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Just In: Janet Endorses Susan E. for Supe


Outgoing Supervisor Janet Wolf on Thursday endorsed Susan Epstein to succeed her in the 2nd District, casting her decision in part on the Goleta school official’s attention to “emergency preparedness.”

The timing of the endorsement was sensitive; with the community’s focus still on the catastrophic impacts of the Montecito landslide, a return to the quotidian affairs of local electoral politics might appear premature.

Perhaps mindful of this, both Wolf and Epstein walked a fine line in the announcement: although Janet’s endorsement is the most coveted in the race, there was no public event accompanying the announcement – Wolf merely released a written statement that was emailed to reporters.

Also noteworthy: both highlighted emergency and disaster planning as a key issue, Janet in her commendation of Susan, and the candidate in her thanks to the incumbent. Of Wolf, Epstein said this:

"Janet had the vision more than a decade ago to advocate for the County to build an Emergency Operations Center. Giving our emergency personnel the resources they need, including this state of the art facility, has been instrumental in coordinated responses and indeed, in saving lives."

In her encomium to Epstein, Janet had this to say:

“She shares my values on the environment, sustainability, careful community planning, prioritizing public safety and emergency preparedness."

Tempus rerum imperator. Since the disaster, Epstein has been concerned about the appropriateness of electioneering amid tragedy. Last week, she emailed Newsmakers to ask that an upcoming story on her be back burnered.

"You mentioned publishing your article about me this week,” she wrote. “I’m not sure about the appropriateness of that timing. I don’t want to come across as campaigning right now.”

(For the record: The doddering staff of our vast and redoubtable 2nd District Bureau continues to work on an Epstein piece at their usual measured pace, and will let headquarters know when it’s ready to publish).

Epstein so far is the only declared candidate for the soon-to-be-open 2nd District seat.

The world awaits the decision of Gregg Hart, Santa Barbara council member for the 6th District, who was sworn into that job nine days ago.

Images: Goleta school board member Susan Epstein; Supervisor Janet Wolf; Council member Gregg Hart.

Here is the text of Janet's endorsement of Susan E.:

For Release: Thursday, January 18, 2018

Supervisor Janet Wolf Endorses Susan Epstein for 2nd District Supervisor

Supervisor Janet Wolf, who is not seeking re-election, has announced she is endorsing Goleta Union School District Trustee Susan Epstein for County Supervisor in the election to be held June 5, 2018.

“I enthusiastically endorse Susan Epstein to succeed me as Second District Supervisor. I've known Susan as a colleague, neighbor and community leader for over 15 years and I’ve observed her strong commitment to children, families, and quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

“She shares my values on the environment, sustainability, careful community planning, prioritizing public safety and emergency preparedness. As a resident, parent and School Board member in the Eastern Goleta Valley, Susan has strongly advocated for the Goleta library, parks and open spaces, while remaining engaged in the issues and activities within the Cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta,” Wolf continued.

“Susan is a tireless, positive and progressive leader who gets things done in a manner that will benefit the entire community,” Wolf stated.

"It means a lot to me to have the support and confidence of someone who knows the job better than anyone. I'm honored that she trusts me to continue the important work of serving the Second District," stated Epstein.

"Janet had the vision more than a decade ago to advocate for the County to build an Emergency Operations Center. Giving our emergency personnel the resources they need, including this state of the art facility, has been instrumental in coordinated responses and indeed, in saving lives," said Epstein.

“I enjoy bringing people of different perspectives, organizations, and businesses together to find solutions. We must plan thoughtfully and use the County’s money wisely to maximize our ability to provide essential services to our residents, our children, and our grandchildren.”

Epstein earned a Bachelor of Science degree while studying computer science at Stanford University and then graduated from the University of Chicago Law School. She was voted the Cox Communications Environmental Hero in 2013 for leading the effort to eliminate pesticides in 120 acres of playing fields and transforming school meals to locally-sourced and cooked from scratch.

She is also a member of the County’s Eastern Goleta Valley Community Wildfire Protection Plan development team. She has evacuated with her family multiple times during recent wildfires. Epstein is also the Founding Director of the non-profit Santa Barbara Village, which creates partnerships between local agencies and businesses to support seniors staying independent successfully in their homes.

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