Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 5:59 pm | Mostly Cloudy 51º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: An Open Letter to Goleta City Councilmen Roger Aceves and Michael Bennett

From Carpinteria Councilman Joe Armendariz

Gentlemen,

I understand the Goleta City Council is taking up the issue of your city’s Sheriff’s Department contract. As you may or may not know, I cast the lone NO vote last week when the Carpinteria City Council took up the issue of fully funding our sheriff’s contract, or modifying it to save money. The question presented to my council was whether to absorb an 11 percent increase, or cut back the level of police service to the citizens of Carpinteria and zero out what my colleagues considered an unacceptable increase.

I voted to fully fund the contract — with the use of strategic reserves — to maintain the current level of public safety for my community. My colleagues voted to partially dismantle our community’s police protection to save money. The narrative at the council meeting was that there are no “sacred cows” anymore. Ironically, though, there was a cow that emerged from the council meeting unscathed, and sanctified; it was the strategic reserve cash cow.

I suppose some people might consider the decision by my colleagues to be a reasonable decision, particularly during these tough fiscal times. I do not believe their decision was reasonable. I believe it was a mistake with potentially huge ramifications. Indeed, I believe the 4-1 action taken by my council to be one of the most irresponsible acts by a city council in Carpinteria. To partially dismantle the community’s law-enforcement response capability to save money, when the city has $6 million of liquid reserves, is, to put it mildly, penny-wise and pound foolish. It is a shortsighted and one-dimensional view of how best to manage our public resources.

EVERYTHING that is great and wonderful about a city flows in direct proportion to the level of personal safety people feel when they are out and about in the community, and especially when they are at home. The safety of the public is the most important service government provides.

I think you both agree that the level of public safety in a community is inextricably linked to that community’s quality of life. And that is why I hope you will fully fund your sheriff’s contract (even if it requires dipping into your strategic reserves) while continuing to explore other programmatic savings, and right-sizing organizational reforms to maximize efficiencies so your city can achieve budget equilibrium.

I appreciate what both of you do for Goleta, and the region, too. I look forward to seeing you both soon.

Best,

Joe Armendariz
Carpinteria city councilman

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.