Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hotchkiss 1, Incumbents 0

Nice letter to the editor in the News-Press today -- when's the last time Williams, Barnwell or Schneider got a positive letter in the News-Press.....just asking :)

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Anonymous passing-by said...

The only really important matter in the City Council election is to vote for anyone except perky up-start Michelle Giddens. Her vision for Santa Barbara closely resembles Manhattan Beach or the Newport Pennisula. She has never seen a house too big for even the tiniest lot. Big = good. The scary part is that she is tireless, smiles all the time, and is overflowing with the sort of big house buzz-words that appeal to people who haven't thought about what really happens when "today's modern family" builds a huge "dream house" to pursue the "Santa Barbara life-style" right next door. She is Orange County personified.

8/21/2007 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even better column by Loretta Redd in today's Santa Barbara Sound (8/21/07) concluding how much the city council gets led around by city staff and that we have one city staff person for every 100 people in this town.

What the bias of the city staff is, so goes the city and no one elects them. If the current city council members could only see how much the staff has corrupted them and misled them to their own agenda.

These are basically nice, well meaning people who originally did care about the voters, but their lack of experience dealing with large organizations and taking executive level leadership positions for the first time in their lives allowed them to get railroaded by staff and they abdicated the neighborhoods and the voters.

I don't think they intended to do this. It is an insidious process, then they sell their soul to the employee unions for re-election and the residents and their own election promises drop out of sight.

Loretta Redd stated this dilemma so well today. And this is how nice people like each member of the city council ultimately get corrupted by those who in fact have their own unaccontable agenda - the city staff.

Let's only hope those non-incumbents running who actually have leadership skills and independence and are not beholden to special interest employee unions or developers will not (1) out of lack of municipal government experience and/or (2) laziness once in office actually start taking a critical look at the huge disconnect between what the voters and the residents want and what the unaccountable city staff keeps shoving down our throats.

Not being able to hire new staff due to high housing prices sounds like the best thing that could happen to our city. Because once we hire them, all they do is conive to pass more housing projects and demand they be mostly affordable -- for their own benefit, not for ours.

Please, may we next elect enough candidates that can see through this malaise and not let the unaccountable staff sell this city out from under us.

And number one, please, please, please start holding the city staff accountable for carrying out the wishes of the voters and not the other way around where the staff drags the elected leaders around by the nose.

Nuff said. Cooper, Litttan and Hotchkiss -- are you listening? How will you do things differently when your on the job learning curve will be so steep and the staff will all call in "sick" if you try to rock their safe little boat?

The problem has been clearly defined. Now how do we get a solution? Or is the city staff power insatiable and voracious and petty in retribution? Yes, this is what we have created.

How can we reverse the flow of power from the voters down to the staff and stop the staff from screwing the voters?

8/21/2007 8:43 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Doesn't this always come up around election time? I've seen staff be very deferential to council people and follow their lead....and it is important to have department heads lead the way as council people do not have the time to be everywhere at once.

Even with a raise, few councils if any in California, are paid well enough to be Boards of Directors of an organization that is larger than many corporations. The Mayor (or even City Administrator) are not even closely paid like even medium sized companies on NASDAQ. Why would you expect it to be any different. What experience does the TKA Slate (+2) have that the present council does not?

It's not an argument worth having as it is not apples and apples.

8/21/2007 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The TKA slate is not beholden to public employee unions, nor would I expect them to be. That is number one.

Number two, they are all older and have way more life and working experience in the private sector, not former public benefit employees themselves.

Number three, they are not endorsed by the secret female political mafia.

Number four: while civic minded, they are not profesional politicians dependent upon their role as an elected official for their life definition.

Number five: yes indeed, this is a full time job and they had better start now knowing and understanding how to carry out their campaign promises to their voters and stop rubber stamping every fool piece of paper that comes before them submitted by the self-interested staff.

Number six: I expect the TKA slate to stand up to the employee unions and demand accountability for their work product.

Number seven: I expect them to tell the staff, via J. Armstrong, what to do and not the other way around. They will create a list of actions that they had put out to the voter and they will get them done.

Number eight: and when the staff all comes down with the "flu" in a threatened sick out because they don't like being asked to be accountable to the majority of voters, and not special interest groups like developers, they will know exactly what to do.

Number nine: they won't be afraid to poll residents to find out the level of satisfaction with city services and demand city staff show measurable improvement, or else.

Number ten: they will not let city public works department keep riding rough shod on this entire city without any council supervision or direction.

Think I'll stop now ... and pace myself to the election. But you asked how could the new candidates be different from the incumbents. They will not turn their backs on the voters once they are in office.

Read Loretta Redd's comments in Santa Barbara Sound (8/21/07) - worthy of a whole thread just on that topic.

8/21/2007 11:08 PM  
Anonymous SB Independent letters, July 19, 2007 said...

An ignorant populace is the best populace for Hotchkiss:

"Recently the city mailed out a questionnaire requesting citizen input for the future of Santa Barbara. Evidently, that planning envisioned two Santa Barbaras — one English-speaking and the other Spanish-speaking — as the query was printed in English and Spanish.

