Before we get into our endorsement, we’d like to congratulate our fellow voters for choosing the two best candidates possible. No matter who wins, the 3rd district will be much better off in the next four years than it was under Brooks Firestone, even on his best day.

That said, we’re sticking with Steve Pappas. With our five-district county divided as it is, the 3rd district is the crucial swing vote on the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors. We believe Pappas will be able to analyze issues objectively and vote in a non-partisan manner. While he has northern roots — he lives in Los Olivos — he shows passion for issues that southern residents hold dear to their hearts, especially regarding the Gaviota Coast.

An issue salient throughout the county is the budget crisis. We’re all for Pappas’ plan to conduct a forensic audit of the expenditures to figure out where money has been abused and where the budget can be trimmed.

Isla Vista specifically has become the neglected stepchild of the county under Firestone. Both candidates promise to pay more than lip service to our unincorporated beach slum and we’re holding them to it. Each says they will revamp I.V.’s local supervisor office, and Pappas promises to create a UCSB-I.V.-Santa Barbara County advisory board. We like Pappas’ ideas for solving I.V.’s problems and we’re banking on his pledge to be a voice for Isla Vista. Pappas will undoubtedly give I.V. the attention it deserves, and we feel confident in his ability to lead every diverse part of the 3rd district.