Did You Know? Bonnie Donovan
“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”
― Mark Twain
California is part of the United States of America’s musical chairs? Everyone saw it was happening, but no one did anything about it.
It’s confirmed, however by the Census. People are leaving California and the state now has one less electoral vote and one less congressional seat in the House of Representatives. Last Monday, also confirmed: more than enough legitimate signatures needed to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom were accepted by the state of California. It’s early, but some have already thrown their hat in, or “tutu” as it were, into the three-ring circus.
The hypocrisy of the leaders, and we use the term loosely, has gone over the top. There are two types of people — some get sick and tired and leave; some get serious and stand and fight. When it is time to do your part in November (that would be the serious, standing and fighting part), remember you must vote for the recall and vote for the replacement governor. None of it works without both.
Tomorrow is the start date of 2021’s high fire season. This year, we received 47% of the county’s normal rainfall. The city officials declared we are “drought ready,” due to the resident’s conservation efforts. On June 22, the Santa Barbara City Council will, no doubt, unanimously vote for the proposed increased water rates for those residents that have conserved so diligently. The increases will start July 2021 and continue incrementally through 2023. What a reward.
“How bout a Fresca?” – Judge Smails
And on the flip side, the onerous neighborhood-changing housing bills, that we warned of earlier, will be up for vote soon, any day in May. It is imperative you call and email your California senators, not just the ones that represent you. Also, your family and friends, this is so important. Which kind of person are you? This is your chance to be the person that seriously stands and fights for their city. Call Sen. Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara, at her Santa Barbara office 1-805-965-0862, or her Sacramento office at 916-651-4019. Or email her, Senator.Limon@senate.CA.gov. Search for California senators and voice your opinion. These housing bills are anti-environment — they remove the voter approved California Environmental Quality Act, on developments. CEQA became law in 1970 and serves to alert the public of possible negative environmental impacts from a project. These proposed bills, Senate Bills 9 and 10, allow no local input. Your neighborhood and livability will be decimated overnight, while the developments obliterate your sunlight and privacy, much less the overcrowding of your peaceful neighborhood.
These market rate units are excused from providing adequate parking and not held responsible for city infrastructure as in sewer lines, public safety, streets, and schools. Yet our cities seem blind to the necessity of water and infrastructure as part of the formula of a successful enterprise. Do these bills absolve the investors of local ordinances such as “electric only” as an energy source in new developments?
Where is our city’s letter to Sacramento to protect Santa Barbara? Where is our city’s public discussion on this overreaching legislature and numerous attempts by San Francisco Sen. Scott Wiener? His latest bill is Senate Bill 478 which is tiny lots for high density. This also overrides city zoning. What does ultra-dense market rate housing create? Ghettos. Email and or call your own city council at Clerk@santabarbarCA.gov, to stand fast for your neighborhoods — the ones they swore they would protect.
“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”
― Edward R. Murrow
The city is paying for a situation that affects all of us — them and us; that is, the homeless and the rest of us. Again, for the transient issues and the surrounding fall-out of trash, shopping carts, abandoned furniture, campfire sites, and aimless people, the affiliated agencies continue to spend large amounts of money unwisely. Remember when you used to get a ticket for littering? Accountability.
Locations of encampments can be entered on a newly established website, which will be addressed within 72 hours. Please pass this intel on to your friends. If you agree the city looks shoddy, as some recent visitors did, go to: https://formstack.io/8317F.
On the other hand, how can we ever help the Santa Barbara homeless when Ventura transports by Uber their homeless to the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, after they are cleared medically at Ventura’s County hospital. Our encampments are increasing as the homeless are transported here without any beds for them. Why are we footing the bill and our lifestyle degraded?
Kudos to Goleta for a solid plan to give the homeless a leg up with concrete goals to measure their achievements. Critical services offered in the next two years should impact the homeless with a positive measured outcome. The most impressive is to operate public restrooms with showers 24/7. Because the city of Goleta only has a budget of $115,000 for their plan, we suggest the County of Santa Barbara give Goleta more money for their helping the homeless endeavor.
Rumor has it the county and city are in search of multiple properties to create “bridge housing” for the previously homeless. One of the potential sites is valued at $3.7 million before renovations of an additional million for a total of $4.7 million, situated at the waterfront. It does not take a mathematician to figure, that amount of money could go further outside of the higher priced (beachfront) areas. Instead of the city of Santa Barbara “…planning for a regional tax/bond local housing revenue creation program…” to saddle the tax-paying residents, why not invest in lower-priced areas, more affordable for social programs?
Speaking of the taxpayers, if they want to spend several nights at a beach front hotel, it costs them $300 plus a night. What would dissuade the homeless population from coming here with all the benefits we provide. How do we measure the achievements and success rates of the providers? The Point-In-Time count shows the programs are a failure for the efforts and taxpayer dollars spent. What are the numbers for the reunification element of these programs?
Contact your city council member and your county supervisor and tell them to stop wasting your money!
Speaking of city government, wouldn’t it be refreshing to envision a mayor at the helm of this city who represents the interests of Santa Barbara, rather than be an appendage of the national and state Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee agenda — while Santa Barbara is still beautiful and it’s charms relatively intact? Certainly this city has seen enough of the left-leaning build, and break, and re-mold from the last three mayors — Marty Blum, with her hand-wringing “who knew the buildings would be so tall” behind Paseo Nuevo on Chapala, to Helene Schneider with her high-tide blue lines drawn onto the city map, then on to our present Mayor Cathy Murrillo making Marty Blum’s exhortations appear small potatoes compared with the four-story buildings she’s approved throughout our precious downtown corridors.
The city has endured this brand of leadership since 1995 — how about a vision of city government where the candidate for mayor builds his platform with the idea that, “There is no Republican or Democratic view of the city that makes a difference.” This same candidate goes on to state “My politics and my ideologies are mine. I still have them, but I don’t take them into work with me when I go into City Council or City Hall…”
He says that he sees the State Street promenade as a short-term solution, and that he doesn’t like closing down streets. These are the ideas promoted by the former owner of the Paradise Cafe, who also served on the Santa Barbara City Council. With that depth of background and experience here, he is the one who realizes how outside ideologies will drive city policy. Those complexities have brought many policies that do not represent the best interest of the unique qualities that make Santa Barbara what it is. Those policies which run slipshod over downtown building density with height restrictions lifted to block our precious mountain views and congest the ease and comfort and beauty of this town. Wouldn’t it be nice to tackle the problems of Santa Barbara without tearing her down and rebuilding her “better” — to quote a national leader?
“Everything we know about human nature and about government tells us that individuals using their own money will achieve far more good for themselves and far more for others than politicians spending money they didn’t have to work to earn.”— Harry Browne