The city is remiss in discouraging Spanish-speaking immigrants from learning English. We should encourage all immigrants to learn and speak English at every opportunity, thus making available to them the privileges and benefits that come with English fluency. Henceforth, Santa Barbara officially should use English only. Immigrants speaking any foreign language will quickly adjust, as they have throughout our national history. Beyond the fiscal savings that the use of one language would accord, far more important is the effect this would have on civic discourse in our community. We need to move our community forward together. Using a common language is essential to that end."
— Frank Hotchkiss

8/22/2007 12:24 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

What the bias of the city staff is, so goes the city and no one elects them. If the current city council members could only see how much the staff has corrupted them and misled them to their own agenda.

Let's cut the innuendo. What is this bias and agenda? How does a diverse staff come to have a single agenda? Oh, wait ... it doesn't.

Let's only hope those non-incumbents running

Ah yes, greener grass. What's the basis for the hope that non-incumbents will be immune to a process that you say is "insidious"? Oh, wait .. there isn't any.

A non-incumbent is simply someone who hasn't won an election (yet) -- the only other distinction is lack of experience, making the "I'm not an incumbent" argument the most transparent of red herrings.

I've talked to Loretta Redd and I like her. I wonder at her making such an argument ... oh, wait, she didn't. "100 municipal employees" -- not "city staff" (although she does rather blithely slide from one to another). And "Once they get elected, however, the forces of influence weigh in" -- nothing about "non-incumbents" being in any way superior to incumbents. Ms. Redd's argument is about the effect of creeping development on this community and our quality of life and an aspect of the process that brings that about despite good intentions, not about incumbents vs. non-incumbents or "unaccountable agendas". In the end it is, I think, a plea for more citizens, not less, to become more involved in their community. Certainly this problem won't be solved by "hoping" that some new batch of council people will magically be better than the old batch. That sure didn't retard development in Goleta.

8/22/2007 12:35 AM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

City staff are by and large people who desire to do the best they can for the city. Most could find higher-paying jobs in the private sector, but they choose to work for the city because of civic pride. It is easy to blame staff people for whatever your gripe is at the moment.

Like the so-called "bias" among the former reporters, I'd like to see some specific examples of this staff "agenda".

Then for all you believers in the CABAL there is the "secret female political mafia." Wow!

I'd rather base my politics on issues and solutions than this sort of innuendo, thank you...

8/22/2007 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

City staff is pro-growth, pro-developer and it reeks in every single decisions they are still allowed to make and control this agenda at public hearings. And so far the public has been closed out of the Plan 2030 debate because it has to go through this city staff filter. Plan 2030 so far has been a disgusting farce and reason enough to be some new faces running this show.

8/22/2007 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to city hall to renew my dog's license. There were 9 (NINE) employees within speaking distance of where I was standing at a counter with no directions. One employee was dealing with another citizen. I stood there several minutes until the person in front of me left. When I said I was there to renew the dog license the employee abruptly said "she'll help you" and motioned for me to move 3 feet to a woman who had not even acknowledged me. None of the other 7 employees who were all chatting and walking around ever looked in my direction. I had a friend from Boston with me and she was amazed at the scenario and I just smiled and said to my friend, "Welcome to Santa Barbara!"

8/22/2007 9:12 AM  
Anonymous a woman's pov said...

Let's face it...the women who are politically active in this town are not attractive women and make no effort to appear their best (uncomfortable with their feminine side?). However I did finally see Janet Wolf in person and she was very well put together and not obnoxiously seeking the limelight at the event. But unfortunately she is beholden to the (no so secret) female political mafia and she'll have to follow their lead.

A woman can only get elected in this burg if she is rabidly pro-abortion and downplays her looks. Although one's opinions on abortion have nothing to do with running on a city level, in SB you must be a proclaimed abortion supporter. That's the first test you must pass. Why do you think so many extraordinarily accomplished women who move here say to hell with getting involved? There are women here who can run circles around the ones in office. The women's mafia is a mean one.

8/22/2007 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cooper is out. Swift Boat Victim One. Next?

8/22/2007 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is easy to blame the city staff and they deserve it. If they work so hard, put them on projects that do the city some good, not just their own self-interests and pro-growth agendas.

It is the failed leadership at the top that is allowing the city staff to abuse the city residents with all their own pet projects and agendas.

Plan 2030 hearings made it abundantly clear to all who witnessed them, the city staff filtered all the public input and recorded it to reflect their own pre-set agenda. And this has happened at every single public hearing they participate in, including ones where the city hires a hack facilitator to do the dirty work for them.

Wake up -- those who are now running against the incumbents are voicing these exact concerns. Listen to the guy today on the TA radio show - he got this exactly right. Loretta Redd got this exactly right in yesterday's SB Sound column.

Are you now saying they are all wrong? Typical - the city still refuses to listen to the real problems in this town and continue to sell out to the tyranny of the city staff and the public employee unions.

They refuse to listen because they themselves have compromised themselves too much and can't make the staff accountable to the voters. So it is time to vote in people who will.

Don't make it so easy for the opponents by rolling over on this and insulting all those growing voices who are raising this very important issue.

We are tired of city staff leading the city council around by the nose and in the process trashing every single campaign promise that got you elected in the first place.

8/22/2007 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Politics is going to settle this issue - the will be a lot of new faces on the next city council after this next election who are not going to just pander city staff recommendations.

They are going to be biased against them as a start because they see that city staff recommendations and hijacking of the city's priorities have led us into this mess in the first place:
Pro-density, pro-blight, pro spot-zoning, pro-gangs, pro-homeless, pro-junk science, pro-weeds, pro handouts to whiners, pro-cheap housing for non-residents, pro-symbolism ........ the list goes on and on.

