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Local News

Michael Self Says She’ll Continue to Fight for Neighborhoods if Re-Elected

Santa Barbara councilwoman says high points of her first term include increasing city reserves, expanding police force

[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series of profiles of the 10 candidates running for three Santa Barbara City Council seats in the Nov. 8 election. This story was posted earlier this year and is being republished now as part of Noozhawk’s election coverage.]

                              |  2011 Election Coverage |  Complete Series Index  |

With the slogan of “Neighborhood’s Best Friend” emblazoned on her royal blue campaign signs, Michael Self wants to continue to be a voice for Santa Barbara’s communities at City Hall.

First elected to the Santa Barbara City Council in 2009, Self is one of three incumbents seeking to reclaim their seats on the council dais in the Nov. 8 election.

In what she calls the “citizens’ revolt of 2009,” Self and Frank Hotchkiss, two more conservative voices, were elected to the council that year. Self, Hotchkiss and Dale Francisco formed a conservative bloc that became a majority on the seven-member council with Randy Rowse’s appointment last year to an open seat.

Self said she got involved as someone “who’s had a life outside of politics.” She first got into the fray of local politics in 2004 when traffic improvements, including bulb-outs, were slated for her Upper Eastside neighborhood. City staff moved ahead with the changes, despite the outcry of neighbors, she said.

“The council wasn’t respecting our neighborhoods,” she said. “The process in our city is broken.”

Self said that if the city returns to the old ways of doing things, “our neighborhoods will be experimental grounds.”

A self-proclaimed fiscal conservative, Self said she’s most proud that she’s helped convince the council to contribute to the city’s reserves. She says she’s also proud of being able to increase the size of the Santa Barbara police force.

Keeping bulb-outs out of emergency routes and bus corridors has also been a high point, she said.

Preserving Santa Barbara’s unique character has been an important priority to Self as she’s engaged in the General Plan discussions. Affordable and high-density housing have been core issues for her.

Building dense projects downtown and keeping Santa Barbara the town people know and love are diametrically opposed in her mind, she said.

“Do we want Santa Barbara to become a rabbit warren?” she asked.

Only two things will make Santa Barbara more affordable, according to Self. The first is an economic downturn, like the city has seen over the past few years. The other would see the city become more affordable if it becomes less desirable, she said.

“I don’t see that in my vision for Santa Barbara,” she said.

                              |  2011 Election Coverage |  Complete Series Index  |

Additional Resources

» Click here for Michael Self’s campaign Web site, or call 805.682.0411. Connect with Michael Self on Facebook.

» Click here for more information on the city of Santa Barbara’s Nov. 8 election.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Larry Nimmer’s “Touring with the Candidates” video (

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