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Sunday, December 9 , 2018, 6:34 pm | Mostly Cloudy 57º


Letter to the Editor: Frank Hotchkiss Wouldn’t Be the Mayor That Santa Barbara Needs

In the race for Santa Barbara mayor, I have great concern over a City Council member who is running on the Republican ticket. He is a person who would not be a representing us or be a problem-solver, as I see it.

This man has publicly called all struggling homeless people “pigeons.” He shut down the Casa Esperanza lunches where suffering individuals could have a shower, see a doctor, get a meal, and have social services and legal assistance. For many, this was the only meal they could get consistently and the only way advocates could assist change.

Next, he claims he is the one to bring in 29 cruise ships to Santa Barbara to spend their money ($94 per couple is the average), and yet the amount of waste in our ocean is shocking, and only 3 miles off our beaches dumping is allowed. But there are no regulation enforcements. This is right where our desal plant is about to begin services.

He also claims to have removed the recreational vehicles off Carrillo Street (that is not where they were), but he is actually the author of the ordinance to ban all RVs and “oversized vehicles” from all of Santa Barbara because he could not legally go after the homeless living in 67 of them in south county. So instead of resolving the issue of 67 RVs, he created a law that includes citizens in Mercedes Sprinters, Dodges, Hondas, your gardeners' trucks, UPS, contractors and more (which now must pay for special permits) and permanently bans citizens from city streets and parking lots — causing two lawsuits now in effect against our city!

Further, he claims that State Street shops are closed up because of the homeless vagrancy and panhandling, not the fact that no one in their right mind would pay the excessive and exorbitant lease fees of the greedy out-of-town landlords. Or the fact that almost everybody shops the Internet instead of stores. But if tourism is the almighty dollar winner, why would he prevent RV tourists to spend their money? Nope, they are not welcome here. He wants a Nike store to revitalize downtown. He's still not getting the point of the leases and everyone running away from Santa Barbara’s prices.

This man is not about solving problems, being inclusive, being creative in extending welcome to clean businesses, finding solutions to keep our young, vibrant college grads who have entrepreneurial ideas in town because they cannot afford to live here, or looking at alternative solutions for answers. Affordable housing is not important to this potential mayor, but AUD high-density housing is (check out the prices at The Marc) — taking the last 100 pieces of Santa Barbara property and paying city funds to developers to build them without a checking process to see if they are actually going to work.

Traffic, overgrowth, crowding, abuse of the poor, bringing in filthy ships for a few bucks not warranting the damages they incur, overdevelopment, a lack of compassion and the inability to see the big picture are not qualities in who should be mayor at such a crucial time in our city history. Please vote, and please vote no to Frank Hotchkiss.

Deborah Barnes
Santa Barbara

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