A few years ago, many of us in the Santa Barbara community rallied together to fight against Measure S, which was to be used, we believed, to further remove Santa Barbara City College from the local community.
“Save Our Community College” was the battle cry. Mostly this had to do with stopping the expansion of the campus to accommodate out-of-area students and the threatened building of dormitory or apartment housing to attract such a population. That campaign was a success.
Marsha Croninger was on the SBCC Board of Trustees when this fight was being waged. She heard the community and listened to the concerns we expressed.
Since that time, SBCC has taken a remarkable and commendable change of direction. The present administration is responsive to those who use the facilities and resources for life-long learning. It has pushed remarkable programs to allow every local high school student the option of attending this local school. It has curtailed ambitious and costly proposals for ambitious programs in athletics and esoteric studies in favor of programs that facilitate local students seeking job success and college educational opportunities.
Unfortunately, both the work of those of us who put SBCC back on track as a local resource and the effort made by SBCC President Anthony Beebe and the board to “Save Our Community College” are being threatened by a candidate who is challenging Croninger specifically on the issue of local purpose.
This candidate advocates for the construction of dormitories or other student housing. This housing would, by definition, be for the purpose of attracting out-of-area students, once again to try to corrupt the mission of our local school. These housing “solutions” would aggravate congestion in their neighborhoods and would almost certainly require the issuance of large bonds payable by local taxpayers.
So, in the coming elections, please vote for Marsha Croninger as the Area 5 candidate for SBCC Board of Directors, and keep SBCC on its mission of local service.
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We are almost positive that we have asbestos, which is a health issue. Most of the classrooms do not have AC or heating. The environment in which we work definitely affects the way we learn and the effectiveness of what we learn.
A change needs to be made.
Alex Munkison, Genesis Garcia and Betsua Nanclares
Lompoc High School
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In our dance line room, we are missing ceiling tiles. In some rooms, a lot of floor tiles are broken. We need air conditioning in every classroom because on cold days we are freezing and on hot days we are burning. We need better fencing by the back of the school. We also need better blinds for the classrooms because the blinds are broken.
If Measure E2018 passes, it will really change students’ lives and the lives of generations that come after us.
Elizabeth Valdivia Ruiz
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I am writing this letter to urge everyone to support the future of the Lompoc community by voting yes on Measure E.
As an educator for more than 20 years, I have seen firsthand the overwhelming needs of our current educational facilities. Hodge-podge furnishings, falling down ceiling tiles and cracked floors are the norm in our schools.
Since I attended Lompoc schools myself, I have a feeling of nostalgia when I see a desk or table in my own child’s classroom that may very well have been in mine when I was a student, or even in one of my parents’ classes (they graduated from LHS in the early 1960s). However, after the nostalgia, I feel a sense of frustration and sadness that we cannot offer students appropriate furnishings and facilities to support them in their daily learning.
I look to other communities and see updated classrooms, beautiful athletic facilities, and safe playgrounds and buildings. I look at our local schools and see dilapidated buildings, gopher-ridden fields and uneven walkways. I believe our children deserve better, but how can we give it to them?
In researching the district’s funding, and the funding of surrounding districts, it is clear to me that the only way we can give our students the necessary repairs and updates to their educational facilities is by passing a bond. I understand that many people are overwhelmed by the idea of a tax increase; that is why this bond was written to extend our existing tax increase, not to raise taxes further.
The needs of our facilities are far too great for the Lompoc Unified School District to fund through its current budget. However, there is some good news, there are currently matching funds available for communities that vote yes to a bond, which will greatly increase our investment into local public schools.
However, the funds are limited and are rapidly being depleted by others that have passed a bond. We cannot wait another year or that resource may no longer be available for us.
Public education is the foundation upon which a community is built. The students attending these schools will grow to work alongside us in the future, moving our community forward. They need to have safe, appropriate learning environments that match the workplace environments they will be stepping into.
I believe a community must educate the future in order to have a future. This bond is for all of us. Please join me in supporting local public education by voting yes on Measure E in the Nov. 6 election.
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Mayor Bob Lingl, who is the best mayor Lompoc has had in the past 10 years, is retiring. Lingl, who beat out former Mayor John Linn, has been a blessing to Lompoc for the past four years. His well-attended Thursday get-togethers, “Coffee With Bob,” have provided badly needed visibility on city issues.
Lingl’s mayor pro tem, Jenelle Osborne, has supported him on most issues. Osborne is running for mayor against Jim Mosby, who was appointed to the City Council and has been a negative influence on the City of Lompoc ever since. Osborne promises to bring a positive influence back to city finances. She is a successful businesswoman and was chairwoman of the Economic Development Committee.
Lompoc is floating into financial oblivion with Mosby, Dick Starbuck and Victor Vega as city councilmen. These three have done untold damage to the future of Lompoc.
