The Daily Nexus editorial board recently asked both 3rd District supervisor candidates, Doreen Farr and Steve Pappas, about local issues. These are their stances on these matters.
PAPPAS: Steve Pappas said he is committed to saving the Gaviota Coast and was adamant about ensuring that houses do not get built on the coastal terrace at Naples.
“We need them off the beach, off the coast, period,” said Pappas of the development at Naples.
As for specifics on how he plans to accomplish this, Pappas had few answers. Nevertheless, voters can expect Pappas to side with the two liberal board members from South County on issues pertaining to the environment.
FARR: Backed by the local chapter of the Sierra Club, Doreen Farr has campaigned hard as a “green” candidate.
Farr has publicly spoken out against the board of supervisors’ decision to approve the development at Naples, as well as this summer’s vote to lift the moratorium on off-shore oil drilling.
However, like Pappas, Farr gave few specifics about what she would do to curb development at Naples, if elected. Ambiguity aside, voters can presume Supervisor Farr would be the polar opposite of current Supervisor Brooks Firestone when it comes to the environment.
Balance of Power
PAPPAS: Pappas is running as a registered Independent and claims to have no party affiliations. He has not received any endorsements from political groups, and has said he is free from “the political machine.”
“I practice what I preach,” Pappas said. “There’s no allegiance to either party.”
Prior to switching to an Independent in 2003, Pappas was affiliated with the Republican Party. Additionally, the entirety of Pappas’ time in the 3rd District has been spent living in the Santa Ynez Valley, an area considered more conservative than the South Coast. Supervisor Pappas, however, would no doubt be more liberal than current 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone.
FARR: Farr, a registered Democrat, has the support of numerous political groups, including the Campus Democrats, as well as both South County Supervisors. She can be expected to swing the board towards the more liberal South Coast.
She has, however, previously lived in the Santa Ynez Valley and has received endorsements from both the Lompoc Record and Santa Maria Times.
“If I am elected, I will represent all parts of the community and bridge the north and south,” Farr said. “I’ve lived in Santa Ynez as well as the South County… and have received votes from districts around the county and across the political spectrum.”
Measure D & Isla Vista
PAPPAS: Pappas said he had not made a final decision on whether or not to endorse Measure D, which would involve selling land controlled by the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District in order to help build a community center and a subterranean parking structure beneath Perfect Park. However, he did say that he was leaning toward not supporting it.
His reasoning involved the concerns over the vagueness of the measure, as well as the lack of a guarantee that the proposed I.V. community center would be built.
As for the I.V. Master Plan, Pappas said he views it not as a definitive plan, but as a document to work off of.
“Taken to its fullest extent, the IVMP is destructive,” Pappas said. “You treat it like a tool and understand that it is not cemented.”
FARR: Farr said she had also not taken a stance on Measure D. While she said she found the IVRPD’s goal to secure funds to build a community center admirable, she also said some aspects of the proposal were overly complicated for a ballot measure.
Additionally, the plans for a subterranean parking structure beneath Perfect Park worried Farr, specifically because of the height of the water table beneath the park.
Concerning the IVMP, Farr said the plan could run into trouble with the California Coastal Commission, which has yet to approve the plan.
“The Coastal Commission has to sign off on the Master Plan, and parking is a big issue for them,” Farr said. “If the CCC doesn’t approve it, you have nothing. I think the plan must be flawed, or it would have already gone through the Coastal Commission.”
PAPPAS: With the county facing a possible $30 million deficit, Pappas said he would like to see a forensic audit done of the county’s budget, and would then cut spending accordingly.
“We need to know, and we can’t rely on the county to tell us where the county’s money is going,” Pappas said. “We need an outside entity to tell us where the money has gone and get a clear picture. Then you can figure out where it has been abused, where we have excessive spending.”
While Pappas said he would be in favor of cutting spending, he emphasized the need to adequately fund health care and safety programs.
FARR: Farr’s plans to address the county’s budgetary woes include cutting and consolidating spending, while also seeking out new streams of revenue.
“We’re going to have to take a hard look at the budget,” Farr said. “I don’t think we can do it all with cuts; we’re going to have to look at revenue enhancements.”
“The budget is going to drive a lot of things,” Farr added.
Like her opponent, Farr stressed the importance of maintaining key mandatory services, such as health care.