A week after he left office, former 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone is still trying to clean up Isla Vista.

A graffiti ordinance Firestone penned before stepping down from his seat is up for consideration at today’s Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting. If passed, the legislation will force I.V. property owners to address incidents of graffiti or tagging in a timely manner. The proposed legislation – which would impose fines upon landowners who fail to clean up graffiti within an allotted time limit – came before the board in December but no decision was made.

The board, which now includes Doreen Farr as the 3rd District supervisor, is expected to make a decision on the ordinance today.

Although it may be impossible to prevent graffiti from occurring, Firestone said the goal is to keep it from becoming a common sight in Isla Vista.

“We all know graffiti attracts graffiti,” Firestone said. “The important thing is to have it eradicated as soon as possible so perpetrators realize it’s not going to be seen by anybody and rival graffiti artists will not compete with it.”

“The idea is to be proactive and keep the place clean so that graffiti does not become an issue,” he added.

If property owners fail to comply with the ordinance they are subject to a fine from the county. Firestone said the gravity of the fine is dependent upon the individual case.

“It is a little controversial,” Firestone said, “but I think the net effect for Isla Vista will be very good.”

Property owners also have the choice of giving the county permission to take responsibility for the removal of the graffiti. However, Firestone said he hopes these clean up agencies will be used only minimally.

“There are a few cases where graffiti appears on private property and for whatever reason the owners or landlords will not remove it,” Firestone said. “This ordinance allows a public entity such as the county or parks and recreation to go on private property and clean up with the owner’s permission.”

The former supervisor is optimistic that the board will vote in favor of the ordinance after the second reading. There was no opposition at the December meeting when the ordinance was first suggested. Since then, newly instated Supervisor Farr has had a chance to look over and ratify the ordinance as well, and Firestone said he is confident the board will vote to pass the ordinance.

“I’ve been supporting it and now Supervisor Farr has had a chance to ratify it, and when we had first reading we did not have any opposition.”