Send Who to SBCAG?
By William Smithers
It has been announced that the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments has authorized $2.5 million to be spent toward creating, at long last, a Surfrider commuter train schedule serving Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Goleta.
The new schedule would provide train service at commuter-friendly hours between these communities, and locally the Metropolitan Transit District would provide “last mile” service from train depots.
This is a splendid accomplishment, achieving what huge numbers of those who work here, but can't afford to live here, have wanted for years.
With this in mind, consider the extreme irrationality of sending Santa Barbara council member Jason Dominguez to SBCAG as this city's representative, as those anti-Murillo voters would like to do.
Anyone who has followed city council debates and transactions since Dominguez was elected from District 1 has seen that Mr. Dominguez would rather have blood drained from his aorta than spend municipal improvement dollars.
While fiscal responsibility is prudent, and Dominguez can be praised for seeking to protect the pocketbooks of his constituents, blind obsession with penny-pinching can be, and often is, harmful to the welfare of the whole community.
Witness Dominguez's council vote – the only one - against paying for methods to eliminate, or alleviate, the stink, algaic contamination, environmental degradation and wildlife diminution at the city's Andree Clark Bird Refuge.
“No, wait a year.” said Dominguez, “Maybe science will come up with a solution that will cost little or nothing.”
This perfervid attitude, ignoring the immediate plight of Santa Barbarans not in his district, could certainly not be counted on to support expensive but enlightened measures such as the new Surfrider commuter schedule.
This is only additional evidence that someone elected by the entire community should represent Santa Barbara at SBCAG.