Santa Paula Times

Supervisor Long announces she will seek fifth term leading 3rd District

June 10, 2011
Santa Paula News

Already racking up endorsements, Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long has announced she wants to continue to represent the 3rd District.

“I thought hard about the decision, and I think you should” consider job challenges, support, and “of course, family. And I’m going” for a fifth term.

Long, 60, of Camarillo, is the third and final incumbent facing re-election in June 2012 to declare her candidacy, a move taken in recent weeks by Supervisors John Zaragoza (Oxnard) and Steve Bennett (Ventura), who have endorsed her.

Long said her re-election campaign is already high gear with the support of numerous elected and community members, including Santa Paula Mayor Fred Robinson, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean, and elected officials in Port Hueneme, Fillmore and Oxnard. Long has also received the endorsement of Supervisor Chair Linda Parks and the Ventura County Professional Firefighters Association, which noted her long-standing commitment to providing the necessary infrastructure and workforce to protect the residents of our county.

Long’s district includes the cities of Camarillo, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Fillmore, and south Oxnard, the latter the result of balancing numbers as mandated by law to keep districts close in population. But in the shuffle Long lost California State University Channel Islands, although, “I will still be on the site authority and it will still be in my heart” and the focus of continued support.

Long feels her close working relationship with city and community leaders has directly benefited residents. “I’ve moved forward working on the needs in our communities for health care, safety in our neighborhoods, educational opportunities, jobs, and housing. I’m proud of my work to keep our fiscal house strong, bringing in balanced budgets while growing reserves, and receiving strong ratings from our bond agencies.”

A priority facing counties is the proposed early release of state prisoners, a realignment that will have a domino effect on everything from local law enforcement to health and human services. Long has already been involved in an area task force meeting for several years examining the issue as it as wound its way through the courts.

A recent California State Association of Counties (CSAC) conference was an example of what is facing government: “We spent the entire three days talking about pension reform and realignment - the early prisoner release and its impact to the counties.”

Long said “This seismic shift of programs threaten our communities with the early release of state prisoners, pushing state inmates to our local jail, and the re-entry of parolees back into our neighborhoods.” Such issues reinforced that “This is not the time to walk away... I think we’ll do a better job as long as the state guarantees some funding and constitutional protections,” issues Long has already been involved in.

The state is already signaling it wants the counties to take over the delivery of more services, ranging from mental health to alcohol and drug services. “It will be daunting,” but Long welcomes the challenge, which will demand “experience to guide how best to keep our communities safe, healthy and on the road to economic recovery. It has impacts to programs for children, seniors and our disabled/disadvantaged residents. My experience in advocating and fighting to protect these programs and lower our financial risk will be of great benefit as we move local government to become more independent of the state.”

Long believes the experience she has gained during her elected service will be valuable in the budget process and over the next few years as the state climbs out of a historical deficit. “Ventura County is facing tough, uncertain times, and I believe in times like this it’s critical to invest in experienced, proven leaders.”

Long has served on the board since 1997, currently serves on the Air Pollution Control Board, CSU-CI Site Authority, as co-chair of the Community Commission for Children and Families and Regional Defense Partnership-21st Century, and as chair of the Medical Oversight Board for VCMC, among others.