And that is a great place to start. How quickly will the city staff get this new message from the new city council and what will they do to sabotage it this time?

Being an apologist for the city staff just to get their campaign dollars is not going to cut it anymore. In fact, that is one way to tell who not to vote for. This time it will be a city resident's election, not a city employee unioin election. And not a moment too soon.

8/22/2007 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"secret female political mafia"

yeah them, city staff and the Jews are out to destroy santa barbara by turning it into a homeless haven can't you all see...

where's Mel Gibson he'll tell it like it is

8/22/2007 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr Michael Cooper, DDS just dropped out of the city council race, though his name will still appear on the ballot.

Won't it be funny when even he gets more votes than the incumbents? He appears to be part of the St Francis opposition group of three who would have been running on the same issues. He still may make it.

8/22/2007 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a female political mafia in town, but they are not so secret. They already decided Iya Falcone will be the next mayor and no one is talking about opposing her.

8/22/2007 1:45 PM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

...secret female political mafia...

Oh, that's a good one.

Do you, like TK Armstrong, see nefarious, scheming Union Organizers skulking outside your apartment window late at night too?

Does a fifth column of the Resistance meet late at night in your neighbor's basement to concoct their villainous plans?

8/22/2007 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The City doesn't pay workers enough. if they got paid more they could live here and might care more about the community .

8/22/2007 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hotchkiss must be Wendykiss, because when he announced his candidacy, he pretty much got what must have been his press release published in the News-Press. It seems that when a reporter covers an "event" that the NP likes, that reporter need only report what happened, what was said, etc., without getting "the other side". That's fine, but when a reporter gets fired for covering an event with which Wendy disagrees in that same way, because that reporter was allegedly biased since she didn't get the "other side" of an event where there was no such "other", then the NP is exposed for the union-busting rag that it is.

8/22/2007 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time for all these threats from city workers to stop -- if you don't pay us enough, we will retaliate in X-Y-Z number of ways, such as this last poster who said they would "care" more about their jobs, if they were paid enough to live in Santa Barbara.

Outrageous if they think this tactic works.

If they are so unhappy, quit. If they think they are going to blackmail their performance for better pay, it is time to fire them for incompetency.

That is what we need to hear from the new city council.

If you don't give me a free house at taxpayer expense, I will not do my job. WAAAAAAAAAHHH.

Amazing someone has no embarassment making this demand. What kool-aid have they been drinking or is this the standard operating procedure from public employee union e employees?

8/22/2007 8:38 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

8:38 PM -- how is what SEIU does different than what the Police UNION said when they were up for contract negotiations....'oh, we can't respond to 911 calls because we are stretched so thin'. May be true -- but why do anti-union folks always call the Police UNION an Association like it's different. A rose by any other name...

Is that what you think? City workers handle public safety issues every day that don't make the headlines or a staunch law enforcement supporters consciousness like being in public safety. Our police afficers are to be commended and protected AND paid what they are worth...but so are our city workers.

8/22/2007 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public employee unions include police, fire and city staff, and they are already paid very well. Threats from any of them about slow-downs of their job duties while they continue to have an iron grip on these jobs is wholly inappropriate. That is tyranny.

Tell them to take a look at the private sector, if they don't think they are. And be sure to have them include all their (1) benefits, (2) retirement, (3)vacations, (4)paid holiday, (5)sick leave, (6)conference attendence expenses, (7)professional development,(8) parking privleges,(9) job security and (10) lack of accountability into their total package.

Plus their collective ability to threaten the welfare of this entire community with their demands, if they don't get more.

Back to that dog license example posted here about the pathetic customer service they offer.

8/22/2007 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Secret Female Political Mafia....?
They aren't secret - they're elected.

8/22/2007 11:45 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Ummm, the dog license thing goes without saying! Yikes! What? She thinks that not may job? I've gotten that too recently from a local business that should know better....unfortunately it happens at fast food joints, real estate agencies, department stores and everywhere we turn because people aren't paid much for what they do.

We need to be careful to not make it seem it only happens at the City -- it happens in the free market, real economy that we know and love as well. We don't vote on it so we don't feel a sense of entitlement to it -- but it is there. In other words, how is being ignored at Taco Bell any different? even Macy's? You know it happens.....

8/22/2007 11:46 PM  
Anonymous eight santa barbara said...

I would like to actually see more examples of what people, including Loretta Redd, are saying about the Staff directing or dictating policy more than the Council. Sometimes you get the feeling that this can be true, and though I sometimes have that feeling, I never actually have an example from which to draw proof.

I would guess that this is shown in how Staff is often conservative, in any organization. A policy setter, like a manager or executive over a specific department in a corporation, can often be about ideas and trying new things. However, staff analysis of the proposed idea can show things difficult to swallow: dollar costs, staffing needs, legal implications, jurisdictional issues.. the list goes on. These can be sobering, and can temper any enthusiasm.

It's similar to someone who wants to start a business, and, after talking about the idea to consultants and experts, seeing the build-up as beyond the person's abilities and/or wallet. Only the driven would continue, and see these as items on a 'to-do list' and not obstacles preventing the endeavor from beginning.

