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I don’t live in the 1st District, but every supervisor has an impact on all county residents. I am a former county employee, and I consider myself fairly conservative. I first met Das 18 years ago during the Gail Marshall recall campaign. I ran for the position to fill her seat had she been recalled, and during one debate in Montecito, Das filled in for her. I thoroughly enjoyed our debate, and, of course, we both claimed victory. It was evident then, as it is now, that Das Williams is an accomplished lawmaker.
I continue to follow local news and often watch the Board of Supervisor meetings. Das is always prepared and thorough in his deliberations. I don’t necessarily agree with the initial marijuana decisions, but I have followed the issue over the past year. I think he and Steve Lavagnino had and have the best interest of the county in mind. Problems arose, and rather than turn away from them, they have worked hard to make the best of it. However, marijuana is only one of many issues facing the supervisors.
I was very impressed with Das’s response to the debris flow. He was immediately on the scene and, according to my former colleagues, was instrumental in helping with evacuations and all that follows in a major disaster. I recently saw a letter praising Supervisor Williams from one of the “Bucket Brigade” founders. You can tell a lot about a person on how they respond in an emergency. Many of my former colleagues had nothing but praise for Das because of his hard work during that disaster.
I believe Supervisor Williams is an effective supervisor who cares deeply about this county and especially the residents of his district. I don’t know Laura Capps personally, but I attended their debate in Montecito. It was very clear to me that Supervisor Williams is eminently qualified for the position he holds. While I no longer speak for local public safety, I am acutely aware of the issues facing the county, and I trust Das Williams will continue being an effective representative for all the people of Santa Barbara County.
Jim Thomas is the former county sheriff and fire chief for Santa Barbara County.