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Local News

Santa Barbara Councilwoman Michael Self Officially Launches Re-election Bid

She hails her efforts opposing curb extensions and pledges to stay true to the original intentions of the city's General Plan

Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Michael Self officially launched her re-election bid Thursday evening outside City Hall with a pledge to closely guard the city’s General Plan and to give its homeless community “help up.”

Self, first elected in November 2009, firmly characterized herself as an independent candidate who believes it’s important to take the time to help neighbors solve the everyday problems amid the maze of city government.

“That’s part of what got me involved in city government,” Self said. “No one cared.”

About 50 people gathered around Self as she made her announcement, which lasted a little more than five minutes.

Self opened her speech by thanking those who elected her, and was choked up over being humbled by the show of support. She received the loudest cheers when she highlighted how “we’ve pulled the plug on bulb-outs,” also known as curb extensions

Supporter Karen McFadden said she has supported Self’s opposition to bulb-outs from the beginning.

“She went to bat saying, ‘This is a poor waste of taxpayer money for something that is not needed,” McFadden said.

Ethan Shenkman said he approves of Self’s practical approach to the General Fund and capital improvements. He characterized her as a balance against wishful thinking in city governance.

“She is reflecting a disconnect the constituency has with their parties, whether they’re Democrat or Republican,” Shenkman said.

After the speech, Self hosted a reception across the street at El Paseo.

If re-elected in the Nov. 8 election, Self said her first priority would be to ensure that the General Plan stays as it was originally intended.

“Most people who love her and have invested in their homes don’t want to see (Santa Barbara) morph into a big city,” Self said.

She said that although local government should be looking out for homeless people who have mental disabilities, City Hall should not be giving out money to nonprofits without expectations.

“If you’re a drunk, your giving back is sobriety,” she said.

Noozhawk intern Daniel Langhorne can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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