BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Votes Are In: Barnwell Loses Council Seat

It's Williams, Schneider and Francisco with 100% of the vote counted.

Williams kept his lead at 7,300 votes, Schneider had 6,500 and challenger Dale Francisco had 6,300 votes. Barnwell barely trailed Giddens with 5,800 votes to his 5,700.

What does it mean? Far from a watershed moment, Barnwell didn't run a true campaign and his loss has little to do with policy and where he stands on the issues.

This election proved that laying low when you have vocal challengers isn't a good strategy. It also shows that putting your eggs in a basket with two other incumbents (each are individual candidates) may not have been the best strategy either. The weakest link will always break the chain.

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66 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara,

How do you know Barnwell didn't run a true campaign? Who says? What is a "true" campaign. Are you saying that he was a little handicapped by his hired help???

11/06/2007 10:45 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Sara,

Tsk, tsk. Sounds like you've wasted no time in making excuses for Barnwell.

Barnwell's loss can be summed up in one word -- arrogance. Barnwell turned many voters off because of the cocky, know-it-all attitude that he brought to City Hall. And he lost this race because he carried that same attitude into his campaign.

Dale will be a much needed breath of fresh air. Bravo Dale!

11/06/2007 10:49 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

It would seem as though attempts by the News Press and their dwindling legions of sycophants to manufacture some populist anti-progressive uprising have failed. Instead, this election was very much in line with conventional wisdom - an incumbent who ran a lackluster campaign lost, and a ballot measure that didn't have much support behind it in the first place, failed.

Credit Dale Francisco for campaigning hard and putting his name out there as a viable alternative, and also credit Williams and Schneider for earning their re-elections. City government is a thankless job, and you either need to be passionate, masochistic, or both to want to do it, especially with the local daily sniping at your every move, so lets hope their dedication finds them well for the coming term.

11/06/2007 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a repeat of the Goleta 2006 elections - the difference was Goleta had three great candidates - we only had 1 and half.

If there were two Dales - there would have been two incumbents out - if there were three - there would have three incumbent losers.

Gang problems, homeless downtown and they gave us the blue line and measure a

11/06/2007 11:15 PM  
Anonymous reap what you sow said...

I like Brian personally but think he was his own worst enemy, and yes, he does come off as an arrogant know-it-all.

Example: early in his tenure, my wife wrote him about an issue she cared about, a position she had that differed from his. The response she got from him was nothing short of rude. no comprehension of another point of view, no diplomacy; more of an attitude of 'you're a jerk if you don't agree with me."

he lost that vote 3 years ago!

11/07/2007 4:59 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

10:45 pm -- no, not saying anything about his help. I think, however, that running as a slate with the same help can cause conflict in that actions that are taken may not be in your best interest as an individual candidate.

11/07/2007 5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Young people today no longer wear watches, no longer read newspapers, no longer watch TV news." Wendy McCaw, July 3, 2007

Young people do visit websites, however. But any reader early Wednesday morning -- young or old -- would not have been able to find out from the News-Press website who won or lost in the city election … held several hundred steps from News-Press offices.

At the time of this post, around 5:30 am, Wednesday morning, the websites for the Daily Sound, the Independent, Noozhawk and even this Blogabarbara carried detailed election results.

The News-Press website? Zip. Just a story about how people had trouble finding polling places, sounding a theme from the opinion pages.

Well, maybe there will be something from the News-Press website later in the day when the publishers wake up and make it in.

By that time, who cares? Edhat will have emailed me its wrap-up by then.

11/07/2007 5:38 AM  
Anonymous at_large said...

I agree that Barnwell did not run a good campaign, although I don't know what a "true campaign" is. He seemed to think in his campaigning that people knew him and that was all that was necessary. But you need to go out and ask us voters for our vote and explain who you are and why we should vote for you. He didn't - and his Ch 17 free public announcements were sadly sorry, indeed.

But I also think that those who denigrate the NP as unimportant are mistaken.How else credit the showing of know-nothing Giddens running on a smile, a 4-year-old and a personal wish for a larger house? And Hotchkiss, the "get out of town" and developers' friend?

The voters knew of them because of the incessant drumbeating of the NP and the refusal of the paper to publish any letters except in support of its chosen candidates. Although Schneider won, the last minute smears undoubtedly cost her many hundreds of votes, imo.

There simply is no other valuable and true means of providing information to the voters. The DS shows no signs of growing beyond its limited coverage; blogs are purely opinion. Ch 17 is a good start and if the city gets its public financing act together --- that will be essential for a fully informed electorate two years from now. Having tasted blood, the self-interested McMansion types will be back....

just my two cents worth......

11/07/2007 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting coverage by Key-3 News this morning. I'm not quite sure what it means but they interviewed Das and Helene in what appears to be the City Council chambers while, in contrast, they caught up with Dale Francisco elbowing his way up to a local bar.

11/07/2007 7:04 AM  
Anonymous Meditate for a day folks said...

