I am writing to voice my opinion on the recall of 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall. Ms. Marshall’s recall is not only just and fair, but it is an admirable move by this county’s citizens to “check” their leaders when they make rash decisions. In an age of frivolous lawsuits, a recall election empowers common citizens to ask more of their leaders.
Those opposed to the recall claim that is it an attempt to thwart Supervisor Marshall from simply doing what she was elected to do. If Marshall had been doing her job, then Marshall and her supporters must ask themselves why the Committee to Recall Gail Marshall is perhaps the largest project attempted by a bipartisan group in Santa Barbara in recent memory. This committee is not another project of a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” but rather composed of former supporters of Marshall (including financial ones) who want to restore responsible government to Santa Barbara County. To those community members involved in the recall process, as well as the thousands other citizens in the 3rd District who have signed the petition, the best way to do this is to recall Gail Marshall.
In a recent opinion letter in the Daily Nexus (Reader’s Voice, Jan. 18, “Recalls Cost Too Much Cash to Fool Around With”), one student stated that Marshall believed UCSB and Isla Vista must remain apart from Santa Barbara and Goleta because “strong arguments have been made for both of these alternatives.” Perhaps strong arguments have been made for both sides, but the strongest one I recall was made by UCSB’s Legislative Council. A position paper passed, nearly unanimously, by Legislative Council calling for Isla Vista to be removed from Marshall’s district and placed in the 2nd District during the redistricting process. How can anyone contend that Marshall listens to her constituents when she is unable to lend an ear to an elected body that represents 17,000 UCSB students?
Marshall supporters also claim that the recall process will cost an outlandish amount of the county’s money as well as distract her from her supervisorial duties. Perhaps when those opposed to the recall overestimate the recall’s price tag, they are taking into account the type of monetary waste this county has become accustomed to under Marshall’s term in office. Even if the recall were to cost quite a bit of money, it is pennies on the dollar to how much Marshall has cost our county. She repeatedly wedges her way in between the North and South Counties, creating animosity so great that North County is vying to separate itself from South County completely. Marshall has also regulated the agricultural industry to near death, making it often too difficult for farmers to turn a profit. To save the county economically, 3rd District voters MUST recall Gail Marshall.
Lastly, Marshall supporters have tried to downplay the infamous “flag incident” between Marshall and GPAC committee member Joe Olla as “proper procedure.” Perhaps I should remind Marshall supporters that “proper procedure” calls for a United States and California state flag to be present at all committee meetings. Marshall did not follow this, and only adhered to the law when she came under intense scrutiny from her constituents (the act of a true politician). When Mr. Olla attempted to invoke his constitutional right to express gratitude to his country by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, Marshall became visibly distraught and turned the GPAC meeting into a circus by preventing Mr. Olla from doing so.
For those UCSB students who are unsure of the exactly how the GPAC events went down, I encourage you to watch a videotape of the event. The tape will be made available at the next College Republicans meeting. We meet Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in the State Street room in the UCen. You will see an embarrassing display of disrespect to our flag, our country and its heritage, and be convinced that signing the petition to recall Gail Marshall is the most responsible thing you can do as a voter.
Jeff Farrah is a junior political science major.