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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 4:25 am | Fair 46º


2017 Santa Barbara Mayoral Q&A with Frank Hotchkiss

[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series of questionnaires with the candidates running for Santa Barbara mayor in the Nov. 7 election. As part of Noozhawk’s upcoming Reimagine: Santa Barbara special project, the questions were tailored toward many of the challenges and opportunities of downtown Santa Barbara. Beginning Oct. 8, the installments are being published in alphabetical order: Hal Conklin, Frank Hotchkiss, Angel Martinez and Cathy Murillo. A fifth candidate, Bendy White, did not respond to two invitations to participate. Click here for the complete series index.]

NOOZHAWK: What do you think is or should be the City of Santa Barbara’s role in downtown retail and business development?

Frank Hotchkiss Click to view larger
Frank Hotchkiss (Hotchkiss for Mayor photo)

FRANK HOTCHKISS: The first function of city government is to provide a safe, clean and healthy setting in which the public and retailers may thrive. Unfortunately, the private sector has not succeeded in attracting new businesses to enjoy our downtown, and therefore it may be incumbent on the city to do so.

NOOZHAWK: For years, aggressive panhandling and other homeless issues have been public concerns. The city and community partners have worked on this issue, but what would you do differently?

FH: Panhandling is a protected constitutional right, and cannot be forbidden. However, it can be offset. The best way to offset negative influences is to attract positive ones by bringing new businesses downtown and creating a place where people come to experience food, drink and shopping in an exciting, fun setting.

NOOZHAWK: Do you support the Nov. 7 ballot initiative that would increase the city sales tax to 8.75 percent? Why or why not?

FH: No, I don’t support the 1 percent tax sales tax increase proposal. The money goes into the General Fund and can be used for anything the City Council designates, and there is no “sunset clause” when the tax would terminate.

The 1 percent tax proposal revenues cannot be earmarked for the repairs and improvements we need: streets, water and improved police facilities. It would be better to vote down this proposed tax and then explore funding that could be guaranteed to meet specific projects — such as streets and water — and which would have an end date.

NOOZHAWK: What are downtown Santa Barbara’s greatest infrastructure needs, and how would you pay for them?

FH: I would like to see more police patrolling our streets, and would hire more accordingly.

NOOZHAWK: Do you support the development of more housing in downtown Santa Barbara, including along the State Street corridor? Why or why not?

FH: Housing might be a great change downtown, bringing more people there to enjoy State Street.

| Election 2017 | Complete Series Index |

NOOZHAWK: The Average-Unit Density program aims to create more affordable rental housing in the city. What do you think the program is doing right, and how would you improve it?

FH: Our AUD rental housing will allow people to live here without having to pay the high cost of purchasing a home.

NOOZHAWK: What’s your favorite downtown activity?

FH: Dining on State Street.

NOOZHAWK: How many murals of Noozhawk do you think should be included in any public art projects for the Highway 101 underpass on Lower State Street?

FH: Murals are a great idea. Underwrite what you can.

Additional Resources

» Click here for Frank Hotchkiss’ campaign website. Connect with Frank Hotchkiss on Facebook.

» Click here for more information about Santa Barbara’s Nov. 7 election.

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