The following article originally misattributed a quotation to Brooks Firestone. Firestone does not support Doreen Farr for Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor.
Local politician Doreen Farr announced recently that she will run for the position of Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor once Brooks Firestone vacates the office in 2009.
Although the official filing period for the race does not begin until January 2008, Farr made her plans public, running on a platform of environmental accountability and community participation. She has served as president of the Patterson Area Neighborhood Association and the Santa Ynez Valley Alliance, as well as planning commissioner under former 2nd District Supervisor Susan Rose.
Farr said she values community input and will include it as part of her campaign.
“If I were elected, I would listen to the public,” Farr said. “I’m very sensitive to the issues of public participation.”
Farr said she is a strong proponent of community-based planning and would like the Board of Supervisors to appear more approachable to residents.
“The supervisor office should be accessible to the public,” Farr said. “That means holding meetings for the public, holding office hours. If people have problems with various branches of the government, they should feel like they should be able to call the supervisors, the same way if a veteran has problems with their benefits, they would contact their congressman.”
Public participation is a particular concern to Farr, she said, because she feels Firestone ignored the community.
“A group did work on the Gaviota Coast, trying to find solutions to protect certain areas, and Firestone would not put it on the agenda,” she said. “That was a great loss, and I also think it was disrespectful of the people involved.”
Farr also said another priority, should she take office, is to improve the county’s environmental policies, specifically the preservation of the Gaviota Coast.
“I’m very concerned about the environment,” she said. “I think that the current situation at the county has been eroding a lot of the policies we have to protect the environment. I’m concerned about the preservation of agriculture throughout the county, especially in the 3rd District. That’s important for the quality of life we enjoy here.”
In regards to Isla Vista, Farr said that as the district supervisor, she would push for efforts to improve garbage services, street lighting and bus schedules. Additionally, she said she would scrutinize the I.V. Master Plan heavily in order to ensure it is executed with few disturbances.
In response, Firestone said the area he serves – and its constituency – is large and complex. He also said that he does not have much confidence in Farr’s ability to act as district supervisor.
“I am hoping a stronger candidate will emerge,” Firestone said.
However, Goleta City Councilmember Jonny Wallis said she is a strong supporter of Farr.
“I think she served the 2nd District very well as planning commissioner,” Wallis said. “I think she knows about the way people feel about our environment, issues relating to growth and other things.”