To all the apologist spinmeisters:

I voted for two people- Schneider and Francisco.

I voted against Measure A.

I was an early and active opponent of the NewsPress mess---way before the July 06 'implosion'. I've been personally attacked by Travis.
I NEVER subscribed to the NewsPress [no need for post-July cancellation].

I have been appalled by Barnwell's actions, statements and votes on the Council and while he was on Planning Commission.

I've lived in the City almost 30 years. I believe Das, while he has good policy statements and at times good votes, merely used and is continuing to use his City COuncil seat as a platform and cash cow for campaigning for higher office. I was stunned and disgusted at his run for County office while barely halfway into his Council seat.
I have no doubt he will use the money and goodwill and votes he gained for this seat to run for Assembly in less than two years.

My point: it would be prudent for the caustic, sarcastic, arrogant [and wrong] spin-meisters to take a day or two and meditate on why this election went the way it did.

This City Council also needs to meditate. Try not to use the meaningless words "affordable housing" for a month, and instead look down Chapala and throughout the City at the multimillion dollar condos and penthouses going up, and count on two hands how many "affordable" units will pay for this gutting of Santa Barbara as we knew it.

And remember that the people who have been uprooted by these condo conversions and mega-ugly-tall cement boxes have had to move OUT of the city--so any "affordable" units will be filled by NEW poor/middle class people who will be needed to service the ever growing mega-wealthy class.

and, while you meditate, remember what your city attorney told you and your planning commissioners--- you have the ability to JUST SAY NO

11/07/2007 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barnwell lost long before his campaign. He generated little support and money to even run a campaign because of his disregard for all of his prior campaign promises.

This was no sweeping validation of the prior status quo. Both Williams and Schneider had to do a lot of back-peddling and explaining to do.

Williams changed his stripes almost completely after his resounding defeat in the 2nd District Supervisor race where he soundly lost the city of Santa Barbara.

All the sudden Das became what he knew was wanted in the more affluent parts of town. So he needs to have his feet kept to the fire to see that he does not now betray his new constituents. But if he leaves office in two years to run for Nava's seat as rumoured, any of his promises to the city will be moot anyway.

The real campaign now will be between Iya and Helene starting their mayors race and the message came across loud and clear, no more business as usual in this town if you want to be mayor.

Helene barely outpolled Francisco and this lesson should not be buried in hype-talk as we are reading here right now. She barely kept a second place finish.

The incumbents who won need to check the precinct votes very carefully because a lot of voters did not like them at all. They eaked out a victory. There was no landslide for either of them.

And Das outspent everyone for a lot more name recognition votes than actually earned votes because of who he is or what his record is.

He bought good campaign packaging with his questionable war chest and should now live up to his artifically created image or face strong opposition for failing the voters next go around.

The votes are not there in the next round unless you actually deliver on your promises to clean up this city and stop building away its heart and core. Words are no longer going to do it. Helene and Iya had better out Francisco Francisco, because the votes are there for a whole new brand of city government.

And you had better start reading the News Press to learn why. These next years will be delivering on campaign promises because Barnwell stands loud and clear for what happens when you do not. Bye bye Barnwell. Next? (Mayors race and Assembly - earn your next slots)

11/07/2007 7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voters knew Giddens and Hotchkiss were not the incumbents, whether they read the NewsPress or not. And that was good enough for a lot of voters in a lot of precincts.

This was no strong validation for the winning incumbents at all. They barely out-polled Francisco. This was clearly a throw the incumbents out mood deeply registered across the city and if you claim it was also a validation for the power of and depth of the NewsPress readership, I will accept that too.

11/07/2007 8:06 AM  
Anonymous polly sigh said...

Nice try spinning Barnwell's defeat, except it doesn't wash. What is a "true campaign?" He showed up at all the candidates' forums, raised and spent plenty of money, had more radio commercials than I could count, and did not win re-election. It has to do completely with his policy of turning his back on his former supporters once he got in office. He didn't just lose, Dale and Michele both beat him.

11/07/2007 8:24 AM  
Blogger Cookie Jill said...

We'll see how Das (the Environmentally inclined) works with Dale (Global warming is a myth) guy.

11/07/2007 8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The spin on Barnwell's loss is a nice try, but wrong. He was beaten badly by Dale and a completely unqualified Michele. To say he didn't run a "true campaign" is misleading; he showed up at all the forums, had a high-priced consultant and ran countless radio commercials during which he touted his "accomplishments" in office. And he lost because he failed to represent his former supporters. Grant House better take notice; interesting that he was all but invisible during this race.

11/07/2007 8:38 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

"Having tasted blood, the self-interested McMansion types will be back...."

They never left...Check out Matt Osgood's letter in The Independent.

11/07/2007 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One reason Williams got more votes is he was better speaking out of both sides of his mouth. He promised (1) affordable housing and the same time he promised (2) neighborhood protections.

And if he is gone as rumoured in two years looking for higher office, he has to deliver on neither of them.

