Did you know? Bonnie Donovan
Despite the difficulties that district elections bring upon any town, we can certainly be grateful for the ultimate outcome of a nonpartisan mature leadership that our city elected.
We look forward to a new transparency, accountability and fair representation. Remember, however, that the votes of the city council affect the whole city.
Along with the more serious threats to Santa Barbara with building heights and high density that diminish the small town feel that attracts people to Santa Barbara in the first place, we would hope for a more cooperative city government to remember the traditions of the locals of Santa Barbara — i.e. the farmers market, the parades for Fiesta, Fourth of July, Solstice and more.
We applaud the reinstatement of the Christmas parade in Goleta this year, but note with alarm no plan for the Santa Barbara Christmas parade to return. Let’s face it, with the parklets in place it is impossible for parades to travel down State Street. And this is what it costs us: No parade, no celebration of our traditions, further dissolving the Santa Barbara that we know and love.
Recently upon making dinner reservations in Carmel, the website announced that the parklets were dismantled and the native charm of Carmel has been restored.
More positive expectations for the future with a new mayor would be changes for the following chronic issues.
More timely transient debris clean up. Remember the signs that used to be posted $1,000 for littering on the highway (CA PC Sec. 374)?
We see the antithesis of that now. Our streets resemble open garbage containers. Santa Barbara pays top wages for all departments. Why then does something as simple as getting the garbage off the street and graffiti from the walls take so long?
Think of the number of city vehicles with radios. Why can’t those employees call in the piles of garbage etc. as they conduct their city business during the day? Remember when a past city council candidate used the slogan, “First we must fix what is broken, and clean what is dirty.” We’re up to here with the finger pointing and the claim, “We don’t work nights or weekends.”
This garbage problem exists every day. With all the city departments and independent contracts we pay for, how long is long enough?
The Incessant importation of homeless people — we have asked for years about this problem of transients being shipped here, given a one-way bus ticket and sent to our town.
Mr. Randy Rowse, can this please be on the top of your agenda for “things to do?” Solving this conundrum would trickle down to our housing crisis. Case in point — the media release Oct. 22 reported the previous day’s arrest of the male transient who upon his arrival started a fire in our historic train station’s fireplace. He was booked for arson under the state of emergency (COVID-19?).
We look forward to all that we can fix in our own backyard. We can concentrate on more local concerns now that we will have a mayor, Mr. Rowse, at the helm who will listen, have a checklist, and get things done. Isn’t that refreshing!
As he said, “Our parks, downtown, neighborhoods and beaches require the focus of your mayor to attain the standards that our locals expect AND deserve.” We sure hope he will use Measure C funds to repair and maintain our sidewalks and streets as that was part of the reason people agreed to raise the city’s sales tax.
We must continue to put pressure on our local representatives. Let’s insist they represent us and not allow them to parade as politicians while jockeying for their next political position.
We celebrate our strong and wise Santa Barbara Police Chief Bernard Melekian, whose leadership has been extended until April 2022.
We are thankful that the city has made a turn for the better, and we are so looking forward to the new things to come and that there is more balance to the City Council.
No one can deny the serious social and personal consequences we have suffered with almost two years of shutdowns and darkness.
We experienced some glimpses of a silver lining from all this sacrifice. One being that parents are spending more time with their children, especially with home learning (Zoom), which has revealed to parents what their children are being taught in school — and what they are not being taught! So much so, it has also increased the enrollment in the private school’s sector and has brought more parents to attend school board meetings. Ideas at City Hall that were considered impossible have now come to fruition because of the shutdowns.
For example, the architectural project plans were unavailable except in person at Community Development. However, they are now onine for any interested party to view before they are presented at ABR, HLC, etc. Do we really have a housing crisis?
Our city experienced more rental vacancies while the college and university were closed, and the students were not in attendance.
We saw people creatively celebrating occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations using drive-bys, banners and balloons. Churchgoers eventually were allowed to attend on the church grounds and from their cars. Even downtown parking lots were free for the few who found somewhere to go.
We lost the department store Nordstroms, but rumor has it, investors plan to bring retail back to that location, possibly in a Piccadilly Square fashion. Let’s hope so.
As an old friend said, “we are living in the middle of the universe.” Let’s treat her as such. Let’s acknowledge this “heaven on earth.” The New Year is right around the corner.