Staff can be conservative. They can bring forth all of the details about a proposal in order to ensure that, well, all bases are covered. But sometimes this can appear to be reasons for killing the proposal, rather than things to overcome. Staff, with all due respect, are not the driven entrepreneurs who would do whatever it takes to ensure success from a proposal.

What is also important to examine, looking at corporate Staff in other organizations, is that Staff-level personnel do not like to change procedure or do things that are judged to make their jobs more difficult. Internal processes, rather than the customers to be served (in this case, the voters and citizens of Santa Barbara) are considered paramount to the purpose of the organization. Think of phrases like 'policy/procedure dictates' or 'our staffing is slammed and overwhelmed already' or 'I've got so many things to do and so many people asking for ...' These are phrases typical of any person in any organization, especially those dealing with the public, when things put pressure on the job-description or normal duties of the rank and file or staff-level employees.

I just noticed that may not be clear. I guess it wold be easy to say that Staff is conservative and may not want to engage in risk, and Staff can be fearful of rocking its own boat because of internal operations (instead of considering organizational goals).

In any case, I would still like to see more proof of Staff over-influence in deciding policy. It seems to be there, but there is rarely, if ever, any real proof.

8/22/2007 11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can choose to not go back to Wendy's or Macy's when we get poor service.

City services have a monopoly on services, as well as rights of legal retribution if they want to exercise it against us. That puts them into an entirely different situation. And that is scary. Macy's incompetency does not scare me. It is just annoying.

Plus we, the consumers of the city services monopoly services, are the sole payors of their bloated salaries with our involuntary tax dollars.

8/22/2007 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city is remiss in discouraging Spanish-speaking immigrants from learning English. We should encourage all immigrants to learn and speak English at every opportunity, thus making available to them the privileges and benefits that come with English fluency. Henceforth, Santa Barbara officially should use English only. Immigrants speaking any foreign language will quickly adjust, as they have throughout our national history. Beyond the fiscal savings that the use of one language would accord, far more important is the effect this would have on civic discourse in our community. We need to move our community forward together. Using a common language is essential to that end."

What is the objective of the questionnaire? I'm guessing that it's to get answers to the questionnaire. Do you really think that making a questionnaire English only would encourage people to learn English? I really doubt it. Assuming that immigrants will quickly adjust is one wild assumption.

The main thing I see happening with an English-only questionnaire is that you won't get answers. That would be fine if the main objective of the questionnaire designer wasn't to get a response from those who don't read English.

If you don't read Spanish, would you respond to a questionnaire in Spanish? Would you be encouraged to learn Spanish so that you could respond to a questionnaire?

I neither read or speak Spanish but I seriously doubt a questionnaire would encourage me to learn the language.

8/23/2007 1:03 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

Let's face it...the women who are politically active in this town are not attractive women and make no effort to appear their best (uncomfortable with their feminine side?).

So is Loretta Redd part of this female mafia, or opposed to it? Does it hinge on whether one finds her attractive and feminine? Or are the people commenting about a "female mafia" unhinged?

8/23/2007 3:01 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

Although one's opinions on abortion have nothing to do with running on a city level, in SB you must be a proclaimed abortion supporter.

It's the right wingers who are pro-abortion, because their policies (as numerous studies have shown) lead to more abortions -- opposition to sex education, condoms, monies for education and job training, etc. etc. Liberals favor the well-being of both children and mothers. Right wingers only pretend to care about incompletely formed human beings inside a woman's body, as a way to control and oppress women and as political hook (the anti-abortion movement was invented by Republican operative Richard Viguerie as a means to get Ronald Reagan elected president in 1980) -- but they couldn't care less about fully formed human beings other than themselves.

8/23/2007 3:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's face it...the women who are politically active in this town are not attractive women and make no effort to appear their best (uncomfortable with their feminine side?).

Yeah, because the men are really hot. Bring back Secord, he was smokin!

What were you expecting from mostly retired women? Granted, Marty Blum looks like the boy from A Christmas Story, but is that really a requirement for City Council?

8/23/2007 12:32 PM  
Anonymous That's HOT! said...

Regarding comment:

"the women who are politically active in this town are not attractive women and make no effort to appear their best (uncomfortable with their feminine side?)"


Helene Scheider, Janet Wolf, Susan Rose, Susan Epstein, Beth Jackson, et al. are all HOT HOT HOT!!

That cleavage from the dais is not a random event. It also is the Female Political JEWISH Mafia!

See how these comments have expanded on what supposedly started with a posting about the who-cares-about-Hotchkiss election campaign? Why? Because nobody does care about Hotchkiss.

8/23/2007 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The more abortions the better! Less people to cause Global Warming!

8/23/2007 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Beauty and Brains said...

RE: the 'hotness' of women elected officials in this town---- tie between Susan Epstein and Janet Wolf...hands down.

8/23/2007 8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I take exception to some of the women you portrayed as "hot". I especially take exception to your deveating from staring at their cleavage just long enough to take a clumsy grope at anti-semitism. Who cares if we have some female jewish elected officeholders?

Get a life.

8/23/2007 9:00 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

RE: the 'hotness' of women elected officials in this town---- tie between Susan Epstein and Janet Wolf...hands down.

Susan is, aside from being darn cute, a very sweet person and incredibly smart. I don't know Janet Wolf personally, but she seems a bit more hard-edged in looks and personality.

