Why I am Running for the Montecito Water District Board
I am running for the Board of Directors of the Montecito Water District because I believe that sound governance can deliver a more resilient and secure water future for our community. After years of inaction, we must shift to a more reliable, local, and sustainable water supply that will maintain our quality of life and ensure a vibrant future for our children, even in prolonged periods of drought. I promise the residents of Montecito and Summerland that I will do everything I can to prevent another water crisis and to avoid another round of self-inflicted quotas and penalties.
I am running as one of five members of a Water Security Team, a highly capable group of community leaders with diverse political and professional backgrounds, who have come together out of a shared concern for the future of our community. We believe that our Water and Sanitary Boards should lead, rather than fall farther behind, on resiliency, environmental stewardship, and sound financial management. It is time for new leadership to prioritize strategic planning over penalties and quotas, problem-solving over devil’s advocacy, and collaboration over acrimony.
What can voters expect from me? I graduated with high honors in government from the College of William and Mary before earning my law degree at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law, finishing first in my class. After clerking for judge Fortunato P. Benavides on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, I practiced law with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, LLC in both Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Immediately after September 11, 2001, I left the private practice of law for public service in both the Treasury Department and Department of Homeland Security. I wanted to do everything I could to help our country prevent the next attack. While in government service, I designed and implemented many of our most important border security policies and programs, including overhauling data collection and analysis on shipments entering and exiting the United States. I also negotiated with other agencies and foreign governments to forge agreements to improve our national security and facilitate safer travel and trade.
Throughout my three years of public service, I was recognized as a problem solver, innovator, successful negotiator, and thoughtful regulator – precisely the skills and experience that we need on the water board.
After departing government service, I founded and built my first business – a boutique management consulting firm that I eventually sold, and for which I am now a strategic advisor. I later founded and built a data analytics firm that I sold to a company that was later acquired by the Carlyle Group. My latest venture is dedicated to helping drivers save money, lives, and the planet every time they get behind the wheel, reflecting my strong interest in building business cases for conservation goals.
I have been actively involved in the community for years through Parents for Summerland, the Food Bank, and Santa Barbara PONY Baseball, where I have coached and mentored kids from all walks of life. Given the challenges we face, I believe I can make an even greater contribution to community service on the water board by completing negotiations for desalination with Santa Barbara; implementing a cost-effective wastewater recycling program; adopting a data-driven and collaborative approach to sustainable groundwater management; and making a more effective use of the rain we do receive.
If elected, I promise to use my government experience, business, and negotiating skills, and data analytics acumen to implement a water security platform and accelerate our shift to a sustainable future. I would be grateful for your vote.