Williams proved he is a political animal and that is all his vote tally shows. He should not view this as a sign of enduring popularity; only as clever packaging and running fast enough that no one has caught up with this inherent campaign duplicity.

Jesus Christ himself cannot deliver affordable housing and neighborhood protections at the same time unless the airport property low value property finally is seen as the **only** site for affordable low value housing.

11/07/2007 9:46 AM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

"Clearly" a throw out the incumbents mood?

Ah, but all the incumbents weren't thrown out, so... whatever.

How large a margin of victory does someone need to have for you to deem it a "victory." Ridiculous sour grapes.

11/07/2007 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it was a watershed moment. Just look how close the votes vere between the challengers and the incumbants. It proves that a full 50% of the city is not happy with the high density direction that the current council is taking us.

The vast majority of people just hate thoise ugly 4 story monstrosities on Chapala. The only rerasaon Das and Helene kept their seat is because they both are anti-development. The next election will be a real housecleaning.

11/07/2007 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The incumbents did okay. The NewsPress did okay. Let's all get along and heal some of Santa Barbar's real problems now that we have some new voices of reason and chastisement on council who will think before they trash the city sensibilities again with their Blue Line nonsense and Measure A arrogance.

Plus Williams will only be there for a two year stint and there will be room for some really sound new voice candidates to give Francisco support soon, and we will have reasonable balance and diverse input back into our civic discourse again.

Iya and Helene cannot win by splitting the same social activist voters. One of them will have to go over to the other side that voted to turn the incumbents out this time, to get the final advantage.

My guess it will be Iya who changes her tune the most. Let's see if she can actually deliver solid results, or will she just keep putting pretty words into the air and doing nothing.

We know Helene learnd nothing from this last upset election. She still thinks she has a mandate for the current status quo, that everyone else knows is not working.

Let's hope everyone (including myself) takes a time out to reflect on the message of this election, sort out the precinct disparities and get this city back on track.

11/07/2007 11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Brian Barnwell needs to look for the cause of his defeat, he should look to the Veronica Springs project and to Chapala. Despite his recanting of a pro-growth position late in the game, he is associated in the minds of the voters with the sell-out of beautiful Santa Barbara. He may be a nice guy, but that sell-out is unforgiveable and will live on as an eyesore testament to those who betrayed our town.

Francisco leaned on that point and tapped into our outrage at what has happened. I would hope that the rest of the city council will stop this destruction by construction NOW before we have lost all Santa Barbara's charm and beauty.

We need people who will not be timid in the face of the developers, who will understand that just because builders have bet that they can make the city cave does not mean the city must make their previous investment traps pay off. Also the high density monstrosities are a failed ideology for our city. Just stop.

11/07/2007 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

In my view, the News-Press was irrelavent to this election. They spent most of their vitriolic ink bashing Schneider and Williams, with barely a mention of Barnwell. The two prime News-Press targets won easily. Barnwell could have won as well if he had managed his campaign better and comported himself with a little decorum. Travis' bitter and sarcastic editorial this morning indicates that he does not feel as sanguine about the results as some of his apologists on this blog do. The easy victory by two out of three incumbents is not a sign of a "Throw the incumbents out mood deeply registered across the city." If anything it is a sign of general satisfaction with the status quo as is the low voter turnout. Congratulations to Dale Francisco. Getting ready for a lot of thankless hard work Dale.

11/07/2007 3:44 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Puhleez! I'm not an apologist here -- just think he didn't go all out! Those that work the hardest win -- perhaps Francisco did and Giddens did enough to be closer....

11/07/2007 5:30 PM  
Blogger artuzi said...

It is all based upon dollars.

Das raised the most money and finished first.

Helene raised the second most money and finished second.

Dale raised the third most money and guess what- he finished third.

No rocket science here.

11/07/2007 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you -- part of good fundraising is beating the bushes for contributions and doing what needs to be done. Only Brian knows if he did all he could -- but from this casual observer, I can't help but think he didn't.

11/07/2007 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Lanny Ebenstein said...

Those who do not believe that this was an important election are, I believe, mistaken. In my 30+ years of involvement in local politics, this was the most significant election. At the beginning of summer, some incumbents were quoted as speculating that there might not be an election, because no one would run against them. Measure A was presumed to be a slam dunk. The existing 3 Councilmembers would be strongly reelected, and they would have a solid 3 years without an election to implement their agenda. That has come to a screeching halt.

Instead, all the incumbents did relatively poorly. Das's name recognition helped him; that he ran for supervisor may well have been to his political advantage. Helene, who was the top vote-getter last time, besting the moderate challengers in 2003 by thousands of votes, this time will finish 2nd only 700 to 800 votes ahead of 4th place finisher Michelle Giddens, who was belittled by many, including on this blog. Dale Francisco bested Brian Barnwell for the 3rd seat on the City Council. Frank Hotchkiss finished only a few hundred votes behind Brian.