8/24/2007 12:28 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

a clumsy grope at anti-semitism

Um, where's the anti-semitism? I'm Jewish, and it doesn't strike me as anti-semitic to note that all the named women are Jewish, while at the same time countering the claims that they are unattractive, make no effort to appear their best, and aren't comfortable with their feminine side. Even the generalization the Jewish women have a lot of cleavage (its certainly true of the women in my family) doesn't strike me as being in any way anti-semitic, unless you think having cleavage is a bad thing.

8/24/2007 12:35 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

As for getting a life, here's a fun song about Jewish women and cleavage from a Jewish comedy duo:

8/24/2007 12:46 AM  
Anonymous That's HOT! said...

Okay, add the Shiksa Joni Gray to the list of Hot politicas.

Why is taking pride in Jewishness and mentioning it automatically an anti-Semitic remark?

8/24/2007 5:13 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Having spent 6 mos in Israel, I can attest to the hotness of cleavage bearing sabra. Gotta love them Ashkanazi's and the Sphardim are so ero, um, exotic...Yum

8/24/2007 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When do we get to discuss the penis size of Salud, Brooks, Das, Grant, and Roger?

8/25/2007 8:51 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I've been unconfortable where this has been going myself -- let's get back on track readers!

8/25/2007 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Shiksa said...

That series of comments has gone off track because Hotchkiss is a big blank with nothing to warrant any comments about him.

THAT is the bigger point.

8/27/2007 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say Hotchkiss is a big blank only reveals you are too lazy to read his resume which is very impressive. He has been active, very active in this community for a long time. He hit the ground running, but he runs in different circles than the progressives.

So don't play dumb and wake up later finding the progressives are all out of office. This is a serious and credible candidate. We need an adult male on this council. He is the one, with credentials and experience to boot.

Too bad you don't read the News Press which provided very nice coverage of his campaign kick-off a few weeks ago. The rest of us do and we vote.

8/27/2007 8:32 PM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

Another few posts from that unhinged JQB and I might throw up.

I would like to state here that as a City Staff member, noone has asked me what direction in which the city should go. There are no hidden agendas and nobody pulling the strings behind the scenes while pulling the wool over the public's eye. Conspiracy theorists pipe down; you're fabricating.

I also feel obliged to defend myself and my colleague's customer service skills. I/we get compliments all the time about what a help I/we have been in assisting citizens in getting the information and service they need and deserve. I/we do not work at City Hall. I understand your gripes. They can be pretty bad with their CS, but don't insinuate that it is citywide. There are lots of great people working for the city.

8/28/2007 10:07 AM  
Anonymous reader said...

and there's a very nice piece about Hotchkiss in today's Daily Sound. Not one-dimensional at all.

8/28/2007 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are voters going to turn down a Yale graduate when given a chance to get some mature common sense on this city council. Don't think so.

So which one of the three incumbents is going down next election because for sure one of them will be out. Who is the weakest? Barnwell - Williams - Schneider?

Nice article about Frank Hotchkiss in both the NewsPress and the Daily Sound - this is no marginal candidate and he speaks for thousands of voters who feel their city has been lost to the current administration.

8/28/2007 9:01 PM  
Anonymous eight santa barbara said...

I can't help but be concerned that, if Hotchkiss is the alternative to the so-called Progressives in town (which are just the typical Santa Barbara Democrats by another name), then this will not be an inspiring election to watch.

The time someone spends in any city does not, alone, equate to a reason to be elected. Nonetheless, I can't help but be concerned that Hotchkiss has only lived in the City for 10 years. Perhaps others can help me out on this and sway my thoughts. But it appears that in 10 years, it is difficult to understand the nuances in culture and attitude that are characteristic of Santa Barbarians.

Hotchkiss came from the LA-Orange County-San Diego part of southern California, the part that doesn't care about development, that is dependent on cars and freeway construction, that has communities clearly defined into 'rich and poor' and 'white and non-white'.

Santa Barbara has, for the most part, attempted to bridge gaps between areas, whether successful or not. The City has, for the most part, stated concerns for the environment and alternative transportation.

Does Hotchkiss fit this profile?

His views on Global Climate Change, resulting from Global Warming, are that there is weak science to back up the theory. Unfortunately, Hotchkiss, like many others, listens to pundits to decide for him whether the theory is scientifically sound. He does this in the same way that many rely on pundits to decide whether the Iraq War is going well or not. If he does not question the experts, the scientists, he is no more an authority on this than anyone off the street (just as many protest the War without listening to Intelligence analysts, Military experts, Political scientists, et al. Most of the anti-war quotes come from politicians and pundits, not the experts).

Hotchkiss also took a stance akin to supporting exile. He said that no person in a gang should live in Santa Barbara. While the premise of eliminating gang activity is one we all support, the implication from his statements that they should be kicked out or forced into leaving is disconcerting. It doesn't deal with the reason or cause of gangs, it only waits for the behavior to happen. It is reactive to gangs.

And his 'ankle-bracelet' proposal for everyone convicted of a gang-related crime, again, does not deal with the issue but rather waits for the crime to happen to deal with gangs.

