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Sunday, March 24 , 2019, 7:31 am | Overcast 45º


Letter to the Editor: I Won’t Vote for Bob Lingl

I’m Mike Sewall, a Lompoc small business owner.

I grew up in Lompoc, as did my four kids. We run a family business in Lompoc. I don’t like politics, but I love Lompoc. I was asked if I wanted to help John Linn run for mayor. Again, for me politics is just gross. Then I looked into both men carefully. The more I found out about John Linn, the more I liked him. The more I found out about Bob Lingl, the more shocked and disappointed I became.

John was the mayor for four years, Bob has been mayor for the last two. When John was mayor, more than 40 businesses opened, houses got built, jobs were created. Plus, John is a nice guy, small business owner and Boy Scout troop leader. And he’s funny. You talk to John for five minutes, and you are laughing, and you just learned 10 things about Lompoc you never knew. John has vast local knowledge at his fingertips. He’s a good guy.

I thought Bob was a good guy. We’ve had nice conversations in the past. But whenever I asked him detailed questions, he seemed to fumble. Oh sure, he insisted, he’d let me know the answer next time he saw me. He has these “coffee with Bob” meeting where you can sit down with him and chat. The problem is, he’s not really listening.

Then I started to go to city council meetings. Why? Shopping carts. You read that right. Shopping carts. Bob’s big idea is code enforcement. Illegal sign? Get fined. Fence 2 inches too high? Get fined. Backyard shed not in the right spot? Another fine! You get the idea.

The shopping cart idea is the city will fine the store $1,000 if a stray parking cart is found around town. Now, after seven council meetings, countless hours in staff time, etc. (a total of $20,000 by my count), the new law has been watered down so that it is meaningless. But, it still costs store owners money; one more regulation.

Dozens of Lompoc citizens came to the council meetings and told Bob this was a bad idea. 100 percent of them were against it. Bob passed it anyway because he doesn’t listen to the people. Bob always knows best. Then he has the nerve to take credit for there being less shopping carts around town. No, Bob, it’s because folks were so outraged that we all started pitching in, returning the carts to the store. The community solved the problem.

All this is to show how Bob thinks. He commands, you do. That is not representing the people, that is ruling them. King Bob thinks the city owns all the property and can decree what you do with your own house, or shed, or fence. Worse, he has no idea what he’s doing. There is a $2 million budget shortfall, the city is clogged with red tape so cloying that many builders and businesses will not come to Lompoc. Utility rates are outrageous, rent prices are skyrocketing and tax revenue is dwindling.

When I look around my home town, I don’t see urban blight. Do we have problems? Sure we do. But all of them are bigger than shopping carts. Why does Bob only see ugliness when he looks around Lompoc? Maybe he should look inward for the answer.

Luckily, we have another choice. Thank God a better man is running against King Bob Bureaucrat. John Linn is not a fan of red tape. He gets things done. I’m voting for John Linn because he’s the right guy for the job. I would never vote for Bob, even if he was the only person running.

Mike Sewall

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