City Council Opinions?

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By an edhat reader

Santa Barbara has 7 Council Members including the mayor. What do edhat readers think of their recent decisions, were there specific issued you agree with or disagree with?

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therealbebe Apr 06, 2019 12:56 AM
City Council Opinions?

I am so going to get slammed for stating the obvious... but has anyone else noticed that SB keeps electing the same woman for mayor? Short, stout, frumpy, and liberal. Can we maybe branch out and see how that goes? (I am tall, frumpy and liberal-ish if that helps you understand my point.) Variety is good, people.

sbdude Apr 05, 2019 09:41 PM
City Council Opinions?

I agree with having a mayor get < 30% of the vote is a terrible idea. Maybe we should agree to a mandatory runoff if the winner gets less than 50% of the gen election vote? IDK if Frank Hotchkiss would have been a better mayor than Murillo but he couldn't have been worse.

a-1558948620 Apr 06, 2019 08:02 AM
City Council Opinions?

Maybe a wealthy activist will fund an initiative requiring a run-off election for mayor if none of the candidates gets over 50% of the vote.

a-1558948620 Apr 05, 2019 05:29 PM
City Council Opinions?

Reform is needed. Question is what type: Recall, Demand City Administrator be fired, or wait until it is too late.

a-1558948620 Apr 05, 2019 03:37 PM
City Council Opinions?

I didn't vote for Murillo either and no one I know did or likes her so how did she even win? Low turnout?

VinSB Apr 06, 2019 08:13 AM
City Council Opinions?

Her election materials portrayed her nicely. For those who don't read between the lines or beneath the surface, this is endorsement enough.

Sam The Dog Apr 05, 2019 05:08 PM
City Council Opinions?

28% should not lead to an election win. We really should have a ranked choice voting system so we can get a majority of the voters behind a single candidate.

a-1558948620 Apr 05, 2019 05:02 PM
City Council Opinions?

5 candidates splitting the vote so Murillo won with 28%. She had the strong support of the so-called "progressive" Dems.

Phantom Blot Apr 05, 2019 11:43 AM
City Council Opinions?

All Cathy needs to do is humbly ask Shiela Lodge for some experience, strength and hope. Cathy has shut her out and she was the best mayor we’ve had since Tom Storke, with the notable exception of Hal Conklin. Sheila is willing to be a listening post (as in really listen and be still as a post) and offer suggestions when asked. It’s like the relationship between a sponsor and sponsee in 12 Step programs. They are like wheat farmers. The sponsor listens as the sponsee tosses their ideas (the wheat) into the wind (the sponsors experience) and separates the wheat (the good stuff) from the chaff (fear based thinking) and what falls to the ground can feed nations. Cathy: it’s not to late to tap into the wealth of solid leadership and experience at your disposal. You are capable but stubborn and, I think, more than a bit afraid. Dial that phone!!!! We need your feet on the ground and your head out of your fear-filled guts!!! Remember what Einstein said above problem solving.....it cannot be done with the same brains that created the problem!!! Couple that with the standard allegorical definition of insanity and the pathway to solutions become clear. Peter N.

REX OF SB Apr 05, 2019 04:40 PM
City Council Opinions?

BLOT: T.M. Storke was never SB mayor. At one point he was SB postmaster, and for a little less than two months he was a US Senator, having been appointed to that post to replace Sen. William Gibbs McAdoo, who quit. Regardless, as a third-generation Santa Barbaran myself, I can unequivocally state that IMO, the Murillo woman is the absolute worst mayor this city has ever seen. With her as mayor, and Newsome as governor, and the horrible Orange Buffoon as our alleged president, there seems to be no hope on any side.

Roger Apr 05, 2019 03:06 PM
City Council Opinions?

I agree with Phantom Blot she should call Shelia for help there should be no recall let her serve out her term. We can't just fire everyone because we don't like them.

a-1558948620 Apr 05, 2019 02:36 PM
City Council Opinions?

