UCSB students probably have had no time, inclination or interest in the results of the 3rd District supervisorial election, but they all did vote and they all are in that district, so here are some results. The proposition was to reelect the incumbent Gail Marshall or to elect the challenger Larry Mills. Marshall got 13,204 votes to Mills’ 10,582.
The North County overwhelmingly elected Mills; they were really fed up with the lackluster, do-nothing Marshall (Marshall’s home area, by the way). The South County elected Marshall primarily due to student votes.
There was an average 35-percent turnout at the 23 UCSB and I.V. precincts, as compared to 55 percent for the rest of the precincts in the 3rd District.
A total of 4,968 votes were cast in the 23 “student” precincts in the 3rd District. Had these votes not been cast by the students, Mills would have won by about 78 votes. Student voters outside these 23 precincts were not included to offset the non-students in Isla Vista. The student “block vote” distorted what the local, permanent residents wanted in a candidate.
Now, the students have the right to vote, but do they know for whom they are voting and the quality of the candidate’s record? Many students will not be returning after June and most do not live permanently in the 3rd District, but due to their vote in this primary election, the permanent residents and the homeowners and taxpayers are stuck with their selection for the next four years.
The local, permanent residents believe that the students have no vested interest in our local elections and that they should exempt themselves from voting in them. We believe that the students should vote in their home districts by absentee ballot.
For years, the local residents have tried to incorporate a city without the students because of this custom of block voting by the UCSB students. The local citizens do not want the students voting in candidates that we have to live with while the students all go back to their hometowns.
The UCSB students should talk this issue over with their families back home. We bet that their parents would really object to local students telling them who they should be electing in their hometowns.
One of the requirements of voting in a democracy is that the voter be informed. The UCSB students were not informed about Gail Marshall. She has not done anything in the 3rd District but hold meetings, and in particular has achieved no improvements in I.V., where the UCSB students rent temporarily, and she never will. Why did the students vote for her? The local residents of the 3rd District see the UCSB students’ actions as very irresponsible.
This political process has been going on for the past 20 years, first with Bill Wallace and his sidekick John Buttny, and now with Gail Marshall and her sidekick, John Buttny. Promises are made but the students are never here long enough to insist that they are kept. In the next election, more new students will be misled by these disreputable people and so on. The bottom line is that there is no accountability to the students by the people that they vote for. Ms. Marshall gets away with doing nothing because the students that voted for her are long gone and the new “pilgrims” do not know anything about her record. The solution is to vote in your own hometowns where you can hold your elected officials accountable, and let the local people do the same with the local politicians.
The people of Goleta just formed a city of Goleta without I.V. and UCSB because they did not want the students electing the likes of Gail Marshall again. A movement is underway to split the county because the North County does not want the students deciding who is elected in their districts. There is a recall of Supervisor Gail Marshall because she does not represent the people of the North County in the 3rd District but only a small clique in the South County who are supported by the students of UCSB.
The permanent residents of the County of Santa Barbara are fed up with the student-appointed supervisors and are seeking a change that will provide a more balanced situation than presently exists with the influence of the out-of-town student vote!
Justin M. Rughe is a member of Concerned Taxpayers, I.N.C.