Councilman Jim Mosby is in a desperate search for recognition as a community leader.

In a pathetic grab for attention, his latest attempt was to hijack a forum that has been traditionally presented by either the city manager or the mayor. Known as the State of the City address, it was designed to provide the community with information and respond to questions concerning various services the city provides.

The reason the city manager usually provides this address is that he/she is in the best position to respond factually to questions from the community. At no time has an individual councilmember provided such a briefing.

But, breaking with tradition, Mosby decided to provide his own state of the city presentation on Saturday, July 25. Mosby began his presentation by saying: “Unfortunately, the city does not have an organized state of the city address, so I put this together as myself not directly tied to the city.”

This is of course patently false; there has been one every year, but this year public meetings like this were suspended because of the COVID-19 virus. In addition, the city managers report appears regularly on the city website.

Mosby, who had never run for anything, was appointed to the City Council by his cronies in December 2014. All three deciding votes came from men with deep roots in the community who overlooked equally qualified women, one of whom had garnered third place in the November 2013 election with more than 2,000 votes, and another who was chairperson of the Economic Development Commission.

Things have gone downhill since then. Almost immediately, Mosby began to assert himself as the “leader of the opposition” to everything then Mayor Bob Lingl proposed. Since then, he has been equally resistant to every idea the two women on the council, including Mayor Jenelle Osborne, have supported.

As far as the state of the city goes, it has declined because of positions and actions Mosby has taken since he was appointed. It seems his vision for the appearance of Lompoc is the same as he practices on his own properties at the entry to the city on Highway 246 east of town.

To put it mildly, this is a depressed piece of agricultural property strewn with derelict vehicles, half-finished and abandoned projects, dead vegetation, and broken-down fences.

Mosby advocated and got support from his two enablers to eliminate the code enforcement function and instead rely on citizen complaint forms to identify potential code enforcement issues. To dilute the effectiveness of this process, they also included provisions to identify the complainant if the subject of the complaint asked for it.

In 2016, he and his crew successfully resisted relocation a fire station to achieve better response times to the north and west of its current location. The need to move the station has been justified by numerous studies dating back to when it was built in 1985.

At the time, the council indicated the current location was just a “temporary measure” until a larger station in a permanent location could be established in a more centralized location.

During budget discussions in 2017, Mosby felt he was more qualified to prepare a municipal budget than any of the city staff professionals with decades of experience in these matters. He consistently questioned every item in the budget, sought employee reductions, and generally tried to micromanage the process.

I guess he figures that since he was appointed, then elected to serve that this qualified him as an expert in public finance and city management. Mosby has asked scores of detailed questions to derail the budget hearings, while trying to prove he is the smartest guy in the room; he has been proven wrong so many times that we have lost count.

During the 2017-19 budget hearings, he adamantly resisted the idea of placing a temporary sales tax measure on the ballot to help bolster the General Fund. Again, in the lead-up to approval of the 2020-21 budget, he and his enablers resisted public outcries to allow voters to choose whether or not to tax themselves until the last possible minute, and then he tried to imply he was all for a tax increase from the beginning.
I doubt Mosby mentioned any of this during his “state of the city” presentation, but voters should remember that if you reelect him to his current council position or to another position that the city will continue on its downward spiral unchecked.

Note: Example of city manager’s report:

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry. He has been following Lompoc politics since 1992, and after serving 23 years appointed to various Lompoc commissions retired from public service. The opinions expressed are his own.