|Santa Barbara City Council - District 4|
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|Why are you running for office?:|
|I can’t remember a more critical time for our city in my lifetime. Our leadership is fractured, inexperienced, and without vision and action. Santa Barbara is not what it once was or what it should be. Downtown is just the most visible.|
Fixing our homelessness crisis is a top priority. Our downtown is in distress. I'm dedicated to bringing businesses and residents back to the heart of our city by making downtown safe and clean and by providing incentives, not disincentives for revitalization. Our Police Department is down over 21% of its sworn officers. I'm endorsed by Police and will support and enhance our Police and Fire to protect home, families, and businesses. We also have to fight to protect and preserve our single-family neighborhoods from State demands for high density housing.
Our city leadership needs to change. We have to do more than talk or write reports. I will make sure we take action, measure results, and make needed changes until we achieve our goals. I am compelled to run so we can take action and help turn our special city around.
|What makes you qualified for the job?:|
|I currently serve on our City Planning Commission. I also serve on the board of the Downtown Santa Barbara Organization. I am born and raised in Santa Barbara. My work is focused on the revitalization of our downtown. I fix up vacant and dilapidated commercial buildings throughout our downtown and bring new life back to these spaces. I'm an action oriented and solutions oriented person with a direct and comprehensive understanding of our city. I will also bring the only small business perspective to City Council at a time when we need it most. I'm also a registered independent who will refocus on our local issues without a political bias or party agenda.|
I am endorsed by:
Mike Jordan - District 2 City Council
Santa Barbara Police Officers Association
Bob Ludwick – President of Coast Village Association
Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce
Santa Barbara Association of Realtors
Loy Beardsmore – President of Eucalyptus Hill Improvement Association
Santa Barbara Rental Property Association
Ruthy Green – Former President of the CA State Board of Education and former Santa Barbara Unified School Board Member
Alixe Mattingly – Chair of Moxi Museum Board and former Moxi CEO
Kevin Moore – Chair of Santa Barbara’s Architectural Board of Review
Roxanna Bonderson – City of Santa Barbara Planning Commissioner and State Street Advisory Committee Member
Jay Higgins – City of Santa Barbara Planning Commissioner
|What are your two main priorities if you win?:|
|The revitalization of our downtown. Today, city rules and bureaucracy make it nearly impossible to revitalize downtown buildings. The rules are a moving and arbitrary target, requirements are prohibitively hard to meet, and the approval process simply takes too long. My own difficulties with this process is why I got involved with the Downtown Organization and sought an appointment to the Planning Commission.|
Tied to the success of our downtown is the need to bring housing downtown. Instead of compromising our very special single-family neighborhoods, let's meet the State's demand for higher density housing in our downtown, bringing workers, shoppers, and residents to the heart of our city around the clock.
Lastly, and also a key to downtown revitalization, is our need to make downtown safe and welcoming. Today the lawless and dangerous element of our homeless population has made downtown difficult for families and residents. I've heard this thousands of times at the door. We need to help the truly homeless find homes and get back on their feet, but those who violently confront others on the street and use our downtown as a bedroom and bathroom need to find another place to go.
|How will you interact with other governments?:|
|In my work and in my life in general, I prioritize building relationships with a broad base of people. I have done this successfully on our Planning Commission and it has resulted in consensus even though our commission is comprised of very different people with dramatically different ideas. I have prioritized building these relationships with members of our City Council and will be equally effective in that environment.|
I also have strong relationships with staff and elected officials from Carpinteria, Montecito, Goleta, and Santa Barbara County. This is my strength and I will always leverage these relationships to help our city and its surrounding areas.
|What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?:|
|We must become a business friendly city. Unfortunately, we do not have that reputation. The majority of our City revenue comes from the success of our downtown. The key to a strong economic recovery is a focus on downtown revitalization and bringing businesses, residents, and visitors back to the heart of our city.|
To do this we need to address homelessness by getting back to active enforcement of our local ordinances while taking immediate action on temporary shelter with comprehensive services located outside high impact areas of our city. We need to follow through with streamlining our permit and review process. As a board member of Downtown Santa Barbara and a partner with our South Coast Chamber of Commerce, I am leading the effort to create a Property Business Improvement District downtown. This will allow businesses, property owners, and stakeholders to assume more control over the daily maintenance and management of our downtown. We need to bring housing downtown so that there is life and vibrancy 24 hours a day. We need to take action on incentivizing Adaptive Reuse. This has not happened and it's inexcusable.
|Which two issues are most important to you?:|
|My top issue is turning around our declining downtown. I won't bore you with the same detail I've provided above! Needless to say, there are many priorities that factor into a vibrant, safe, and clean downtown.|
Public Safety is another major concern. We have to return to public support for our Police Department. Today we are operating with a 21% reduction in our Police Force. Our PD is forced to reduce what calls for service officers respond to which translates into fewer patrols and longer response times. Council's lack of public support for our exemplary Police Department is indicative of their lack of leadership and vision. Our local public safety is not a political issue, it's a life and safety issue. This has to change.