This election was a major set-back for the status quo in city government. The incumbents had twice the money or so of the challengers, all of whom were virtually unknown when the campaign started and all of whom really only got their campaigns going in late September-October.

Moreover, there may be change on the City Council before 2009. If the term limit reform initiative on the February ballot is unsuccessful (50-50 chance), then Pedro Navo might well be tempted to run for State Senate, opening his Assembly seat. In this case, there is some chance Iya Falcone would seek a seat in the Assembly.

Santa Barbara politics is wide open.

11/07/2007 7:06 PM  
Blogger Cookie Jill said...

Why does Dale hate some Veterans?

The safety and well-being of our citizens is the first duty of our local government. I am alarmed by...The growing numbers of homeless and vagrants who have claimed our waterfront and shopping districts;

http://www.electdale.net/issues_detail_publicsafety.html

Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday.

And homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071108/ap_on_re_us/homeless_veterans

Those folks Dale calls "vagrants" could quite possibly be a veteran the Republicans so eagerly say they "support."

Now, since he "demonized" them for political gain, perhaps he can come up with a solution to helping them...instead of "moving them out of town."

11/07/2007 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lanny E has drawn and accurate bead on this whole election. Common wisdom has long been the Golden Triangle makes or breaks and election and this one told a very important tale.

Incumbents stunk in the Golden Triangle. They failed to win their hearts and minds this time and lost a lot of votes. This was not a landslide or vindication for any incumbent. But it was a surprising victory for those bold enough to finally break this quagmire of progressive arrogance.

If the opponents did so well collectively this time when it was an uphill battle, just think how well they will do with more open seats next time.

Redd and Tyler are just the two to finally break this failed progressive detour into municipal chaos. Iya, which way is the wind blowing?

11/07/2007 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"[Das] promised (1) affordable housing and the same time he promised (2) neighborhood protections."

Wow Anon. You seem to believe you can't have both, and that is sad. I would argue that one of the most disturbing changes I see taking place in Santa Barbara is that very elitist attitude you embody in your comments.

11/07/2007 8:15 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Puhleez Redux! Let's not overstate things...if there was a movement, all incumbents would have lost and Das, the most liberal, would not have won by so much.

It's really not about that anyway -- it's about who connects and speaks to the voters. Saw a story on ABC News podcast about Idaho Republicans saying they may vote Democrat in their primary. Issues don't matter so much as personality and openness anymore.

11/07/2007 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Actual Resident said...

And still, Lanny Ebenstein does not reside within City of Santa Barbara.

11/07/2007 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

Here's the deal: It's either density or pierce the urban boundary line to the North. Your choice.

I'll take a nice, well-designed density downtown. If the planners goof with the downtown developers' various projects as they roll down the pipeline, let them hear your analysis of how to do better.

You have a good team in city planning. They listen to the public and hear constructive criticism. In the end, you're lucky to have them. An informed and active citizenry is the best protection against lazy planners and weird ideas.

Aerate a dense downtown and bring on a better Plaza de la Guerra.

Council members take heed. The voters have spoken. Das get your ego in check.

11/07/2007 9:30 PM  
Anonymous SBIFF2007 said...

OMG.... Does one have to reside "IN THE CITY" to be able to comment on the politics? Did it occur to y'all that some (like me) moved OUT of city limits because of the clowns who run it but still watch and pray someone will change things?

Y'all will do and say 'anything' to continue dividing this once very nice place. Anyone remember the TV Soap "Santa Barbara" in the 80's? We should be filmed, DAILY!
We are one big joke!

Travis for President!

11/07/2007 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Huey Chapala said...

There are some lessons to learn here.

Relative fundraising warchests are very revealing. Money definitely speaks. And it is a reflection of heart felt support and a real measure of the depth and breadth of voter support.

Over the years, we have often been reminded how the seduction of the Council political process betrays us and how political fundraising lubricates that betrayal. It is a double edged sword.

As concerns development and growth, the Council process itself is compromising as it always has been. The only real way to control development and growth in Santa Barbara is to erect an absolute backstop and limit the City Council's discretion by citizens initiative. It is Santa Barbara tradition on virutally all growth issues of importance during the last century.

Remember Measure D? It was launched -- not by the Council -- but despite the Council -- by community organizations and activists who saw the city heading in the wrong direction. By the time the Council agreed on a target growth level, so many development applications had been filed that the slow growth scenarios that most preferred had all but been exceeded.

The only difference between then and now is there were far more monied 'angels' who were active, personally invested in local preservation work and bankrolled such efforts.

We have sadly lost many of those pioneers. So now it seems those efforts are more diffused, more difficult to organize and poorly funded.

Imagine if Wendy McCaw actually used her zillions to bankroll some innovative development and growth control measures rather than tearing at the thin fabic of community civility and resolve. Wouldn't that be something positively environmental.

Perhaps when Craig McCaw gets himself settled he'll tread a more positive path to counterbalance his ex-wife's damage.

11/07/2007 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Huey Chapala said...

