Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, April 25, 2008

Armstrong Responds to Travistorial

Although I haven't seen the editorial -- I received this from City Administrator Jim Armstrong today. -- Sara


April 25, 2008

Re: Response to April 25, 2008 Editorial – “Red ink city – once again”

I am writing to clarify several points in your April 25, 2008 editorial.

  • The proposed General Fund budget recently submitted to the City Council is balanced. There is no deficit. With recent declines in the growth rates of some of our key revenues, we lowered our revenue estimates for next year by $3.3 million. In order to maintain a balanced budget, we have proposed adjustments, to both revenues and expenditures, totaling $4.1 million. These adjustments are sufficient to re-balance the budget and create an $800,000 contingency reserve in case of additional bad fiscal news.

  • The proposed Police Department budget for next year is not being cut. In fact, it is $500,000 more than the department’s adopted budget for the current fiscal year. While this increase is not as large as originally planned, the City’s lowered revenue limits our ability to fund the original increase. The proposed adjustments do not reduce any patrol positions or gang enforcement activities. Regarding the other half of public safety, the recommended Fire Department budget represents an increase of almost $1.6 million over the current-year’s adopted budget.

  • The City’s General Fund reserves total $21.6 million, over 20% of annual expenditures. Additionally, the City’s other funds, including water, airport, parking and waterfront, maintain their own, separate reserves. Taken together, the City’s liquid reserves total approximately $100 million. In addition, City assets such as the Granada Garage are covered by insurance, including earthquake coverage.

In summary, the proposed Fiscal Year 2009 General Fund budget is balanced without the use of reserves and contains over $800,000 of unallocated funds to provide a hedge against additional revenue weakness or possible state budget impacts.


James L. Armstrong
City Administrator


Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Greetings Sara: Publishing this correction from Jim Armstrong to the comments of Travis and the budget analysis of the Newspress is a sensational display of the worth of blogabarbara.

This is an extremely interesting and important post.

I look forward to reading the comments.

Thanks to Jim Armstrong for his fine work along with his budget team.

4/25/2008 9:47 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

The City Administrator really should be working on that budget instead of slipping down the abyss of rebutting Travisty Factswrong, as that would be several full-time jobs to keep up with all those lies and YABBA-DABBA.

Do not enable the trolls, Jim.

4/26/2008 7:18 AM  
Blogger johnsanroque said...

For you Armstrong supporters, here's a multiple choice:

a. Jim Armstrong made an honest mistake

b. Travis Armstrong made an honest mistake

c. Jim Armstrong is a liar

d. Travis Armstrong is a liar

e. Travis Armstrong will look again at the budget numbers, print a retraction and apologize if he was wrong.

Select all answers that apply.

4/26/2008 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Don't Validate TKA said...

Why respond to Travis---all it does is acknowledge his falsehoods and distortions. There are plenty of other places to get the message across. If the goal is to set the record straight on a public policy issue, do what Salud Carbajal or Janet Wolf have done, and post something on EdHat, Noozhawk, or in the Daily Sound.

Travis is really irrelevant at this point.

4/26/2008 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Wendy's "paper" said...

Wendy McCaw has had an estranged relationship with her own news staff, and apparently her own sister.

This trouble with relationships seems to extend to local institutions like the City of Santa Barbara.

The City Administrator's rebuttal is another example of why the News-Press has lost respect and business.

In virtually all other daily newspapers, a rebuttal by a city's CEO to a newspaper's editorial would run on the newspaper's opinion page.

That would be fair and would attract sophisticated readers interested in local civic debate --the kind of readers that advertisers want.

Not at the long lost "Voice of Santa Barbara County."

But what's telling is that the administrator doesn't need the "paper" anymore to publish an effecive rebuttal.

The internet provides a broad forum that's interactive, searchable, immediate, with extensive links to other internet publications, and that doesn't permit editing interference by Travis Armstrong.

"Citizen McCaw" can't be "Citizen Kane."

4/27/2008 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Guess who Travis said...

At the least, even if Travis wants to stick to his position, how could he justify not printing the city administrator's letter? Will be interesting to see if he does. He could even add a note, "we stand by our editorial" if that's the case. But even so -- you have to let the accused respond.
(Oh, I forgot -- the Jerry Roberts story, et al.)

4/27/2008 9:15 AM  
Anonymous xyz said...

Having written something similar to "don't validate", I would disagree and think that the posting of admin.Jim Armstrong's statement is valuable -- and is most certainly news.

How else know what the facts are except by corrections --- and, like it or not, the NP still has the circulation in SB and among those recipients/purchasers of the paper there remain quite a few who read the opinion pieces.... Whether they also read here is questionable but some do.

One can't or should just see no/hear no/ read no evil.... So, thanks for the correction. May there be a dialogue!

4/27/2008 9:17 AM  
Anonymous shoreline shark said...

I disagree with those that are saying Jim Armstrong shouldn't reply to the TKA editorial. If misinformation is being presented to the public, and someone has the ability to set the record straight, they should do it.

4/27/2008 10:24 AM  
Anonymous editorials reader said...

Some people indeed may often read those editorials, but we also slow down to stare at car crashes, watch ultra-violent TV and films, and peruse porn on the web.

Subscribers and editorial readers are no longer a measure of quality substance nor agreement and support in this freak show that has become the Newspress.

4/27/2008 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Looky Loo said...

Editorials Reader was spot on. Folks also read for the same reason they fascinated hot pursuits and NASCAR; you watch because you don't want to miss the pileup. In the NP's case, Wendy owns the car and Travis is the drunk NASCAR driver screaming around the track at 200 mph. The wreck is inevitable.

But don't expect to read about it then News Press unless Travis runs over a turtle on the track.

4/27/2008 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The letter was published in today's News Press.

4/28/2008 12:39 PM  
Anonymous suzyq said...

The Armstrong letter appears in today's News Press.

4/28/2008 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Like snailmail said...

But the letter is old, old news now. Ho hum. Blogabarbara beat "the paper" to the Street.

4/28/2008 7:01 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Plato said: 'Those who tell the stories rule society'.

The Internet means that the gatekeepers who traditionally control the news are no longer in charge, said Jay Rosen, a New York University professor who runs the Web site Press Think.

I came across these two quotes in two different stories this am. Perhaps it explains the desire for rich ego maniacs to own/publish newspapers despite the costs.

Can anyone name all the rich ego maniacs that own media outlets???

5/01/2008 8:25 AM  

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