Thursday, October 2, 2008

In absence of campaign, Carbajal volunteers in New Orleans


Of all the local political races in Santa Barbara County, it’s safe to say none are as relaxed as the one for the office of the county’s First District supervisor.
That’s because current supervisor Salud Carbajal, the board’s chair, is running unopposed.
As a result, Carbajal’s life is void of the stress of running a campaign, debating opponents and selling himself to the electorate.

So what does Carbajal do with himself?
With the lack of a Board of Supervisors meeting this week, Carbajal took a brief vacation to New Orleans where he has volunteered at a Habitat for Humanity warehouse.
Sure, Carbajal, who has never before been to New Orleans, is seeing the sights with some friends, but he said volunteering was one of the centerpieces of his vacation.
“I’m just doing a small part in this overall effort that continues here in New Orleans,” he said. “I’m just happy to do my small part while I’m out here.”
The supervisor said he wanted to see first-hand the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and how the Bush Administration has handled the cleanup.
And according to Carbajal, the administration gets a failing grade for its efforts.
“[Not] enough has been done and it hasn’t been completed as it should have,” he said. “It’s unfortunate for the prosperous country that we are that we can’t handle disaster more efficiently, more thoroughly and more compassionately.”
Carbajal said he signed up to volunteer a couple of weeks ago. The facility he has been working at is similar to the recently opened Habitat for Humanity owned ReStore in Goleta, which sells used construction-related items, like doors, windows, sinks, light fixtures and toilets.
So while Carbajal is not on the campaign trail, he is managing to stay busy.
Carbajal started to discuss the benefits of running unopposed when a delivery of couches arrived at the facility.
Carbajal asked another volunteer if they needed help. They said they didn’t, but the supervisor insisted he lend a hand.

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