We’ve finally got some races on our hands for the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors! Not one supervisor who’s up for reelection is running unopposed in the March primary.

Huzzah! 

Great! What do we have for quality candidates? Mm. That one’s a bit tough to discern. 

Restaurateur and Carpinteria City Councilmember Roy Lee is running against incumbent Das Williams in the 1st District; Manzanita Public Charter School board member Krishna Flores is running against incumbent Bob Neslon in the 4th; and investment banker Frank T. Troise and current Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne are challenging Joan Hartmann for her 3rd District seat. 

I don’t know much about that 1st District race, but it sure sounds like it’s a couple of seasoned electeds facing off. In the 4th District race, Flores is upset that Nelson wasn’t involved enough in Los Alamos during his last two years as its representative—you know, after redistricting wrapped up in 2021. He apparently didn’t hold enough community meetings there for her liking. 

She would hold them all the time if she was elected, the school board member said. 

“I think there’s a lot to learn from listening,” she said. 

Nelson believes that more community services districts in unincorporated communities would enable them to better advocate for their needs. Those special districts, he said, have more power to directly serve constituents than a larger governing body, like the county Board of Supervisors, which is concerned with multiple communities simultaneously. 

Troise of SoHo Capital, a wealth management firm, seems to be holding the 3rd District race hostage with his budget priorities—a strange tactic. But will it work?

He tasked his SoHo people to come up with a budget that tackles what he foresees as a $15 million to $20 million deficit. They came up with 14 different priorities, which he’s presenting to his fellow 3rd District candidates.

“If either Jenelle or the incumbent came to us and [said], ‘We will do this, we agree with you that this is a road map to get us from point A to point B,’ I will drop out of the race,” he said. “This election should be over by March 5.” 

Excuse me? Adopt this or else I’m running against you. So who’s running? Troise or SoHo Capital? Super strange.

Osborne said she’s running because Hartmann is too South County focused.

“There’s just been an ideology that so aligns with South County that it stops hearing what mid or North County is trying to accomplish,” Osborne said.

Oh! She’s too liberal, maybe? But I thought Osborne, who’s running as an independent, was actually more liberal than conservative. I’m so confused. Maybe Hartmann isn’t enough of a Lompoc liberal for Osborne. 

Osborne also said she wanted to see a respect for “organic growth” in communities. Is she upset about the county’s recently passed Housing Element, which lays down plans to help some areas grow more organically than they have been? I’m not sure. She didn’t specify. 

Maybe as March 5 bears down upon us, we’ll get a little more information from the challengers. For instance, everyone wants to know exactly what’s going on with Pea Soup Andersen’s in Buellton. We want answers, people.

The Canary is a pea soup progressive. Send ham to [email protected].

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