris Flow approaches, I’m reminded of how lucky we were to have Das Williams as 1st District Supervisor when the nightmare hit on January 9, 2018.
I moved to the 1st District in 1984 and have been its Parks Commissioner since 1992. I’m a real estate agent and own property next to the Santa Monica Creek debris basin at Rancho Monte Alegre. I regularly hike the area.
Shortly before the 1/9 Debris Flow, I visited the basin — it looked alarmingly full! I reached out to Das, and within the next two days, bulldozers and crews arrived there in force. When the deluge hit, that basin performed beautifully, sparing Carpinteria from serious damage.
In Summerland, we were cut off from power and water: Das had bottled water delivered and came himself as soon as he could. I’ve worked with many 1st District Supervisors; I don’t think any of them would have done a better job than Das in dealing with two back-to-back devastating natural disasters.
From shepherding through a like-for-like ordinance to facilitate safe rebuilding, to working with local groups on ring nets and expanded debris basins, to providing ongoing post-disaster services, Das and his staff have been endlessly helpful.
I’m a conservative Republican, but I back local officials who get the job done and put community welfare before partisan politics. That’s what we saw on January 9 and have continued to see with Das Williams as 1st District Supervisor.