"WE" didn't vote for her. I voted for Angel Martinez. 24% of our city population voted her in. The other 76% aren't happy.

a-1558948620 Apr 05, 2019 02:32 PM
City Council Opinions?

"We" voted her in. "We" could have ignored the unions and the democrat party... but we didn't.

dogsnsand Apr 05, 2019 02:25 PM
City Council Opinions?

Totally agree with you on Sheila Lodge - she knows more than anyone on Council, and would be a sage advisor to them. Hal Conklin is also really good, and knows the history of how we got here. It would be great to recall the mayor. She's so over her head - I don't know why the Democratic Party forced her on us. Someone needs to ask them if they could start backing qualified people.

SBCountyLocal Apr 05, 2019 09:37 AM
City Council Opinions?

Cathy bullied and intimidated two Architectural Board of Review Members on 3/26/19. As mayor she approached them and told them she was not allowing their comments at a public meeting. They were on the opposite side of the issue. To silence them she used her position of power to prevent them from making public comment or ceding time to the other. They are board members appointed to a City Board by Councilmembers. They serve the pleasure of the Council. Anyone in the position would feel they couldn't speak. What she did was unconscionable. There is no circumstance under which this should occur.

Eggs Ackley Apr 06, 2019 07:05 AM
City Council Opinions?

Their first amendment rights were trampled. Mayor must resign or risk a federal suit. I hear Bob Mueller is looking for his next assignment.

sbpaddy Apr 05, 2019 08:25 PM
City Council Opinions?

Agreed! Cathy can't manage her job but she can push people around with her power? The people of SB need to make a change and move her out.

ZeroHawk Apr 05, 2019 09:17 AM
City Council Opinions?

in short, remove them all, including Cathy, and redo.. the decisions on new construction and the destruction of downtown is too much...

RHS Apr 05, 2019 09:05 AM
City Council Opinions?

A few observations on the comments posted here to this point: 1. Staff has run the city for decades. The mayor and council love this as it keeps them out of the line of fire and allows them to point to "staff" when complaints come in. This is the purpose of city manager government. 2. Part of the hope in district elections is to get the actual council person to be response to district and city needs and to have them intervene with staff and the city manager to get these needs attended to. This is actually happening. What we are seeing with the big condo and apt complexes is the end result of older policies that took years to come to completion. 3. Santa Barbara City does not stand alone in this. Unfortunately the neighboring cities have long dodged their participatory role in allowing a unified and area wide response to difficult stuff like homelessness. Goleta is happy to build more and more housing and big box stores for the tax base they provide but without the duty to also include needed social institutions to address the consequences of such construction. Carpinteria just shyly hides around the corner and pretends "nothing to see here". Thus, I am cheered by the outspoken nature of some of the new SB council members and wish them well and hope they will meet with their peers also.

Factotum Apr 05, 2019 09:12 AM
City Council Opinions?

City staff wants more growth in order to generate more tax revenues they hope will fund their own salaries, perks, benefits and pensions. Their own job and benefits protection remains their sole motivation, when issuing these "staff reports" to city council. City council members depend on city employee union support for their own re-elections. The circle is closed..

rwelsh Apr 05, 2019 08:59 AM
City Council Opinions?

This forum is why I like EdHat. I agree with most the people here that the city council is bought and paid for by Pro-tech, Pro-high density, Pro-not-in-the-interest-of-normal-Santa Barbarians. But the game is over with Amazon coming in to the Saks building. Tech, and most accurately, Bezos, will own our town. Drones, Alexas everywhere, 5G, self-driving cars, real estate values shooting through the roof, increased traffic nightmares and homeless populations, crowded sidewalks, overpaid Millennials and Gen Z-ers in their mini coopers, scooters, hoodies and Ear Pods content with 900 sq.ft. apartments shared by 4 people... Its coming. Just watch. Laid back SB with casual tanned struggling artists, surfers, normal families... they will all have to flee, just like in San Francisco.

a-1558948620 Apr 05, 2019 06:37 AM
City Council Opinions?

