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2009 Mayoral Q&A with Bob Hansen
NOOZHAWK: What experiences from your professional or personal life make you uniquely qualified to be mayor of Santa Barbara?
BOB HANSEN: Housing people and giving them dignity all across America. Pay rent or volunteer.
NOOZHAWK: With all of the city’s fiscal challenges, why are you running now?
BH: (Fellow candidates) Steve Cushman and Dale Francisco say vagrants are causing a loss in profit! Housing nationwide a 24/7 place to call home.
NOOZHAWK: What three steps would you take first to resolve Santa Barbara’s financial crisis?
BH: 1. Like Las Vegas, coupon discount books.
2. Grow packaged hemp with profits that would be for all.
3. Cross-training of fire and police forces to save $50 million a year.
NOOZHAWK: Public safety accounts for more than 50 percent of the city’s operating budget. With more spending cuts likely, how much would you trim from fire and police services?
BH: Cross-train fire and police to help each other 24/7. Think about this: It can work, plus with cell phone calls.
NOOZHAWK: Would you support increasing or adding new municipal taxes as a revenue source?
BH: Don’t tax pot. Profit from controlling the profits. Grow Santa Barbara Gold, package and sell it.
NOOZHAWK: Why do you support or oppose Measure B, the ballot measure that would restrict downtown building heights to 40 feet?
BH: I support it in a way. Set back from sidewalks eight feet, over store than 40 feet.
NOOZHAWK: Do you feel the direction of the General Plan update is consistent with your vision? What kind of city will Santa Barbara be in 30 years?
BH: I don’t trust staff reports. If Dale Francisco gets elected, we’ll be a gated community. No youth. No homeless. Rich and white.
NOOZHAWK: Santa Barbara’s General Plan update will have consequences for housing, transportation and other key issues in the region. Does the city have a responsibility to think regionally when it makes policy decisions? How would you rate the city’s record?
BH: Santa Barbara’s record is not good. Use natural-gas school buses up and down the coast on timetables of 7-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m.
NOOZHAWK: If elected, what is the one issue on which you would focus to improve Santa Barbara’s quality of life?
A national homeless housing plan led by President Barack Obama. Building or parking, pay or volunteer for a 24/7 place to call home.
NOOZHAWK: What is Santa Barbara’s most neglected neighborhood?
BH: Downtown’s Old Town Santa Barbara is out of control with drinking and policing it. It’s a party zone like Isla Vista.
NOOZHAWK: How would you control aggressive panhandling?
BH: Five tickets in five years! Give me a break!
NOOZHAWK: Santa Barbara has a plethora of medical-marijuana dispensaries, relative to other tri-county cities of similar size, but has yet to reject a single application. Why? Is that in the public’s interest?
BH: California is going to vote in 2010 for a tax on pot. Come on, there are big profits. It’s an example of California gold.
NOOZHAWK: In the last year, two catastrophic wildfires have devastated foothill neighborhoods. Are stricter building codes needed or should development even be restricted in brush areas?
BH: Building codes, plus loud sirens in all foothills.
NOOZHAWK: A grocery clerk asks you, “Paper or plastic?” You say:
BH: I have my own bag! My old lady. Ha, ha!
NOOZHAWK: When’s the last time you rode public transportation?
NOOZHAWK: What Santa Barbara historical figure do you admire most, and why?
NOOZHAWK: What is Santa Barbara’s most precious asset?
BH: Its people. They are friendly and helpful.
NOOZHAWK: What’s your favorite street?
BH: Milpas Street and its old-town charm. The mom-and-pop stores have not sold out like on State Street.
NOOZHAWK: Health care is all over the news these days. What do you do to stay fit?
BH: Water aerobics at the Santa Barbara Family YMCA Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 to 11 a.m.
NOOZHAWK: Gaveling a City Council meeting to order or to adjournment is boring. Would you use a hawk scream, sponsored by Noozhawk, instead?
BH: Go jump off the pier. And why you’re at it, anything is better than big bad rules.
Larry Nimmer’s “Touring with the Candidates” video (www.nimmer.net)
Click here for SBCityVote.org’s candidate statement video
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