Wednesday, March 21 , 2018, 9:17 pm | Light Rain 58º


Letter to the Editor: Hart’s Position on SBCAG Board a Conflict of Interest

Cars Are Basic has previously expressed concerns over the impending conflict of interest within the staff of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments. Gary Hart is now a sworn member of the Santa Barbara City Council.

His position presents a unique conflict of interest with board member organizations, and applications for funds by the City of Santa Barbara, which competes directly with other members for funding.

We have been notified that not only is Hart working for SBCAG, but his daughter works for it, too, and is in charge of a separate section of Jim Kemp's staff. Any reasonable person would expect familial contact and passing of information between the two.

You are now faced with an organization competing for funds allocated through SBCAG (the City of Santa Barbara), which has unprecedented access with two areas of SBCAG staff.  Additionally, Hart has in his first week as a councilman spent two days on City of Santa Barbara business while he is a full-time paid employee of the SBCAG board. This work can only increase as his term in office matures.

Cars Are Basic Inc. requests the board and/or Kemp resolve this serious conflict of interest by removing the conflict by termination of Hart's employment, or demanding he resign his elected position as a city councilman of the City of Santa Barbara, if he wishes to continue in the employment of SBCAG.

CAB requests, if this action cannot immediately be accomplished, this serious issue be put on the agenda for the February meeting of SBCAG, for public discussion of this problem.

Your attention to this pressing issue is appreciated.

Scott Wenz, president
Cars Are Basic

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