His English-only policy for the City is interesting. While he says it is to speed the rate at which others learn English, eliminating Spanish from City forms and communications may actually do harm. Does Hotchkiss take measure of the number of legal immigrants whose conversational English may be adequate, but who lack the ability to discern and define more technical language found in legal, medical and other fields with their own vernacular? Culture does not communicate on a legal form, in a medical questionnaire, on a survey of policy preferences for local government. Culture communicates in other ways, face to face with other people. Forms and mailings are not how cultures come together to build a sense of community.

I wonder if Hotchkiss has some gravitas to him. His reasons for running are his "common sense", his "I'm not a politician" quality, and an altogether emotional response to the current City Council. His interview with the Daily Sound seemed to show a resident who was frustrated, agitated, and who was making decisions and policy platforms based on this. He is a bleeding heart of a different kind. He panders to anger and emotional notions of what is right. He does not appear to be running to do good things, but rather because he is responding to the current council. He is saying, in a sense, "vote for me because I am not them."

If Hotchkiss is the only alternative, he has, thus far, left a lot to be desired. I do not believe this is the only thing Santa Barbara has to offer in terms of choice. There are many people, bright people, innovative with respect to policy, who possess leadership qualities, who are pragmatic and practical, who are either more Liberal or more Conservative. Hotchkiss can't be the only alternative to what we have now.

Common sense is a quality most people have, hence the 'common' portion of the phrase. I don't think we should necessarily choose our leaders and elected officials on such a low standard, on the lowest of common denominators, and on the choice of 'the lesser of who cares.' Hotchkiss, just as the incumbents, has a long way to go before showing he deserves to take the oath a few months from now.

8/29/2007 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You paint a winning portrait of Hotchkiss, because no elected body that has as much power as the Santa Barbara city council should have only one point of view, which is the case now. And it is stumbling badly because of this lack.

Every quality you mention as a "fault" for Hotchkiss represents a point of view that is not getting heard or is part of the public discusion in this town. This is precisely why he needs to be elected.

We lost the last conservative voice when Secord termed out. This has been a sorely missing point of view that must again be part of doing the city's business.

You need to seriously rethink your residency demand for city council claiming someone who has lived here for a decade is unqualified.

That is one of the craziest ideas I have heard of, while at the same time you try and paint Hotchkiss's points of view as unacceptable.

Yours is constitutionally prohibited. So does this mean are in favor of the overthrow of government? Speak a little more carefully when you criticize others.

Don't forget in the last election two candidates shared a very strong conservative vote and split that vote between Tyler and Redd, allowing House to barely squeak in.

There is a strong conservative sentiment in this town and they are going to win this time, and with maybe way more than just one candidate. Stay tuned.

It is all about bringing balance and variety of discourse back to city council hearings. It is not the end of western civilization as you know it. To argue thusly shows how very out of touch you are.

You better believe the voter appeal for "common sense" has strong legs in this community. And no sitting incumbent can lay claim to that slogan. Just the opposite.

And when Hotchkiss said - "no gangs in Santa Barbara - either get out of the gang or get out of town" the voters were opening their checkbooks to send him their support.

Public employee unions are not going to decide this election. Private property owners who have watched this city get trashed are in revolt. You need to know what is going on in this town because you are missing the huge mood shift.

People are really angry at the current city council. And now they have a candidate, several of them actually, that will carry that anger for them.

8/29/2007 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Turtle said...

Eight, if you and your buddy Al Gore are such qualified "scientists" (would love to see the credentials), perhaps one of you can explain why Earth's temperature has been fluctuating UP and DOWN for billions of years before the internal combustion engine was even conceived? Explain why there have been six ice ages (global cooling followed by global warming) and explain why the polar ice caps on Mars are also melting without our help.

Try to argue with the following "pundits" - Looks like hard sound scientific facts to me, instead of the alarmist propaganda that all you fools believe which pads Al Gore's wallet and fuels his private jets:

And here is a little "inconvenient news story" to prove it, showing what scientists on the unpopular unpublicized side think about it.

Amazing! The Earth went through a warming cycle and ice melted at least once before! (Before humankind even invented the wheel) Hmm what could have caused that? The SUN? Just speculating.

Now show us all your "STRONG SCIENCE" that supports the idea that Global Warming is something new and doomish, that warrants we should give it a moment's notice. Then explain how Santa Barbara is going to have any significant impact when unregulated China is growing it's industry by leaps and bounds and already out emits us?
This reminds me too much of the last doomsday mania - wasn't it Y2K? What a dud.

While you're at it, please explain why the exile of criminals from Santa Barbara is a BAD thing? Yes a little common sense would be great about now. Go Hotchkiss.

8/29/2007 6:03 PM  
Anonymous eight santa barbara said...

to 12:21pm, I never said that there should be a termed residency requirement. I wondered, out loud, if 10 years living here was enough to give any person a sense of what is right and wrong with the City. I wondered if his time here could give a sense of what Santa Barbara is about.

There has been a sentiment for many years among many long-time residents that folks from LA and areas south of there move up here and bring with them a different sense about things, from the environment, to development, to the City's cultural history, to it's architecture, and all things in between. And mostly the sentiment about these residents from areas south is negative. Many residents believe it is these new residents who want to change the mood, look and feel in Santa Barbara to things that mimic what we find in LA, Orange County and San Diego.

Ought we build up and out until we must build more roads, and widen what we have here? Should our police force be as separated from the community as the LAPD is in its city? Should our residents be as divided along neighborhoods and freeways as those in cities to our south? Should we pander to corporations and out of town developers, as has been done to revitalize the centers of these other cities, for redevelopment purposes? Is his stay in our City enough to allow him to know what Santa Barbarians love and want? That's what I questioned. I did not mean to imply that we should enact a law about residency requirements.

