Santa Barbara City Council-appointed boards and commissions are vital extensions of the council. Sans the efforts of these community-minded volunteers, the workload of the council would be unwieldy and the time and needed attention to detail would be compromised.

We on the council take the work of these groups very seriously, and the public’s confidence in the impartiality of their decisions is paramount.

The Architectural Board of Review deals with materials that are sometimes, by their nature, subjective, and the expertise and care of our appointed board members must be judiciously applied to ensure fairness to the applicant and adherence to the expectation of the citizens at large. Political philosophies and personal ideologies, heartfelt and sincere as they may be, cannot enter into the process.

Speaking from the dais means that you speak as a citizen city representative and not for yourself. Recent statements made by some of the ABR members explaining the reasoning behind their decisions have demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to divorce the personal from the professional.

Therefore, I believe the current composition of this board to be fatally flawed, and ask those individuals to step down immediately. Any action short of this only fuels the fire of an already cynical public when it comes to our city’s development process.

Randy Rowse
Santa Barbara city councilman