One thing to remember about the City is that the Council hires the City Administrator who actually runs the City. Thus staff actually takes direction from the Administrator, not the Council. There is no doubt that a strong mayor, which we have not had for decades, would do better in guiding and controlling the staff. And when the Council makes judicial decisions, they depend on the staff for the information on which to make those decisions. Another problem leading to the current situation of the staff running things is that the mayor and council members have no experience in how the city works, what the laws are, etc. Look at the background of virtually all of these people before they were selected by the democratic committee and unions to be on the council and you will see a total lack of qualifications for the position to which we the people elected them.

a-1558948620 Apr 06, 2019 07:52 AM
City Council Opinions?

The City would have a better chance of having a strong Mayor if the rules were changed to require a runoff election if none of the candidates got 50% of the vote.

22701015201 Apr 04, 2019 08:39 PM
City Council Opinions?

Staff controls Council. Murillo, Friedman, Gutierrez and Harmon are bought and paid for. Either by the Dems or Developers. Harmon is new but she wants the Dem enforcement. To get it Murillo will make her fall in line or bully her to do it. Rowse is over the Council and wants out. Sneddon and Dominguez could get big thing accomplished if they had decent Councilmembers to support them. Staff meanwhile puts things in front of Council choose A, B or C. No real choices. Just choices staff wants. Staff people are generally corrupt, lazy or just incompetent. Right hand does not know what the left is doing. Just terrible. The City is going to hell.

a-1558948620 Apr 04, 2019 07:27 PM
City Council Opinions?

It's really unfortunate that while we have a more diverse council than ever, they are pretty much all unqualified for this position, so staff is running the city. And how is that going? No serious coordinated effort to really reduce homelessness. Major attention on banning straws. Lots of creative stuff happening for State St, but that's Nina Johnson's work, not the council's. Potholes all over. Projects going up because the state mandates them, and people don't understand the city can't fight the state on this. Properties being bought by speculative investors who then raise the rent to cover their purchase price, kicking out small businesses, renters, and low-income folks. The city is getting balkanized, and there's no leadership at City Hall. Murillo is totally unqualified to be mayor, and barely won with 24% of the vote. A good mayor would have passed an ordinance fining vacant building owners because those drive up the city's costs in policing, lost sales tax revenue, and fire and medical services for the homeless that take over the empty doorways. But we don't have a good mayor, so there's not going to be any movement on that front. We're paying way too much in pensions and salaries, so they cut services like park maintenance and road repairs. Do I agree with their decisions? No, and I really don't agree with the way staff drives the council. Big decisions about roads, transportation, housing, etc. are being made outside of the Council. And they're not smart enough to get on top of that. Luckily the weather and scenery are still nice, and they can't affect those, so I guess there's something to be grateful for.

Factotum Apr 04, 2019 04:44 PM
City Council Opinions?

Lying about the need for Measure C - the recent retail sales tax increase was a low point for this city council. They withheld proper city infrastructure maintenance from all city residents and chose instead to pay themselves huge compensation packages, pensions and perks with the existing city revenues. To pass Measure C, they threatened residents with continued deficient roads and infrastructure maintenances, just so they could keep the existing cash revenues for themselves. We would be the ones punished if we did not agree to pass Measure C and tax ourselves more; they would not be punished in any way since they would still get their compensation packages and pensions whether Measure C passed or not.

Factotum Apr 04, 2019 04:20 PM
City Council Opinions?

Council members cost the taxpayers a lot more than "$40,000 a year", they get a total of over $80,000 when you add on the perks and benefits, plus we pay them a pension for life, even if they get voted out of office. Mayor makes more than $100,000 a year: Regular pay: $42,004.31 Overtime pay: $0.00 Other pay: $6,936.00 Total pay: $48,940.31 Benefits: $32,129.23 Total pay & benefits: $81,069.54

Eggs Ackley Apr 06, 2019 07:11 AM
City Council Opinions?

Who thinks we had better councils before they were paid?

Ahchooo Apr 04, 2019 03:22 PM
City Council Opinions?