On the anger and frustration, I agree that many residents feel these emotions when considering the current Council. I would agree with that sentiment and would say i am one of those residents. But, perhaps, Hotchkiss is misinterpreting the source of the frustration? Residents may be frustrated that this Council hasn't done enough for the environment, or they have allowed too much development, or have done nothing to add to alternative transportation, or have allowed the issue of gangs to fester, or have one-too-many payments to consultants and pet projects. It may not, in fact, be that residents want Hotchkiss' brand of bleeding heart politics, based on anger and frustration. It may be that they want practical and pragmatic thought, leadership, and innovative policies.

Hotchkiss, if he is running as the alternative to the City Council, and if he is running to prey on the anger and frustration, he is no better than John Kerry in 2004, the Democratic Congress in 2006. Hotchkiss does not appear to be the candidate people actually want. Instead, he appears to be using the emotions to declare himself a simple alternative, and not the most desirable candidate overall.

Common sense, if it were so great, would not be common at all. Great thinkers and innovators were not about common sense, otherwise they wouldn't be great. Instead, those thinkers showed something that, only in hindsight, appeared so simple.

Like I hinted at before, Hotchkiss may be a great candidate and someone bound for election. He may have more ideas, or be able to elaborate on these ones. He may be able to show us that he is worthy of leading our City. I'm only thinking out loud, and I wonder, based on what has been said, if Hotchkiss is all that we need in this City.

to 6:03pm, I didn't say I was an expert, only that most of those who are convinced that Global Climate Change is non-existant are most often pundits. Al Gore is not the only person who has raised the alarm, although he is a convenient target of criticism. I didn't write with an angry tone, but that's the response I got. We can debate the issue without arguing.

Oh, someone criticized me for residency requirements which I did not actually imply, but exiling certain criminals is just that.

I know, if Hotchkiss is supposed to be a conservative candidate, that there are better conservatives in town. There are more, they are articulate, they are thoughtful, they are practical. Hotchkiss is hardly the best of what conservatives in the City have to offer. He is a bleeding heart, and only caters to emotion. There is nothing practical or pragmatic about his policies just yet.

8/29/2007 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the incumbents argue their cases better than you just did "eight". This remains a democracy and voters determine which way this community goes, not just your one and exclusive vote, looking down your nose and demanding Santa Barbara be what you want it to be.

Plus, why are you implying new residents want things to change. The paid good money to come here the way that it is.

If you would get your head out of the sand and read Travis Armstrong, you will find he is our best defender of no-growth and most outspoken critic of failed city policies.

You made no cogent arguments for the incumbents or against Hotchkiss. The race is his to lose. Paint a blue line around the incumbents, stick a fork in it because they are done.

8/29/2007 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

eight SB - you claimed "exiling criminals" was punishing them because of a residency requirement.

Nope, it is called enforcing immigration laws. If the gang members or their parents are here illegally, it is time for them to be asked to leave.

"If you are in a gang in Santa Barbara, get out of the gang, or get out of Santa Barbara" - Frank Hotchkiss

Sounds good to me. Santa Barbara has zero tolerance for gangs. Let this message be heard. There are plenty of municipal activities to keep young people productively occupied that are already taking lots of our tax dollars.

Kids have a choice - either they choose healthy supervised and funded activities, or they get out of town.

But no longer will it be tolerated to have both choices. Kids know how to make good choices. And they need to start hearing that these are the only choices they can make.

8/29/2007 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Turtle said...

Who's arguing? I presented facts, you want a debate about the validity of global warming, let's see your facts?
If you want a debate, refute my facts.

See thats the problem, nobody does their own research they just follow blindly what the popular media opinion seems to be. Talk about relying on pundits.

I still don't understand what the problem is with exiling criminals.
wtf? I don't get what you are lobbying for??
Do you want them to live here? I will send them to your house and they can have residency ? How does that work for ya?

8/29/2007 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Turtle said...

Any conservative is better than no conservative - the "better" ones you speak of aren't running. And you're right, the problem with running on a platform of common sense is that common sense obviously isn't very common in this town. I don't think you know what "bleeding heart" means. It means feeling sorry for everyone, regardless of whether they deserve it or not, it doesn't mean someone that is angry and frustrated. and why shouldn't he be? Many of us are.

8/29/2007 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The better progressives aren't running either. You know, the ones with common sense.

8/30/2007 7:36 AM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

Sounds like I need to sign Turtle to a free agent contract for the Minority Report. I knew you were out there. Without referring to the NP at all I am finally sensing that there is a movement, however small, in our political direction. Hotchkiss doesn't have alot of momentum right now because nobody knows who he is. He needs to step away from the Barack Obama style of politics and define exactly what he stands for and he will stand a greater chance of winning a seat on the council. But I think if the election were held today, Frank wouldn't have a chance. The momentum is slowly swinging, but conservatives in SB aren't even near where we need to be to even be heard. Stand up, speak up, and above all else, vote in November.

8/30/2007 7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McConfrontation: The conservative vote will win in this upcoming election because they nearly pulled it off in the last election. You are not learning from the prior election history, so it appears you are only shooting through your hat.