Another observation: I can't help but notice the dramatic decline in the number of votes -- between 20-50% lower than any of the last several elections.

Conventional wisdom indicates such a low voter turnout as a typical sign of voter apathy, satisfaction or fatigue. I'm sure there will be plenty of opinions about it.

Such a low voter turnout also tends to signal an election with unconventional results where relative unknowns can swing an election and displace better known incumbents. Such an election disfavors liberal voters who tend to vote less consistently while favoring -- and exagerating the effect of -- conservative voters who tend to vote more reliably.

Or as some may observe, it is also a reflection of exceedingly poor technical get-out-the-vote campaign operations -- a bullmark of local campaigns. It seems the ranks of seasoned local political operatives has gotten rather thin since operative Mary Rose hung up her operation.

11/07/2007 10:19 PM  
Anonymous eight santa barbara said...

Huey, I noticed some of the same in the vote totals. I thought something was off when the turnout was 32%, consistent with City elections past, but with Das as the top vote-getter (hold on... is that a word?) barely over 7 thousand votes.

Maybe someone can check. The number of registered voters in the City was said to be somewhere around 44,000 for this election. I could be wrong (its happened before) but weren't there 10,000 more registered voters just a few years ago? Have that many people been purged from the rolls, stopped voting or left the City altogether?

Then again, I was surprised at how few mailers, commercials, etc I came across this time around.

I think voter registration drives and get out the vote campaigns would serve us well next time around. Better than Measure A (just that last one, I promise), that's something to improve turnout and keep the calendar to our own election.

11/07/2007 11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like folks have been trying to have affordable housing and neighborhood protections for years around here and so far everyone loses.

So, no you cannot have both. Create a new affordable neighbhorood at the airport and then say good by to that open space forever.

But there is no where else to build up and out and not destroy the neighborhood. And if you think there is, you have not really looked.

It is time to think more strategically about what one really is trying to accomplish with all this hue and cry for affordable housing. It isn't, and it can't be done.

There is already plenty of affordable housing in this town. The problem is lack of vacanies, but certainly not the numbers of units. We have more than our share. No one leaves. And that is our problem.

So you see, your desire for everyone to have affordable housing will never work because the demand is insatiable and increasing the numbers beyond what already exist (look it up) will destroy our town forever.

Time for you to look for other solutions, of which there are plenty. And Das is playing it both ways just to get votes from different constituencies and will not stick around long enough to face both the lies he made to get his votes from both widely different groups.

We don't have any land left. We have no space to park more cars. We have no more open space for parks to compensate for increased density. We cannot keep the dense neighborhood safe and healthy already so how will we ever do with more.

Time to take the blinders off and stop parroting developer arguments and false urgencies. There is no longer any such thing as more affordable housing with neighborhood protections intact.

You already blew your patrimony creating the huge amount of affordable housing that already exists. And it was never enough now, was it? Nope, it will never be enough so the time to stop is now. Now. End of discussion. let the chips fall where they may for a while and then respond to those problems, not the fake ones the developers and their well-funded political friends always harp on that are phony one.

11/07/2007 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Huey Chapala said...

eight SB: You are correct. I did some research. Here are the registration numbers for the past few election cycles based upon official records:

2005: 44,670 registered voters, 60.97% turnout (top vote getter: Roger Horton 13,070)

2003: 44,885 registered voters, 41.32% turnout(top vote getter: Helene Schneider with 8597)

2001: 50,953 registered voters, 35.32% turnout(top vote getter: Iya Falcone with 8359)

This 2007 election is the first one the City Clerk conducted itself (prior elections were conducted by the County Clerk) and the City did not post registration or turnout figures on the city website.

There is a nifty Voter Turnout Chart compiled by the Measure A folks at: http://71.18.230.210/city/SBCityVoterTurnoutDatasince1995.pdf.
One of their figures differs from what I found.

Yes, it really is a curiousity why there was such a dramatic decline in actual vote totals in this election when compared to prior city elections with similar turn-out.

It begs looking into. Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation or something is amiss. This is the fist city election conducted by the City Clerk.

It is true there was a lack of large scale voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote programs that are the hallmark of elections during which well heeled candidates for higher office and political parties take a more active interest. But candidate campaigns typically run their own programs; if not, they were not well served by their strategists.

Either way, I don't think it explains such a dramatic drop.

It may, however, add weight to the argument that consolidating the city election cycle with federal and state elections would attract more people to the polls.

11/08/2007 12:54 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

Gang problems, homeless downtown

And those problems will go away with Dale Francisco on the council because he's superduperman -- with unknown untested powers.

and they gave us the blue line and measure a

And Dale will give us ... well, gee, we don't know, but the grass is always greener in the imagination.

it would be prudent for the caustic, sarcastic, arrogant [and wrong] spin-meisters to take a day or two and meditate on why this election went the way it did.

The primary explanation for all election results is that the average IQ is 100.

11/08/2007 12:59 AM  
Anonymous No Kool-Aid here, please said...

