The UCSB students probably have had no time, inclination or interest in the results of the 3rd District supervisorial recall election of Gail Marshall, but some of you all did vote and you all are in that district, so here are the results. The proposition was to recall Gail Marshall, the incumbent, and install the challenger, Jim Thomas.
The legend of bloc voting is very clear in this election with 87 percent No vote compared to a 57 percent Yes vote by permanent residents. The student vote record is a big anomaly compared to the residents’ vote. The vast majority of those that did turn out to vote voted no on recall. But 62 percent elected not to vote!
The North County overwhelmingly elected Jim Thomas by 96 percent because they were really fed up with the lackluster do-nothing Marshall. The South County elected Marshall primarily due to the student votes.
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 recall election, the permanent residents and the homeowners and taxpayers are stuck with their selection for the next two years.
The local permanent residents believe that the students have no vested interest in local elections and that they should exempt themselves from voting in them. They believe that the students should vote in their home districts by absentee ballot.
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. Extremists from the Sierra Club, The Environmental Defense Center and the pro-Gail Marshall interests among others such as local university professors blitzed students. The students acted like sheep and the majority voted for someone they did not know by lemming-response politics.
Gail Marshall 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.
This political process has been on going for the past 25 years, first with Supervisor Bill Wallace and his sidekick John Buttny and now with Gail Marshall. Promises are made but the students are never here long enough to insist that they are kept.
The bottom line is that there is no accountability by the students of 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 permanent local people here do the same with 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 city council. A movement is underway to split the county because the North County does not want the students deciding who is elected in their districts. Santa Barbara does not want to annex the university or I.V. because they do not want the students deciding for them who will represent them.
This recall of Supervisor Gail Marshall occurred because she does not represent the people of North County in the 3rd District but only a small clique in the South County who are supported by the students at UCSB.
The permanent residents of the Santa Barbara County 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!
So, please, students, vote at home with the absentee ballot.
Justin M. Ruhge is a member of Concerned Taxpayers for the Initiative for National Change (I.N.C.).