The Montecito Water & Sanitary Votes

By James Buckley   |   October 25, 2018

Montecito’s vaunted “semi-rural” ambiance was shattered along with residents’ confidence after the Thomas Fire and the ensuing mud and debris flow that took the lives of 23 of our friends and neighbors and destroyed or seriously damaged nearly 10% of our housing stock. It is going to take a little time before the idea of a safe and placid Montecito rests easy on the mind once again; that unease is real and should be a call to do something positive and immediate to allay those fears.

There is much – and not just real estate values – at stake.

We can thank the Montecito Water Board for its perseverance in making sure Montecito had water in the face of one of the most severe droughts in memory. However, there was scarce future planning for a more secure water supply during that time and the members of the board had plenty of warning, in fact, plenty of time to have at least begun to nail down some concrete sources of dependable water. Therefore, we are voting for the three “Committee” candidates for the Montecito Water District – Cori Hayman, Ken Coates, and Brian Goebel – in the hope they can pool their collective experience to help secure that water.

Don’t be scared off by talk of “exploding” water rates if the longtime “experienced” directors are turned out: the current board has already gouged many Montecito residents with its arbitrary fines. A more orderly rate structure is desperately required.

At the Montecito Sanitary District, both Woody Barrett and Dana Newquist would bring some much-needed new thinking to the idea of enhancing the ability of the district to begin to supply – at a minimum – Montecito’s three golf courses with recycled water, and to demand they do so by a date certain. Maybe they’ll even address another major concern: private wells.

The Rest of the Election 

There is no president to vote for (sort of), but your vote for a Democrat will go toward a U.S. House of Representatives headed up by San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi and a Senate led by New York’s Charles (Chuck) Schumer, both of whom have essentially declared war against President Trump and have vowed to make life miserable for him. A vote for a Republican will be a vote for the status quo: damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead! As the late great Bette Davis would have advised: strap yourself in; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Here’s who we are voting for:


John Cox, who else? Gavin Newsom gives us the willies but, naturally, being California, Newsom the Democrat is the odds-on favorite. If he wins, Democrats will rejoice that they finally have a man in the office who will hand over the keys of the treasury to the wild-and-wacky left. As a Republican, however, and knowing the odds, you are probably preparing for four years of catching gnats with your bare hands and eating them in a dark room. Despite what happens, we (the royalists) promise not to stop traffic and break things if our guy doesn’t win. We can’t say the same for the other team.

U. S. Senator

Why bother?

Congressional District 24

Justin Fareed has our vote. He has come a long way since first declaring four years ago and has become an excellent candidate. Our guess is that this race will end up closer than expected, but that incumbent Salud Carbajal (D) will enjoy another two years commuting from Washington, D.C., to Santa Barbara. Should Justin win, well, let’s just say we’d be at least as surprised as he will be, but don’t count him out. He is a good man.

State Assembly, 35th District

Jordan Cunningham

Who else?

Lieutenant Governor: We’ll go along with Congressional candidate Tim Donnelly and give the nod to Democrat Ed Hernandez

Secretary of State: Mark Meuser
Controller: Konstantinos Roditis
Attorney General: Steven Bailey
Treasurer: Greg Conlon
Insurance Commissioner: Steve Poizner
State Board of Equalization: Mark Burns
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Marshall Tuck

The Propositions: Either “No,” “Hell, no,” or “You’ve got to be kidding!” on all but Prop 7, which gives the public the right to vote on whether to alter Daylight Savings Time. By requiring a 2/3rd vote we feel like we’re being played again, but what the heck, vote “Yes” on this one and, to paraphrase our current president, “We’ll see what happens.” We do like the effort in Prop 5 to help seniors and those hurt by natural disasters keep their homes and reduce their “moving” taxes. It contains some good ideas but needs more muscle; maybe next time.


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