I don't agree with the decisions that reduce the amount of required parking for various developments. I'd love to see more people taking public transit, but if the council reduces parking requirements, they must also increase the frequency and coverage area of bus service at the same time, and that is not happening. Funding for bus service is always a problem, but they need to find some before they expect us to abandon our cars. Also, I believe the city council needs to push back more against the new state policies that disallow local control over new development. We have too little water and too much sewage already.

a-1558948620 Apr 04, 2019 02:26 PM
City Council Opinions?

If our Council would stop voting pro-development (what ever happened to Measure A?), I would be eternally grateful. No more tall buildings, no more "affordable housing" baloney boondoggles. Save our mountain views and stop allowing developers to profit off our City while we suffer the consequences.

a-1558948620 Apr 04, 2019 01:38 PM
City Council Opinions?

Above their pay-grade. Most of the Council shouldn't be in office. They don't have the brains or the stuff that it takes to make good decisions that are in the best interest and what residents want. Many are too connected to special interests and as a result we get projects and ideas rammed down our throats that donors want. Not what residents want. Murillo, Gutierrez, Friedman and Harmon all need to be replaced. Thankfully Rowse is on his way out, but Michael Jordan wants in. We need to slam the door in his face. We are at a crossroads. If we don't get some quality people in office fast Santa Barbara will never be able to right the ship. It will become a haven designed for the wealthy with unaffordable high density housing that renters can never afford to own, which creates a revolving transient population that will move and may commune back to SB to work or leave entirely. Meanwhile the current housing policies we have just push others out which creates deeper issues in our community as people return to the city to fill largely low-wage jobs.

Factotum Apr 04, 2019 04:36 PM
City Council Opinions?

Fixing our roads is in my best interests. Moratorium on high compensation packages and perks is in my best interests, Converting to defined-contribution pension plans is in my best interests. Facing down ACLU is in my best interests. Getting off the affordable housing merry-go round is in my best interests. Getting city employee unions out of our electoral process is in my best interests. All of which should be in everyone's best interests. Demanding local property owners subsidize everyone the right to live in Santa Barbara regardless of skill sets or ability to afford life here is not in my best interests. Nor is it in yours.

millimesa Apr 04, 2019 04:03 PM
City Council Opinions?

So what exactly is the residents of Santa Barbara's best interest? Consequently what is in your best interest?

a-1558948620 Apr 04, 2019 12:51 PM
City Council Opinions?

Super bummed with some of the decisions. Glad we have some level heads on there.

VinSB Apr 04, 2019 09:28 AM
City Council Opinions?

Running for City Council indicates a desire to serve the community. The pay is irrelevant.

a-1558948620 Apr 05, 2019 08:08 AM
City Council Opinions?

N o it doesn't. It indicates a need for power and control to pass your agenda.

a-1558948620 Apr 04, 2019 09:21 AM
City Council Opinions?

There are definitely things I disagree with, but then they also do things I agree with as well. Kinda par for the course. You won't be happy with everything. I do like that there is a mix of people on the council so they don't always agree on everything and it's more diverse now than it has been in the past. Was getting pretty tired of old white guys deciding everything.

Factotum Apr 05, 2019 09:49 AM
City Council Opinions?

Total compensation package is closer to $81,000, billed to the taxpayers for each city council member. Pension paid for life on top of that, even if the council members get kicked off by the voters.

Bird Apr 05, 2019 09:20 AM
City Council Opinions?

Actually, Roger, it's closer to $46,000 plus free city hall parking, plus travel$ - the mayor gets $55,000 plus the same benefits and perks -- and the very generous health care coverage, including vision/dental... that all full time city employees get and, if they're there 2 terms, pension. It's substantially above the average income of a Santa Barbara resident and approaching that of a Santa Barbara median household income of $66K. Most council members treat it as a part time job.

PitMix Apr 04, 2019 08:55 AM
City Council Opinions?

Doing as well as can be expected for part-time council members getting very low pay and expected to work a full-time job to support themselves. The major issues that are confronting them have not been solved by any city in the US as they are not local problems.

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