Don JOse---- give up that transparent dichotomy of "its either up or out"---either we destroy the character of our town or we pave Gaviota-----that is developer kool-aid and sadly many of the once bright minds in this town have drunk of it.......but perhaps in the safety of their own [usually single family and owner-occupied] living rooms, they can ask themselves---- "do i really believe the Towbes, Bunins and Crosses of this County will stop once they densify and trash our infill?"...perhaps then their innate IQs will spring up and say "DUH---no, that's when the developer mouthpieces will make a new brand of Koolaid that juxtaposes choices such as: "OK--- we have two choices---we can build housing all over Gaviota, or we must go to the CHannel Islands and build".....I mean come on folks, wake up......IT WILL NEVER END

11/08/2007 7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dale was very clear throughout the campaign to offer compassion to those individuals who are on the streets who need professional, medical help. It is inflammatory and unnecessary to try to make claims about him that are completely untrue. His reasonable, middle of the road point of view really pushes some buttons around here.

11/08/2007 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But wasn't it Das who was quoted as saying "The bigger the better!" about the proposed enormous structure where the transit center is now?

That's the reason I didn't vote for him.

11/08/2007 2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the unreadable bi-lingual ballot was the reason turnout was so low.

It took me (college grad polyglot) several minutes to figure out that there was English on mine, as well as Spanish.

I thought they sent me the wrong ballot. I wonder how many other English speakers reacted the same way.... thinking they had a wrong ballot.

Whose brain child was that? The fault of low turn out reaches far deeper than the timing of elections. Someone had better figure out why people register but do not vote before they waste another ballot initiative trying to fix something that may or may not need to be fixed. Elections, like sidewalks and public safety are primary civic obligations and appropriate uses of my tax dollars.

Just because there are other uses for tax dollars that are far more questionable is not good enough reason to bury our local elections among the general huff and puff.

11/08/2007 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Kool-Aid here is exactly right. It will never end. The buildings on Chapala remind me of "the projects" that seemed such a great solution to urban poverty in the 50s and 60s and turned into horrible, ugly, crime-infested testaments to stupidity. Also the Soviet style of apartment buildings that are such dismal eyesores wherever they were built. High density is a mistake and especially a mistake for Santa Barbara. We do not owe "affordable" living to anyone if it destroys our city. Affordable is a relative term anyway.

Of course, Lanny would wish for his fondest dream hoping for a party switch. He is such a Republican, even after all the evidence of the general characteristic incompetence and corruption of that party. I just hope Dale will prove an exception to the rule and honor his campaign promises.

11/08/2007 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

reply to don jose de la guerra y norega


I , and many others, would much prefer to pirce the urban limit line than to lose our wonderful low density small beach town character that we all love by densification and changing it into just another high density wilshire boulevard.

I say those who want to densify our town, and live in a dense big city should move to such a place and leave paradise alone for those who live here.

Why should we provide a place for everyone who would like to move here, and ruin the town in the process.

If you like it tall and dense MOVE!!

11/08/2007 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So we must destroy Santa Barbara to save it?

Either pierce the urban limit line or build denser high rises -- or why not also throw in pave Gaviota?

That is typical developer crap-speak -- specious options.

Like the City Attorney said, we can just say, NO. And SB has said, NO, many times before. State mandates can be refused and reversed; all cities in the state -- most already completely built out -- are facing the same issue with these ridiculous 'housing mandates' that are a huge gift to developers.

It is time we had support groups to practice saying NO. A citizens initiative is the only way.

11/08/2007 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any "transit center" that is not directly connected to the rail station is inexcusable bad planning.

Stop this stupidity now. There is land available around the train station. There is easy freeway access. There is only one place for a transit center and that is immediately surrounding the train station. Period. End of discussion.

Trade the present transit center land for the empty land surrounding the train station.

But do not under any circumstances ever build a "transit" center" that is that far away from the train station.

That train station is the center piece of our entire city salvation. Do not blow this one too, city council.

11/08/2007 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many of the new units downtown on Chapala have become short-term vacation rentals?

What is it really like to own an affordable unit and participate in a homeowners association as an affordable unit owner with full-price owners?

What are the monthly homeowner's fees?

How have these projects helped "save the middle class"?

11/08/2007 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:25PM said, "I just hope Dale will prove an exception to the rule and honor his campaign promises."

What exactly were his promises so we can keep track? I noted him over the past year only being negative.

11/08/2007 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about an "income test" for those wishing to move INTO SB?
Seems people who "get in" want to change everything and have done so for more years than I can remember.

When I was kind of forced to move here with my company, the going monthly rate for the poor clerical staff was a mere $600 a month and apartment rentals were $200-$250. That was 1975. From what I see from my employees, the ratio is still the same. Even with all the growth since that time, it never gets better. Only developers make big money. Ask the 'elder' Levy and MacElhenny boys. Bernie bought a lot of diamonds in South Africa.