In a recent political stunt, Mosby and Starbuck can be seen filling gopher holes in Ryon Memorial Park; another example of shortsighted “problem solving.” These are the same two councilmen who radically decreased the parks’ budgets, causing Lompoc to lose its annual dog show.
The total mismanagement of CalPERS civil service benefits by the CalPERS Investments management has created a financial disaster for cities throughout California, and Lompoc has been caught up in this disastrous web. Lompoc’s “bill” is more than $70 million.
In presenting the former city budget, then-City Manager Patrick Wiemiller pointed out the problems for the city in graphic detail. Unfortunately, Mosby, Starbuck and Vega did not grasp the finality of the situation and voted to put off the issue without letting city residents, taxpayers and voters be educated on the problem and have the right to vote on a solution. Lingl and Osborne “got it” but these three would not listen. They have stonewalled them continually.
The choice to solve the problem is to temporarily raise the sales taxes 1 percent to pay for the $70 million debt, or not raise taxes and put the city in possible bankruptcy.
The “bill” is not going away; we have to pay for it one way or another. You taxpayers may say, “I do not want to pay for someone’s retirement,” but you will now and in the future, whether you like it or not.
Your option is to raise the sales tax to pay for the “bill,” or eliminate all city services to pay for the “bill.” Lompoc citizens should be given a chance to review their options and make a decision on these issues at the ballot box. Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Guadalupe and Santa Barbara County have made this decision. Why not Lompoc?
Mosby, Starbuck and Vega would not listen to city staff members who are way above their pay grades with financial experience and had been working on this problem for several months.
Mosby apparently knows nothing about financing of city government as he has consistently demonstrated at City Council meetings, where all he could do was flip through his budget book and make endless derogatory comments about the process and city staff.
He claims to ask the “tough questions,” but in fact he can get the answers by talking to the staff as Lingl and Osborne have done. Instead, he wastes the city’s time with endless arguments. He had stopped the process and delayed the approval of the budget by months while refusing to listen to the professional experts but listening to Linn. The result is cutting everything, from police to fire to parks to staff. In the meantime, we still have to pay “the bill” with interest.
The “Mosby Triad” opposing Lingl and Osborne know nothing about city management or budgets, but because they were elected councilmen, they think they do. They are not understanding the damage they are doing to the city.
The three’s disdain for the former city manager spilled over when they punished him for his frankness by making him and his staff and the city attorney get off of the dais where they have sat for years and sit way back on the visitors floor where the little three men could look down on them — again showing how small minded these three are.
The best manager we have had, Patrick Wiemiller, resigned under protest and was hired by Santa Maria as assistant manager. The assistant Lompoc manager quit, as well as the second assistant, and both got better jobs elsewhere. The fire marshal left as did the manager of public works. The city employees are supporting with their funds the new candidates now running to replace Mosby, Starbuck and Vega.
These same city council members promoted the race track in the middle of Lompoc with Linn’s direction, wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money. They refused to add new fire and police facilities so now they are looking to outsource some of them. They cut the police budget drastically. They allowed the sale of fireworks but did not add more police support.
And the worst, they promoted an open-door policy on the sale of cannabis. Even more layoffs and closures are predicted for the future, maybe even the library, Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau and museum will go. They know no limit. The antics of the Mosby three had the grand jury investigating Lompoc again.
Only by replacing these three destroyers of Lompoc can the citizens expect any near-term improvements. For these reasons, three citizens have volunteered to do this:
Robert Cuthbert is running to replace Starbuck in the new council District 3. Cuthbert is a long-time citizen, works at The Home Depot, is a graduate of Cal Poly, and spent 11 years on the Lompoc Public Safety Committee. Shirley Sherman is running against Vega in the new District 2. She is a Lompoc homeowner, works at a medical instrument company in Buellton, and is president of her homeowner’s association.
Osborne is running against Mosby for the mayor position to replace Bb Lingl. Osborne is a homeowner, university graduate, local businesswoman and past chairwoman of the Lompoc Economic Development Committee. She has been on the City Council for two years.
All are committed to a financial plan that does not destroy Lompoc. In the Nov. 6 election, we urge you all to help them replace Mosby, Starbuck and Vega to stop further damage to our venerable pioneer town.
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In his Sept. 30 column, “Doubters Challenge Report About Illegal Immigration,” Joe Guzzardi rightly notes that our federally created immigration crisis is a major threat to our environment, echoing what Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson said shortly before his death in 2005:
“In this country it is phony to say, ‘I’m for the environment but not for limiting immigration.’ It’s just a fact that we can’t take all the people who want to come here.”
Today’s phony environmentalists continue to browbeat us about the need to “reduce” our carbon footprints while ignoring, as Guzzardi points out, our immigration-driven population explosion.
In other words, how are we supposed to accomplish this when our federal immigration policy continues to add so many feet every year?
Executive director, Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration
La Valle, Wis.
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