Brooks Firestone, 3rd District supervisor-elect, announced on Tuesday the appointment of four new staff members who will serve with him during his four-year term in office.
In a press release, Firestone named the four new staff members, including current Solvang mayor David Smyser, architect Kris Miller-Fisher, former 35th District California State Assembly candidate Bob Pohl and Santa Barbara resident Parker Montgomery. All four appointees will take office alongside Firestone in January 2005.
Firestone said he appointed Smyser as his executive staff assistant, meaning that Smyser will work out of Santa Barbara and will be responsible for assisting Firestone in all areas served by the 3rd District office. His responsibilities will focus on handling the large amounts of paperwork concerning district proceedings such as town meetings, Firestone said.
According to the press release, Smyser earned a Bachelor of Science in agronomy at the University of Maryland, and both a Master in Education and a Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law, located in San Diego.
As an attorney, Smyser managed a mediation practice that focused on real property disputes and public policy issues and provided free legal services to low-income families, the press release stated. It said he has served on the board of several local public service agencies and is also fluent in Spanish.
Firestone said Smyser’s education and experience as an attorney and mayor made him a strong choice for executive staff assistant.
“He has quite a tremendous background,” Firestone said. “He’s as qualified as can be.”
Firestone said he appointed Miller-Fisher, a local architect and former UCSB College of Creative Studies faculty member, to serve as 3rd District administrative assistant. He said her position is similar to Smyser’s but said her focus will be on issues specifically concerned with I.V.
Because I.V. does not have its own governing body, Firestone said, Miller-Fisher’s job helps foster a better relationship between I.V. and Santa Barbara County. He said Miller-Fisher will assist in the county’s administration of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol, Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. and other public service organizations.
Miller-Fisher, the press release stated, has served on the city council and planning commission of the city of Sierra Madre and the editorial board of the ARCCA journal for the California Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture.
“She has a degree [in architecture] from Berkeley and Harvard, for goodness’ sake,” Firestone said, “I’m very fortunate to have her.”
According to the press release, Pohl, who recently lost the campaign for the 35th District state assembly seat to Pedro Nava, requested that Firestone appoint him as special assistant to the 3rd District. Firestone said Pohl will be responsible for helping Firestone transition into the initial months of his term and will serve as an adviser to Firestone during his time in office.
Pohl holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Southern California and a doctorate in education from Boston University. His background, according to the press release, includes experience as a principal at Haight-Ashbury School in San Francisco, as a board member of the Santa Barbara School District and a year as the director of strategic planning for the UCSB Gervitz School of Education.
Montgomery, a 30-year Santa Barbara County resident, will serve as the district planning commissioner, Firestone said. He said Montgomery has a great deal of business experience in venture capital and health care industries. Firestone also said Montgomery is a trustee for the Sansum-Santa Barbara Medical Foundation and has been involved in several nonprofit organizations such as the UCSB Foundation, the Music Academy of the West and the Santa Barbara Symphony.
Firestone said he is excited to take office in January and said he is confident in the capabilities of the staff he has selected.
“All these people are overqualified,” he said. “An attorney, an architect and a Ph.D. educator for the staff – that’s extraordinary.”
There are still other positions that must be filled before January, Firestone said.
“[I am] involved in finding more people who will serve on the various boards and commissions of the county to serve our county well,” Firestone said.