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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 6:33 am | Fair 39º


2009 Council Election Q&A with Lane Anderson

NOOZHAWK: What experiences from your professional or personal life make you uniquely qualified to be a Santa Barbara City Council member?

Lane Anderson
Lane Anderson

LANE ANDERSON: I have worked as a professional labor negotiator, as shop steward and president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 290. As its public relations officer, I promoted the union’s policies with the public. As a career letter carrier, I came to know Santa Barbara and its people.

Working within the recovery community I have learned the value of volunteerism and real democracy. I was a multifamily co-facilitator with Dr. Stan Rowett at Pinecrest Hospital and was the alcoholism counselor at the Santa Barbara Veterans Center. From this experience I have learned how to facilitate long-term change in the homeless community.

As an organic grower, naturalist and guide, I have learned the importance of providing our community with a wholesome environment and long-term solution to pollution. This is why my campaign produces no litter and cuts down no trees. It is also why enforcement of the leaf-blower ban is a high priority for me.

Working with the U.S. Forest Service as a fire prevention technician and firefighter gave me the capacity to work with our firefighters to recover resources and prevent future fires. The fire prevention tech work also included law enforcement, making me the only candidate with real law-enforcement experience. My experience in the Navy as a weapons specialist in Vietnam allows me to understand the true cost of war.

NOOZHAWK: With all of the city’s fiscal challenges, why are you running now?

LA: I want to run for one term as city councilman to show the city how to best recover the revenue needed to preserve services and benefits to the community and employees. Having recently retired, I want to share my experience with the city now before I travel.

NOOZHAWK: What three steps would you take first to resolve Santa Barbara’s financial crisis?

LA: Step one is revenue recovery through fees applied to special services for a high-risk segment of our community. This includes a new alcohol risk recovery fee and a high-risk fire area recovery fee. Other fees include a marijuana dispensary fee and a disposable container fee.

Step two is renegotiation of expenditures through meetings with the city’s employees and contractors. As an experienced labor negotiator, a 30-year union man and graduate of the Institute of Labor in Silver Springs, Md., I can lead in this effort.

Step three is long-term recovery of revenue taken inappropriately by the federal government through unfunded mandates. I am already working on this and have partners in the city councils of Santa Monica; Olympia, Wash.; and Toledo Ohio. This would prevent future crisis.

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?

LA: I would not trim them but would recover some of this revenue through risk fees on parts of police and fire services that qualify as “special services” due to risk taken by users of services.

NOOZHAWK: Would you support increasing or adding new municipal taxes as a revenue source?

LA: Only if the courts rejected the risk fees. At that time we would instead raise taxes on the businesses contributing to the high-risk behavior, such as marijuana dispensaries and alcohol vendors.

NOOZHAWK: Should any municipal services be privatized? If so, which ones?

LA: No! None!

NOOZHAWK: Why do you support or oppose Measure B, the ballot measure that would restrict downtown building heights to 40 feet?

LA: I oppose Measure B because it would prevent the city from permitting more workforce housing, art galleries and theaters into our inclusionary planning process and would prevent future buildings like the Arlington Theatre, Trinity Episcopal Church and most of our other finest buildings. By preventing future workforce housing downtown it would encourage sprawl on land we need for agriculture and parks. This is why the main funder of Measure B is a sprawl developer from Texas.

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?

LA: The General Plan update so far ignores the likelihood that in 30 years cars will be exceptional, not normal, and should plan for that. Mass transit and localization of resources should be the top priority.

NOOZHAWK: The 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?

LA: Yes, of course! We live in one place from Gaviota to the Rincon to the crest of the mountains ... called a watershed or foodshed. To limit housing in the downtown area as Measure B does will force workers to cover the watershed/foodshed with concrete and asphalt and will eventually lead us into an unsustainable situation. We need to work closely with Santa Barbara County, Goleta and Carpinteria on this. The city has done well but would do better with me on the city council.

NOOZHAWK: If elected, what is the one issue on which you would focus to improve Santa Barbara’s quality of life?

LA: I would begin to enforce quality of life ordinances that the city does not currently prioritize. For instance, the leaf-blower ban passed by the citizens of this city continues to go unenforced even as the Fire Department issues warnings about the contaminants from leaf-blower use. We can prioritize the enforcement of this and other noise ordinances and the fines and penalties can more than pay for the enforcement.

NOOZHAWK: What is Santa Barbara’s most neglected neighborhood?

LA: The West Side between the freeway and San Andres Street.

NOOZHAWK: How would you control aggressive panhandling?

LA: By enforcing our current laws.

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?

LA: Limit the number of permits and raise the fee for opening one.

NOOZHAWK: Even with two catastrophic wildfires within the city limits in the last year, the danger is hardly diminished. What can the city do differently to prepare for the next one?

LA: Charge a high fee for building in the high-risk area and waive it on an annual basis in return for the property owner maintaining the defensible space.

NOOZHAWK: A grocery clerk asks you, “Paper or plastic?” You say:

LA: I brought my own bag.

NOOZHAWK: How often do you use alternative transportation?

LA: Every day!

NOOZHAWK: What is Santa Barbara’s most precious asset?

LA: The natural environment, the sea, beach and islands.

NOOZHAWK: What’s your favorite view?

LA: From SBCC’s lookout point on the main campus.

NOOZHAWK: Health care is all over the news these days. What do you do to stay fit?

LA: I swim daily at Los Baños del Mar, ride my bicycle about everywhere and work in the garden.

NOOZHAWK: The Coast Village Road roundabout is slowly nearing completion, but the island inside it is missing something. Do you support our plan to erect a Noozhawk statue there?

LA: I cannot tell a lie! We should put King Juan Carlos there to keep people’s eyes on the road! :>)

Additional Resources

Click here for Lane Anderson’s campaign Web site

Click here for Noozhawk’s candidate interview

Larry Nimmer’s “Touring with the Candidates” video (www.nimmer.net)

Lane Anderson - Touring with the Candidates for S.B. City Council 2009 from Larry Nimmer on Vimeo.

Click here for SBCityVote.org’s candidate statement video

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