You’ve probably seen former Lompoc City Councilman Jim Mosby’s signs around Lompoc as he attempts to reinvent himself as the “public safety” candidate. Ironically, this is the same former official who decimated our public safety sector when he was the leading voice of the council majority.

You don’t have to take my word for it, read the 2021 Santa Barbara County grand jury report on the Lompoc Police Department titled “Moving Toward a Safe and Proud Community.” It breaks down (in detail) the horrific decisions that led to a big jump in crime and the loss of valuable staff.

This report is damning. The decisions to essentially defund public safety — initially led by former Mayor John Linn followed by Mosby — often came down to a 3-2 vote. We are still feeling the impacts.

Mosby is now trying to place the blame for all of these problems on current Mayor Jenelle Osborne. Keep in mind that the Lompoc mayor has no special powers. The majority always rules at the city council.

When I was elected over Mosby in 2020 (by almost 20%), a new council majority took shape. This majority has been led by Osborne. Since the start of 2021, our Police Department is almost fully staffed. And thanks to 5-0 votes on our current budget, and a new cannabis tax on manufacturing, we are starting to see improvements in Lompoc.

In less than two years, the current city council has allocated millions of dollars toward building back our public safety sector. We have a long way to go, but this council has worked extremely well together to achieve these goals.

Mosby is misleading Lompoc residents about public safety. Consider this: If he really is the public safety candidate, why are the Lompoc police and fire departments endorsing Jenelle Osborne for mayor?

Even though challenges remain, I’m proud of the direction that we are heading under Osborne’s leadership. I wholeheartedly give her my endorsement.

Jeremy Ball
Lompoc city councilman

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The high school rankings are in and Santa Barbara High School is an example of our local public school deficiencies. According to its 2022 overall student assessment for grades 9-12, 72% are NOT proficient in science, 69% are NOT proficient in math and 48% cannot meet state proficiency standards for their grade level.

Parents may not really grasp how bad things are because students are promoted along from grade to grade regardless of their mastering the academic subjects. Teachers in the meantime are ranked high by our Santa Barbara Unified School District trustees, the teachers union, by students and parents, and everybody loves them. Maybe there are a few exceptions, but generally they do.

Something is wrong and dysfunctional here. We have seemingly great teachers in schools that are failing in their purpose to get kids to read, do math and comprehend what they are reading, like science books.

It is true that family and social dysfunction certainly have roles in this scandal, but the overriding issue is that California public education — as evidenced by Santa Barbara schools — is failing our youth and our next generation, despite the vast sums of money ($16,800 per student annually) poured into them.

You will notice that Proposition 28 is requesting $1 billion more to expand art and music programs; instead, we need more aid for reading and math comprehension.

How about hiring tutors to give students the individual attention that teachers are obviously not able to provide? A concerted effort is needed by school principals in cooperation with teachers to approach parents, neighbors and church civic groups to seek volunteers or paid tutors to assist classroom teachers, starting in kindergarten.

I would wager any public-school teacher would not turn away any caring person who is willing to spend four hours a week to help in their classroom. Help is not coming from the public school teachers union or the Santa Barbara County Board of Education, so the choices are either give the teachers some extra help by providing a steady classroom tutor(s) or an aide(s) or move the student to a private school; the latter choice being not financially feasible for many affected by this issue.

Something has got to change , and the Santa Barbara County Board of Education, along with other local school boards, must start addressing this issue of our poorly performing public schools today.

J.W. Burk
Santa Barbara

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The buck stops with the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Trustees. The incumbents must be held accountable for their voting record.

Vote for Phebe Mansur, a proven and respected public servant from Goleta, for Santa Barbara Unified School District school board District 4 and Efi Banales, a retired veteran educator, for SBUSD District 1.

One reason to vote for Mansur and Banales is that they both support the HEART sex education curriculum, in contrast to all of their opponents. The HEART curriculum starts out with a “parent interview” by the student about the parents’ values and is very sensitive and age-appropriate, in contrast to the highly graphic and controversial Teen Talk program.

A weak “rubber-stamp” board has created a crisis of lost learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis of mental health, erosion of classroom discipline, exponential rise in reported “thoughts of suicide,” the controversial and dangerous firing of the safety resource officer at San Marcos High School, and a dramatic rise in race-related student incidents.

Perhaps most of all, the misguided “leveling up” eviscerated the dedicated honors and GATE programs, the pride of our district, which were built up over decades.

This was the last straw for teacher morale and for many parents, who have pulled their children out of the public schools in increasing numbers.

The current SBUSD superintendent has a heavy-handed, top-down leadership style and is out to “change the world.” She has made the job of teachers nearly impossible.

If you think improvement must be made in school safety, literacy, vocational educational opportunities, teacher and administrative morale, and you want to see age-appropriate sex education and dedicated honors classes in our secondary schools, vote for the two candidates who have your values and the steel character to hold the current superintendent accountable.

Vote for Phebe Mansur and Efi Banales.

Michelle Martinez
Santa Barbara

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In today’s super-charged political climate, I strongly support leaders in public life who model the proverb, “Be modest in speech but excel in action.” This defines Marybeth Carty’s style and is the underpinning for her amazing track record in education, nonprofits, philanthropy and business.

Carty — running for re-election as the Santa Barbara County Board of Education Area 1 trustee — is a quiet, effective leader, a “go-to person” in a variety of venues, helping to solve difficult issues, leading public service campaigns or working on community problems.

Her calm, low-key and skilled style is in stark contrast to the sad display of yelling, name calling and disparaging comments in today’s public discourse.

A passionate believer in public education as the bedrock of our democracy, Carty is committed to defending, supporting and strengthening public education.

