This is our Santa Barbara.
How did we get financially drained, with escalating crime, murderous gangs, aggressive vagrants, out-of-scale developments and citizens ready to storm City Hall?
The responsibility of the mayor and the city council is to oversee the business of the city, to direct all committees and departments to understand and uphold the documents that guide the management and development of Santa Barbara, such as the Municipal Code, City Charter, etc.
To say we have a lack of leadership is to minimize the problem. There is little to no enforcement of our laws, codes, ordinances, etc.
We are supposed to have 10 percent cash reserves. In the past five years, revenue increased 49 percent. Unfortunately, spending increased more than 60 percent. We have less than1 percent in reserve.
City Hall has hired more general employees as it cut the ranks of sworn police officers. The result is a rise in crime of 22 percent this past year alone.
Vagrants harass us, depress downtown businesses and chase tourists away. How many of these transients have local roots and how many came here just because we are so “user friendly”? What are we to do? We need to stop being harassed and stop the panhandling.
The above can be corrected.
However, the over-development, the big bulky buildings, is a more permanent monument to those who would forever change the character and charm of Santa Barbara.
Neighbors fight to forestall the big city builders. The council has always denied citizen appeals to preserve the unique qualities of their neighborhoods. Planning staff say this is a “neighborhood in transition.” On whose authority do they act?
Time is nigh to send the insiders, including former or sitting committee members OUT!
— Michael Self is a candidate for Santa Barbara City Council.