Did You Know? Bonnie Donovan
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”
— John F. Kennedy
We’d wish for less partisan politics locally. However, it appears that our mayor failed to attend former Mayor Hal Conklin’s memorial service at the Santa Barbara Mission.
Though Cathy Murillo said she wasn’t feeling well, she recovered enough to go door to door canvassing against the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom — and for her own re-election, we imagine. She’s seeking another term, along with the other three City Council members — the lot of them running for re-election as they follow their Democratic National Committee directives. They all received the Democratic endorsement.
Hal Conklin’s accomplishments on behalf of Santa Barbara transcend party lines, and we’d have hoped that our mayor would step forward and recognize those contributions.
Former residents of Santa Barbara recently returned for a Music Academy of the West soiree. In disbelief, they asked, where is the town? How could it happen so quickly? It looks third world and filthy, and they noticed how the sidewalks lift and create trip hazards in several places.
Naturally, they compared Santa Barbara to their new out-of-state digs — wide roads, uncongested, clean streets and maintained sidewalks, with little to no transient population.
We all live with Santa Barbara’s lowered standards every day. Sadly others are shocked by the continued downward trend.
Speak about a city afloat, a rudderless ship — let’s call it a life raft.
The interim Santa Barbara police chief, Bernard Melekian, agreed to stay until the end of the year. Talk about a class act! He knows the city needs someone to tender the direction until we procure a new mayor, City Council and city administrator.
In fact, numerous departments are being managed by interim staff. We need leaders who will make intelligent changes instead of letting the city fall by the wayside devolving into something unrecognizable.
We have mentioned this before, but the rampant explosion of street vendors is so out of control, and surely there’s a health issue for unlicensed vendors on so many street corners. Where do they prepare this food, and where are the carts stored at night?
Street vendors are fine and even picturesque — when on vacation in a second world country. But not here.
We implore the city to stop the daily selling of food on the street.
How equitable is that for the law-abiding taxpayer who pays the required fees, permits, rent, the health inspections etc., and yet, it appears the city plans to allow street vendors. How does this help the retailers who the city admits are in dire need of help?
We suspect the city making allowances for the street vendors comes from orders by way of Sacramento. Does this band of City Council members ever push back and stand up for what Santa Barbara deserves?
Again, it appears that our mayor and our city council are more interested in following the protocol of the Democratic Party and putting their dictates before the needs of the city of Santa Barbara.
What do the arts and crafts vendors on Cabrillo Boulevard pay for their annual fee for Sundays only, with numerous restrictions, one of which is for them to stay in their allotted square?
The Santa Barbara Ordinance Committee will discuss this item at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Elsewhere, the city of Riverside voted to delay any decisions to favor the street vendors, while brick-and-mortar businesses still struggle during the recovery from COVID-19 directives.
Notice the electric scooters, rented out of the van on Cabrillo Boulevard? We remember when police officers were called for people selling items out of a van.
Sweep Scooters, with a 310 area code, is doing a brisk business
Weren’t scooters banned? Why the free for all? Why do our local businesses pay taxes and fees, while the street vendors seem to skate?
Plus they are the first in line to get to the unsuspecting customer, curbside. How do they calculate the sales tax?
By the way, it was reported that a father said he would no longer take his children to Kids World at Garden and Micheltornea, because his children wanted the street vendors’ unhealthy snacks. It turned to a family meltdown, so his kids missed out on the park. Vendors sell mango on the sticks, chiclets, glass globes with fake roses, etc. Fake roses are already sold at the 99 Cents store.
Our progressive council promotes the street side vendors and again, apparently will hide behind “the state made me do it.” Really? Who at the state level? Gavin Newsom? He’s the governor for whom last weekend the majority of our city council stomped to retain, while admonishing his recall as a “Trump Inspired-Republican ploy.
But a recent UC Berkeley poll states that 47% of Californians would recall him from office.
The recall of Gov Newsom is six weeks away: Sept. 14. On the ballot is yes or no to keep him or recall him and then vote for his replacement.
Remember Gov. Newsom brought the recall on himself: his sorry performance and his flagrant inconsistencies — rules for me and rules for thee. The newest ploy in this regard came last week when he pulled his children out of their summer camp, where masks are not required indoors, contrary to other summer camps. This is usual for this governor.
Sounds like Santa Barbara, while we locked down as ordered, a Zoom cocktail party occurred. The female in-person attendants gathered at the top cop’s abode with another city manager and council lady, as they re-mapped the future of the city staff, while others Zoomed in on their computers. “Movers and shapers” toasted through the screen. Toast anyone?
Ask George Buell, on the other hand: Look where some of the Zoomers have landed — all in sweet spots. To be continued …
On a more positive note, thankfully, the City Council Legislative Committee voted to write the State Assembly with letters opposing the Housing Senate Bills 9 and 10. Nearly a day late and a dollar short since they missed the Senate vote.
Remember SB 9 and 10 would destroy single-family neighborhoods by allowing up to eight units where once a single-family home stood.
During the City Council Legislative Committee meeting, City Hall staffer Matt Fore explained the function of the published legislative platform and how it is used, with or without direction or preapproval from the mayor. His clarifications simplified the process.
Councilmember Kristen Sneddon rightfully reported that Santa Barbara is already zoned for enough housing and urged that the current zoning laws be allowed to work! She noted that Senate Bills 9 and 10 do not promote housing downtown but encourage multi-unit dwellings in the outlying areas. Santa Barbara’s unique hillsides and fire-prone areas are certainly not served by this legislature.
Local jurisdictions are being pummeled by an alarming amount of legislation by Sacramento. Roughly 2,500 bills were introduced this past year, even during COVID!
Perhaps another bill should be proposed, which would limit the number of bills each year. This would push back, force Sacramento to prioritize, and the Assembly and state Senate might find it more palatable since it would make life easier. City and county agencies would also appreciate a reprieve, after all, it is more than 200 bills a month to read, decipher, research the effects, and communicate with the constituents and their voting pool.
And then there are the cocktail parties to attend.
This week is our Santa Barbara Fiesta! Please enjoy whatever can be found of our historic Fiesta traditions.
Editor’s note: The Fiesta is Wednesday through Aug. 8. For more information, go to sbfiesta.org.