I feel for the NATIVE Santa Barbarans, period. I would hate if MY little town became the mess this place has become. I pray for retirement to get the heck out of this burg!

11/09/2007 12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the whole transit center issue deserves a separate thread here...

City council people seem eager to build a multi-use facility in the current location ("we want it all"), while transit district people apparently want a facility specifically suited to efficient usage by the MTD. At the current bus station during rush hours buses are often parked on along Chapala and around the corner on Figueroa, occasionally they are double parked. Employers park cars in the public parking lot waiting to collect workers who commute on the bus and carpool to jobs. With gas headed past $4 a gallon and toward $5, the bus station is bound to see more commuter traffic in future years. Jamming up the transit center with multi-usages would bring even more traffic to the center of the an already congested area. Doesn't it seem better to stick to an efficient single-use plan, to simplify rather than complicate the situation?

11/09/2007 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are 3 possible chices for development in Santa Barbara;

1. Just say no. No population growth. No densification. no smart growth. No tall buildings

2. pierce the urban limit line and allow a few new ssingle family houses on lots.

3. High density smart growth and build up like crazy.


now the best solution is number 1; No growth---just say no preserve Santa Barbara small town character

the secomnd best solution is 2; pierce the urban limit line and allow some nore single famiuly houses on some lots---thjis maintains the low density and preserves the small town character.

the worst solution is high density smart growth and buikding up as it is this solutiuon that ruins our small town character and transformes us into just another big and ugly city. iI is this solution that creartes huge traffic and people congestion downtown and cause us to be unsustainable and to not live within our resourcrs.


if i had to choose between saving Gaviota or the wonderful small town low density charachoose to save downtown Santa Barbara every time and let Gaviota go if the price of saving Gaviota was to densifySanta Barbara. I only get see or to enjoy Gaviota a couple times a year while I get to enjoy and see downtown Santa Batbara every day!

Downtown Santa Barara is an evironment and an evvironment worth saving.

Yes Gaviota is an envirnment worth saving but Santa Barbara is an even more important environment. and even more worth saving.

So don't ever ask me to save Gaviota by densifying downtown Santa Barbara.

I pick Santa Barbarta.

11/09/2007 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

Well, I read all the commentaries and disagree with all the fear mongering. The City is not being ruined. The town already has a height limit. Better set backs might be something to think about. Avoid canyoning. The transit center at the train station is a good idea. Improve all the paseo walkways and of course the keystone Plaza de la Guerra and don't forget to augment and reinforce the early Spanish urban plan that still remain historic city amenities and true elements and accents of our unique urban character.

Store the cars at the rims of downtown...our parking garage set up is useful in this regard. Improve pedestrian movement. Set up a free bicycle system as in Europe.

Something has to be figured out where Bill's Levy's project foundered.

It's a great town getting better.

People are soooo alienated.

Piercing the urban boundary line would be a disaster.

Good planning and an interesting, cultural city is hard work. Keep the faith. Get active.

More cultural programming, open space, and city parks, can keep us humming along our merry way.

11/10/2007 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a thought perhaps a lot of people are missing it, I think there has been a general unease with how "progressive" the current council is. Santa Barbara is a more moderate town than most of you would like to admit and its if there had been just two strong challengers its likely there would have been two new council members rather than just one.

Its about more than housing and development its about a council thats seems determined to spend money and have a say on national rather than city issues when local ones seem to be getting worse. Measure A for example can be seen as a knock against the council as a whole.

And while for many voters anger over blue lines, roundabouts, and crime among other things wont change the situation by their votes against the status quo it does speak volumes about the view of the way the council has carried itself.

11/10/2007 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dale Franciso was endorsed by the various NIMBY leaders, including Gary Earle, Joe Guzzardi and Jim Kahan so I'm not surprised he got some votes from the so-called Santa Barbara "Progressives" (or Neighborhood Neo-Cons as I call them).

Too bad we don't have opportunities for real leadership in politics anymore, at virtually any level (local, state or national).

We couldn't send a "man to the moon" nowadays if our lives depended on it, and our lives DO depend on slowing, and hopefully reversing global warming. Yet, the selfish NIMBYs elected a guy that doesn't even believe in it.

Well, that's great Santa Barbara. As the planet dies and the temperature rises, you can sit in your cottages in your neighborhoods smugly glad that nobody will build anything that might slightly inconvenience YOU and your little worlds. You really made a difference.

11/10/2007 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Fred & Lamont Sanford said...

We weren't aware that Santa Barbara has a Space Program! Thank you for kindly filling us in. How many cities can say that they have their own space program?

We assume that the SB Spaceship will be very useful when the time comes to relocate those who live below the Blue Line! Undoubtedly the City has already obtained peaceful extra terrestrial rights to land the displaced SantaBarbarans on a replacement host planet, possibly in another galaxy where News Press racks are already installed!

