Did You Know? Bonnie Donovan
Remember the city of Santa Barbara’s extortion plan being proposed last week? That’s the one where the tenant extracts two months’ worth of rent from the landlord for not renewing the lease. Of course, if “special needs” are in the mix, they gained another month.
Mayor Cathy Murrillo was the only one who voted “no” — get this — out of “principle” because she felt four to five months’ worth of rent was appropriate for “relocation fees.” Although last week’s decision was up for adoption during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, via circuitous discussion and a veritable shell game, the mayor insisted on revisiting the ordinance and pulled four “yes” votes out of her hat, (for a total of five), which changed the result to almost what she wanted.
The Santa Barbara City Council hammered out the proposal that three months’ rent across the board would be paid to any tenant whose lease is not renewed. This amount did not satisfy council members Meagan Harmon, Kristen Sneddon and the mayor, who demanded an equivalent of four months’ rent instead.
However, City Attorney Ariel Calonne countered he could not defend a “new” ordinance such as that one in court, as the city’s Marston Study recommended “1.5-2.2 times the rent for a city with no rent control.” Besides the Marston Study, the Housing Task Force provided its professional assessment of the situations, which were funded by the city. She also ignored these recommendations.
We wonder if she is following a Democratic Central Committee mandate. We suspect the mayor had committed “serial meetings” with the other “yes” voters, the meetings that did not include City Attorney Calonne by his reaction.
Did You Know? asks, “Aren’t ‘serial meetings’ a violation of the Brown Act?” Why is Mayor Murrillo pushing so hard?
The only thing we can figure is that she is running for mayor again, and she probably thinks her following consists more of renters than landlords.
Council members Eric Friedman and Mike Jordan thankfully stood their ground “on principle” that this was Mayor Murillo changing the rules or scoreboard until she got the score she wanted.
Is Mayor Murillo more interested in garnering votes than acting on behalf of the city’s best interest?
By the way, the Marston Study noted that in Santa Barbara, the “mom and pop” rentals charge less than the market rate. Council member Harmon said it was very limited assistance, “we, the City Council are giving to the tenants.”
Wait. Isn’t the assistance out of the landlord’s pocket?
The only thing these progressive City Council members are giving is slather to the DCC and their sheep. When Mayor Murillo did not get her way, which was for four to five months’ worth of rent, she retorted that “no Spanish speakers were on public comment today.” She also commented that they are “Santa Barbara’s working class” and followed up that those who could call, must be privileged. Is she defining privilege as anyone who does not need a translator? That ranks as blatant racism.
If you didn’t think the City Council’s monkey business of providing tenants the opportunity to exploit the monetary advantages presented in these policies against the landlord was bad enough, listen to this one:
A new electric company, called Santa Barbara Clean Energy, has been recently started by the City Council. On Tuesday, it gave itself a $2 million loan from the city ‘s Thomas Fire Bank account, funds which came from the settlement as a result of the lawsuit against Edison’s negligence in the blaze.
Do you realize what this means? They start an electric company and then they rule that all the customers of new construction will be their customers, only. That is because they are proposing an ordinance that all new construction will be electric — only. No natural gas is allowed.
We sit on the greatest natural gas source in the world. Suddenly, following in lockstep with NorCal, natural gas is no longer “green.” That ignores the blatant fact that most sources for electricity are far from green.
That leaves no choice for you. It’s another monopoly, created and condoned by the city (just like Cox Cable). Another freedom is taken away and another industry is destroyed — and with some mysterious motive of control underlying all of it. This has been proposed by the members of the Sustainability Committee composed of the usual suspects: Mayor Murrillo and council members Sneddon and Harmon.
Why would anyone in their right mind trust these three to make changes that alter life, the city itself and the economy of our community?
So cooking with gas? No more?
Electric power does not stop heating, when it is turned off, so that new construction in the micro units for the seniors, will all be electric? And the costs for electric power, water heater, dryer, stove, heating system all will be at least double the costs of natural gas.
We have plenty of natural gas. Electricity must be made. The startup funds come from the judgment awarded after the electrical wires caused wildfires. How does this add up? It is still business in partnership with Edison, and why is gas the bad guy?
Remember the PG&E electrical shut-offs up and down State Street all summer? Remember the inadequate grids that shut off the power in downtown Santa Barbara? The environmentalists stopped the practice of wildland management and limited controlled burns, and this, of course, increased the wildfire fuel. Now the Sierra Club is backing the city’s electrical only ordinance, which makes the success of their start-up electrical company a “hot-item ticket.” Isn’t this at the very least a conflict of interest? Who are these Democratic Central Committee puppets?
It is the bottom line for bottom feeders. This is a socialist mindset. Why do they think they know better than we do, or that they can run a utility company? Why would we allow them to take our freedom of choice? Look at the state of the city and how the government is changing the face of this beautiful city that has been guarded for over a hundred years.
Dear developers, guess who is excluded from the electrical-only ordinance? Hotels, motels and restaurants. Wow. Sales tax matter. Our city is following San Luis Obispo and Ojai in the push to remove the gas company and go all electric. However, Santa Barbara is not San Luis Obispo or Ojai.
To quote the former mayor, Sheila Lodge, “Santa Barbara is an uncommonplace American town.” Go buy her new book at Chaucer’s by the same title. In her book, she quotes Charles Mumford, who prepared the city’s first municipal plan.
He “commented on the extraordinary beauty of the town’s setting and on the fact that the health of the city’s economy depended on the enhancement of its attractiveness.”
And look what they are doing before our very eyes, stealing the views that make this town beautiful and unique in the world, with the false claim that more housing is needed. Take a walk around Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden, and imagine instead of the garden, a condo project 109 feet high. Pearl Chase fought that proposal in 1968 and won. Just think of the precedent that would have been set in the city if this scale of development had been allowed.
They can build that “needed” housing in less unique areas of the county like Santa Maria, Lompoc, Los Alamos. Sheila Lodge also asserts the same claims for housing were being made in 1909, when the preservation movement began. She further comments, “Careless development can alter the character of Santa Barbara. Its difference and distinction must be maintained.”
We are presently encumbered with a city government that is not guarding the unique beauty of this city and instead is running ramshackle as it exploits and destroys her charms.
If this “progress” isn’t stopped, more will have to change than the city’s seal — that is, the schooner in the channel with mountain views, for all.