In her own words, “Public education is the cornerstone of democracy. It is the birthright of American citizens to receive a free K-12 education, but it is the responsibility of elected school board officials to ensure that schools in their communities are prepared to meet the diverse needs of all students. The right to a fair education for all students is a deeply rooted core value that I hold dearly and work toward daily.”

In a recent debate, Carty answered important, difficult and politically charged questions. No dodging, just calm and honest answers, based on what children need and how they learn. An example of a great communicator and teacher.

Carty’s colleagues use powerful words that paint a vivid picture of her integrity, passion, wisdom and effectiveness.

Experience matters. Carty’s experience and accomplishments in education, board governance, nonprofit management and philanthropy have been broadly recognized throughout the community.

A few examples include Hero of Hospice Award, Fighting Back Mentor Of The Year, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Woman of Inspiration, Carpinteria’s Woman of the Year, and Pacific Coast Business Times Top 50 Women in Business.

Carty is exactly the type person we need in elected positions in these divisive times. She also understands firsthand that effective leadership is about making everyone else better.

On Nov. 8, please vote for Marybeth Carty for county Board of Education Area 1.

Bill Cirone

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With so many people not voting or participating in politics the people currently in office survive on perception and party politics. They provide as little info as possible and will not debate or engage with dissent.

You can’t blame the voter for disengaging when local, state and federal governments have grown so massive. It is impossible to keep up without it consuming your daily life. Legislators in Sacramento hardly understand the bills they write as most are written by staff and special interest groups.

With this overall lack of awareness comes a lack of interest from the news media and general population.

After the now-infamous tapes were released of the Los Angeles City Council, we got a glimpse of how current California elected officials speak to each other and keep power through redistricting schemes. Are things any different in the Democratic Party stronghold of Santa Barbara?

Santa Barbara schools are failing our Latino population, why? Is it the constant stream of funding that comes with adding more programs to cover up the bad outcomes? Do they want our students to stay disadvantaged, so they get more Local Control and Accountability Plan money? Is this systemic racism?

Santa Barbara City College is still locked down to more than 4,000 students of its already record low enrollment. SBCC has spent unaccountable millions of dollars on “anti-racism” training for staff so now officials must convince you to vote to raise property taxes for infrastructure that is falling apart. This week, SBCC is spending $40,000 for a three-hour training session.

Once ranked as the top community college in the nation, this publicly funded campus is being greatly mismanaged by the current Board of Trustees.

Headlines around the country are talking about library books and curriculum in schools. Parents would not waste their time on this if they were not deeply concerned.

Recently, a flier was distributed that made local headlines with a scene from Gender Queer, a book in the Santa Barbara Unified School District library. The flier shows an illustrated sexual encounter during a Tinder date. The book’s author suggests that Tinder is a good place to “Find strangers to make out with.”

Most modern sex trafficking is initiated through social media. My wife works with local girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking; our schools should not facilitate this tragic crime in any way.

When asked about the book, then-school district spokesman Nick Masuda stated to a local newspaper, “It’s healthy. I know teenagers are going to have sex. We adults may as well help them do it responsibly.”

With the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s handling of sex crimes with teachers and staff, I don’t think we can trust them with this life-changing subject.

I was one of the parents who pushed back on the Teen Talk curriculum and was shocked to see how a special interest group and one board member were able to convince the board to vote for it despite the massive pushback.

Teen Talk focuses on the how-to of sex and relationships, while parents wanted the focus to be on biology and physiology. We even provided an alternative that aligns with the California Healthy Youth Act and was free. The Santa Barbara Unified school board decided it wanted to pay for a highly controversial curriculum instead.

Parents were crushed after working so hard to get the school board to compromise with Teen Talk; providing an alternative curriculum, over-filling board rooms with parents, emails, hundreds of signatures on petitions, in person meetings and phone calls were all completely disregarded.

The narrative against us still is “Don’t you want health education?” and “The kids are going to have sex anyway.” The hundreds of parents who wanted the HEART curriculum were the most informed on the subject and they had strong personal beliefs against Teen Talk. These concerns should have been acknowledged and not ridiculed.

Ethnic Studies was introduced with little pushback as a student-led movement through local nonprofit organizations. After the sex curriculum fight was lost so badly, who wanted to be labeled a racist just to have the school ignore their concerns?

Unfortunately, like a lot of policy, Ethnic Studies is not really what it promises. One example of this is the book, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, required in English 9: Ethnic Studies.

The book is a coming-of-age story in which Ari is peer-pressured into drugs and a sexual relationship with his best friend. He also considers heroin and foreshadows future use (pages 205, 206). I will not go into more graphic details; I encourage people to read it before they defend it.

Sacramento officials wanted to hide the most recent education data showing devastation by their COVID-19 pandemic policy, President Joe Biden asked Saudi Arabia to not release the OPEC decision until after the midterm elections, doctors in California are now being silenced. What else is the establishment hiding just to keep power?

In the Nov. 8 election, I urge you to help make a change for our future. We can send a message to the nation with our local elections by electing the political outsiders.

Please consider voting for Mike Stoker for Assembly to help bring balance and focus to Sacramento. Vote for the conservative candidates brave enough to run in Santa Barbara. You may not agree with everything they do but they will bring much needed balance to the local boards. We can support them and keep them accountable by being present at the meetings and communicating with them regularly.

Crime and drug use is growing exponentially, our schools’ rankings are at the bottom and homeless rates are at the top. We could provide excellent educations to all students, have diverse and abundant energy sources, water storage, forest management, and business-friendly policies ensuring security and opportunities for the future for all Californians. I know California can do better and it all starts at the local level.

Justin Shores

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