My article is in response to Jeff Farrah’s column, “Recall Marshall’s Record: Don’t ignore supervisor’s less than perfect performance,” in Tuesday’s issue of the Daily Nexus. The only question I have for Jeff is:
What the hell are you talking about?
Your first accusation that Gail Marshall “refused to shut down [the Tajiguas Landfill] because she needed the tax revenue” makes absolutely no sense. I don’t know if this is what you were referring to, but in the Oct. 10, 2001 edition of the Daily Nexus, in the article called “SB Residents To Expect Trash Bill Increase,” it states that “Santa Barbara County residents will see their trash bill increase this year to help fund the Tajiguas Landfill, which is losing money because the people of Santa Barbara recycle too much.” Because Tajiguas, “which makes its money by the weight of garbage it takes in,” was not seeing the same amount of trash it had been used to, it started losing money. As for shutting it down, Mark Chaconas, Ms. Marshall’s assistant, said, “If the county did not run the landfill, one of the large companies that owns other landfills in Southern California would take control and could set whatever rates it wanted.” I don’t know about you penny-pinching conservatives, but I am happy to pay a little more to ensure recycling continues in our community.
Your second accusation, that Ms. Marshall “turned her back on us and voted against I.V. inclusion,” is just plain wrong. Read the article in the May 4, 2001 edition of the Daily Nexus called “I.V. Loses Bid for Incorporation.” It clearly states that “3rd District Supervisor and LAFCO [Local Agency Formation Commission] Commissioner Gail Marshall, I.V.’s only elected county official, delivered a 15-minute speech before the vote supporting I.V.’s incorporation in the proposed boundaries.” She later went on to say “this is not a decision I have made lightly – I will be voting to include I.V.” While there might have been further steps she could have taken to further pursue I.V.’s incorporation, it was already an overwhelming vote against I.V. to be included, which Ms. Marshall could do nothing about.
The only thing that I can say about your third accusation, that “Marshall ran for office two years ago, promised new sidewalks, better lighting and additional parking, [and] that she is 0-3,” is… are you serious? Have you not read the endless articles about discussions between property owners, business owners and, believe it or not, yes, students as well? There have been countless workshops to get community input. There have been countless meetings to decide what actions to take with parking, lighting and sidewalks. I’ll tell you what, Jeff (and this also goes for anyone else who is badmouthing the condition of Isla Vista): Why don’t you check out www.islavistaplan.org and get involved? Why don’t you come by some of the meetings that are being held as we speak? Why don’t you do something if you don’t like the situation you are in, instead of ignorantly bashing Gail Marshall?
I voted for Gail Marshall two years ago and will vote no on the recall in November, but by no means am I advocating it for you to do the same. The only things I want you to get out of this article are, one: Get involved; don’t blindly bash the system when you have done nothing to improve it yourself. And two: If you do decide to follow Jeff’s ignorant lead and vote yes on the recall, then realize that Jim Thomas is next in line. And if you don’t know, Mr. Thomas is a retired sheriff. And if you believe that I.V. will be I.V. with a former sheriff running things, you are nuts.
Jason Benesch is a senior law and society major.