Redd and Tyler votes combined had the largest vote tally, but unfortunately Tyler's late entry split this conservative (aka common sense) vote. And it is a silly label to claim Redd's common sense platform is not truly "conservative". Call it a protest the progressive status quo vote.

The point is, two new faces in hte last election got a combined large enough vote to unseat any "progressive" incumbent. House only won by a hair; not by any large mandate at all. He was only a beneficiary of the Redd/Tyler split.

Hotchkiss will win because there is a huge protest vote out there - so it is "anyone other than the incumbents" mood now out there, which would have been problematic if only Think BillHackett and Homeless Hansen were the non-incumbent candidates.

But even they would have gotten the large and growing protest vote, blind as it is, despite been their abundan political failings. The mood is that angry right now.

Many scoffed before when it was stated here there was a large new and growing anti-incumbent constituency.

This was dismissed out of hand by those "in the know", and voila, there it is now staring everyone in the face with a huge field of very competent, very concerned new faces who are not hapless also rans. Take them seriously this time. They are out there whether you dismissed them on your radar screen, or not.

The incumbents need to understand where all this anger is coming from because it is looking for a new face to carry it for them and unseat the current powers that be that have betrayed this town -- and we still do not understand why.

The incumbents promised us neighborhood protection and they stuck a knife in our backs as soon as they got elected.

Betrayal and anger makes them want to dump the ones who did this to them, and take a chance on new faces, with the hope that they will not. Hope triumphs over experience in this case.

The incumbants betrayed Santa Barbara. They are history. And it is sad to see these formerly good people go so bad once they got elected. No one understands why this happened. But it did, and there is now a political price to pay.

8/30/2007 2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are the "better conservatives" who are not running?

8/30/2007 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the incumbents who sit and stare blankly at good people who speak up, and dismiss their concerns with some lame words that are composed well before the hearing will be shocked this election. Too bad more seats aren't up right now; they all share the blame in their tone-deafness to the citizens, and their obvious pandering to special interests. We've had enough. This from a lifelong democrat extremely insulted by their behavior.

8/30/2007 6:46 PM  
Anonymous eight santa barbara said...

turtle, we agree that the council is not doing a good job. I agree that there is sentiment, for both liberals and conservatives, that the current Council is in need of some revision. I think I've let my feelings on this be known many times.

I think we probably agree on Measure A, too. Down with it, yes?

When I repeat that Hotchkiss, at least to me, seems like a 'bleeding heart', I only mean to say that the issues on which he speaks most are ones that cater to people's emotions. A principled stand on the issues is fine, but his delivery and his chosen issues seem to only want to make those who are angry and frustrated feel better. And the proposals he has appear, to me, emotional in nature. It is as when someone hears about a social wrong and reacts with emotion and not a well-thought plan to deal with the social wrong. Again, this is just what it appears to be, and, with time, Hotchkiss may get to speak more about his policies and explain them in practical terms. So far, it seems as though he is only arguing on emotion and how we feel about things, rather than on a well-thought approach to the issues.

For one, Hotchkiss, as the conservative, has yet to talk in the press about finances. Conservatives tend to want to scale back spending, but he hasn't said much on this. While the City may be good on cash now, where is Hotchkiss' proposal for ensuring financial stability for the foreseeable future?

His proposal for 2 cars per unit doesn't address the already over-crowded parking spaces in downtown neighborhoods, but because he feels cars are basic, he goes with a knee jerk reaction about allowing cars without examining the boring issue of basic infrastructure, which is also a frequent conservative issue in City politics.

His English-only proposal neglects businesses who are exploiting illegal immigrants. So, I am not sure if he is a business conservative that wants to allow businesses to employ cheap labor when they want, or if he is opposed to illegal immigration because of its purely social impact. By jumping on the language issue, it seems like pandering to the 'easy' issues because ones like employment are less, well, 'sexy' among the voter-consumer.

9:45pm, I hope I'm not the only one who gets to vote. But I think the debate going on here is just that, a debate. I understand voters may choose who they want. I am questioning a candidates credentials, as will all voters when they go to the polls. I may disagree with your choice. Voters expressing their preference is democracy. You telling me not to express my preference is anti-democratic. I know TA has been against growth, but I'm not talking about him, I am asking about Hotchkiss. I know new comers have a right to vote. I am simply wondering if, after they move, the residents understand why Santa Barbara was made good enough for them to live here? I would hope they'd like to continue a trend, rather than change things to what they are more familiar with, like West LA, Orange County and San Diego.

And I never said I thought the incumbents were more qualified. If you read my comments on different topics on Blogabarbara, you would see that I think they have done a piss-poor job. I am as frustrated with the local circle of Democrats as many int he town.

If Hotchkiss were to display a better set of policy preferences, even conservative ones, he would get my vote because I don't think the incumbents are worthy of the vote. I would vote only for Hotchkiss, so as to not spread the votes to the others, in such a case.

I think infrastructure, businesses exploiting immigrants and thus lowering wages, and the City's finances are traditionally conservative issues that, were he to form policy on these, would make it very likely that I would vote for Hotchkiss. That may not be the case for everyone else, but that is my opinion.

MCC, sorry about the dog.

2:41pm, you say some good things here and some interesting things. I agree most with your last paragraph. It sums up my own feelings very well.

8/30/2007 6:55 PM  

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