Kudos to Mayor Blum and her minions! Yea for the Terra Cotta, White, and Blue! We can only guess about the Kennedy like challenge that she secretly swore her staff to fulfill. Maybe we should start moving some people out as soon as possible! Any volunteers? Will Lord Barnwell be considered for the position of Governor of the exile colony?

Remember, when the reality of the blue line becomes our reality, there's not going to be much extra space... so decisions will have to be made, if you know what I mean.

We're told that the SB Spaceship will look like the LandShark stood up on it's rear end, with a large tail! Once it blasts off we'll be on our way to "Our Other Little World"! How about that???

We'll save complaining about St. Francisco until after he screws up. We have 6 others to spew our personal greenhouse gases over and get globally warm about in the meantime!!!

THe Sanfords

11/10/2007 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good ideas there: public parking made available on the perifery of the city with a class act public transportation system to create spokes into town from all directions during the work hours.

Plus the periferal public parking garages could provide residential parking after hours for denser housing on the edges of the city.

So sorry the city wasted so much money on fixed housing for the few, while the rest of the problems languished and became exacerbated while they thought they were being compassionate to the few who were in fact getting elite windfalls at the expense of the entire community.

This has been totally nutz thinking. How on earth did this benefit for the few at the expense of the many ever get called progressive? It is regressive and we will be paying for this misguided folly for a long time to come.

Thank you for your fresh ideas and balanced attitude, anon. Hope you find a way to materially participate in the future business of our city.

11/10/2007 9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NIMBY's are people who own their own homes and want to protect their lives that they worked for and sacrificed for to own these homes in this city.

Can you relate to this? Theirs is a valid voice. Why do you discredit them? Why do they owe you anything, to be given to you at their expense?

These are serious questions if we are ever to find solutions here. Please let us crawl inside your thinking to see if there is someway to get what you want and not have you attack NIMBY"s or demand that they give this to you.

11/10/2007 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:07, show us you are really serious about global warming by turning off your computer and take off for a couple of weeks. The electrons you save will be your own.

11/10/2007 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a net flow into Santa Barbara of State and Federal moneys... which come more from the industrialized areas of California and the Union.

Sure, if you analyze just Montecito or Hope Ranch or the Riviera there is a net outflow. But even a lot of the folks who live in those places get or got most of their pile from money from outside of Santa Barbara, providing real estate to those from outside, or profiting from UC money from outside the area.

Given the net flow of money from outside our area to the County, the State gets to call some shots inside our County, like housing requirements. The State has problems it needs to solve... it is not the State but the Feds that set immigration policy, and they dump it on the State.

And that is why Nimbys in Santa Barbara will not and should not win every time. Why should they get subsidized by outside and then obstinately oppose actions the State and Feds want? Sure the Nimbys have a valid voice, but Perata, Nunez and Nava are sure as heck gonna make sure the Spanish-speaking community is gonna get housed here.

Not that Nava will ever say so directly... he is a master at misdirection on that. He directs attention to his strong environmental record; the only trace of his support for the state housing mandates is his work on farmworker housing.

11/11/2007 6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost 15% of the housing units in Santa Barbara already has some form of state/city/federal subsidy.

Now that the city demands up to 50% of new housing units carry this subsidy in some form, 15% will be quickly reached and exceeded.

How much more do you want to extract from homeowners in this town? I can appreciate the NIMBY's cause for concern.

How much state/federal/city supported housing is enough? How and when will this question get answered. And more importantly, by whom?

How do we measure the benefits of this level of state/fed/city subsidization of our housing stock. And how will we know when this benefit has reached its maximum benefit and then becomes a liability? Or has that point already been passed?

The inability of projects selling market units when combined with subsidized units or selling the market units only for speculation and short-term vacation rentals and not more workforce housing as promised may well be the canary in the mine shaft.

I would like to see the city engage in a wider discussion of this topic.

11/11/2007 12:16 PM  
Anonymous For whom the doughnut waits said...

Now that Barnwell is gone, who will bring doughnuts to the City's DEVELOPMENT staff for continuing to pave over Santa Barbara?

11/11/2007 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The deveopers will continue to bring gifts and influence the city DEVELOPMENT office, naturally.

Are their rules against city employees accepting gifts, favors, holiday bonuses from the very people they deal with?

Who is looking and who is enforcing?

11/12/2007 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

response to don j d l g y noreiga

I am sure glan you are in the minority.

The vast majority of city residents love and want to preserve the small town character and feel that the new big ugly monstrosities going up ARE ruining our beloved town.

You don't speak for the majority. You speak fore the communist smart growth advocates.

If smart growth and its urban density plus transit were really good, then doubling the density of LA wi;pll make it a wonderfull place to live.
Please move there and leave us alone. We are happy with our town the way it is and sure don't need people like you ruining it .

Smart growth ("the big lie") is a pile of _____. You fill in the empty space and all you get is more.

11/13/2007 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DOWN WITH SMART GROWTH! "THE BIG LIE!"

11/13/2007 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the progressives have many "weak links" in their chain.

11/14/2007 9:56 PM  

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