Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Got a Miramar Now! Button? Cool, You Can Have Your Scone and Eat It Too.

A table just outside the back door of the County Administration Building replete with Jeannine's employees and their wares graced the Miramar hearing yesterday. I've heard reports that one had to "sign in" at a second Caruso table to get a cup of coffee or pastry at the table. Does this not amount to electioneering on county government property? At the very least it shows a bias in that the County should not be allowing such a display at a public hearing that is supposed to be objective. I don't remember tabling ever being allowed in the past -- is this a new policy? If it is -- they better be ready for every group in town to want to take part in the fun.

If that wasn't enough, Caruso was allowed to interrupt the public hearing numerous times yesterday to whine about time given opponents. A very expensive video was shown with 3D modeling as well -- unfortunately, it also had a series of interviews with proponents of the project. Testimony that is professionally produced like a television commercial should not be allowed in the hearing room as far as I am concerned. Also, for the first time that I can remember, a speaker's position on the project was announced prior to being given time to speak -- apparently to let the supporter counters in the room do their work.

What's going on over there? It's one thing to give everyone a fair hearing -- it's another to pave the way with scones, coffee and a professionally directed video.

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Anonymous Scones for Votes? said...

I have worked at the County Admin Building for over 20 years. One of the first things you learn as a civil servant is that we are on public space. No preferential treatment, no exclusion, with very narrow exceptions. Never have I or any of my coworkers seen a private developer allowed to set up tables, gather signatures supporting his project IN THE LOBBY OF THE ADMIN BUILDING and then set up coffee and snacks on PUBLIC PROPERTY and distribute those only to people who signed the developer's support petition and wear a button???? Please, people, we who work here are threatened with our jobs if we speak up. Please speak up for us. Demand that Mike Brown, Diane Black, Salud Carbajal explain how and why this was allowed to go on ALL DAY LONG despite complaints and inquiries from the public.

7/17/2008 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Brian in Carp said...

Thank goodness Caruso is not afraid of the public forum like Ty Warner is and had the foresight to provide a little sustenance for the long session...he must've known the Montecito Planning Commissioners were going to suck the energy out of the room. I've never seen such a fumbling group of folks in my life as these commissioners..inarticulate, time wasting, deer-in-the-headlights fright, afraid to make a decision, can't read blueprints, asked redundant and stupid questions, they needed more info AFTER 17 MONTHS OF MEETINGS! Said one commissioner.. "gee, this is a hard job"...

The staff needed to spoon feed every detail of every word of every meaning to them..this is stuff they should already know..they always "struggle" with items like "what is a corridor" or "what is a basement" or "please read to me the ordinance" READ IT YOURSELF! Do some home work..especially the chairman who spent an hour trying to define a basement.
The county should disband this dysfunctional group and go back to the one county planning commission that does a much better job!

7/17/2008 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Gracie said...

As I was saying next door just last night...

Caruso's MPC meeting went swimmingly, largely due to the Caruso Information Booth in the lobby of the county building. (Who knew you could do a table? No one said you could do a table.) Well trained CarusoStyle land-use docents manned the table, handing out pie-sized blue MIRAMAR NOW! buttons along with the following foolproof instructions for his fans:

When speaking, please be brief, as there will be many Public Speakers and the County Commissioners and staff recommend that short comments are best to keep the day moving.
Speaking points for project supporters:
Caruso’s outreach and work with the community the last 17 months has been extensive and has produced what is actually our community’s plan for the Miramar.
This blight has been an eyesore far too long and Montecito deserves better, we deserve to bring back the Miramar and Caruso’s plan does so with style.
It is time for the Miramar to once again become a vital productive business in our community. Tales tax, bed tax, new jobs for construction and long term employment for people in the hospitality industry need to begin as soon as possible.
Caruso’s plan for the Miramar will provide a wonderful amenity for the entire Montecito community.
It is time to approve the Miramar now; it is time to approve the Miramar today!

Tomorrow I will share Speaking points for project protestors. Look for it in PDF format. Title: SEIR. 890 pages. CarusoStyle Press dba Santa Barbara County Publishing Company.

7/17/2008 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Zen of Hubris said...

Wait until Caruso learns how foggy this area is and how noisy the trains are running through his property. His place will be as successful as the Bacara. Not.

Hyatt was smart to pull out of the luxury trade and let Bacara hold the bag.

Caruso is stuck with a sows ear in a silk purse. Let him fail. That will be the final justice.

7/17/2008 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Fat Lady is singing said...

OMG, the Carusoites have invaded this forum. You can smell their astro-turf posts a mile away.

And it smells as bad as the public nuisance Caruso refuses to abate. Get that man a mandatory injunction ASP and clean up that trash heap he created. Then we can talk about his over-bloated plans. But he is a disgrace to the community and the process.

Caruso is not welcome in this town.

7/17/2008 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Caruso Performance at MPC said...

I'm watching the replay of the Miramar PC hearing----I'm getting nauseated watching and listening to Caruso jump up and interrupt, challenge the Commissioners when they ask a question---UNBELIEVABLE---can you imagine any other developer or member of the public being allowed to disrupt--yes, disrupt--the decorum of a public meeting that way? If he thinks he's scoring points, well.....let me just say from what I hear, he's losing points

7/18/2008 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Spike said...

The Montecito Planning commissioners weren't asking those same questions again and again because they're not too bright. Oh no....they were repeating their questions because the answers they kept getting were baloney. Admittedly, it took them a few minutes to believe that they were hearing what they thought they were hearing--and who can blame them?

What matters is whether that was only posturing. Will the five of them have the courage to stand up to the developer and his county on aug 6?

stay tuned.

7/19/2008 1:55 AM  
Anonymous Too tall Hal said...

Will vote for scones. How L.A.

7/19/2008 9:48 PM  
Anonymous l'il debbie said...

Note to future candidates: Scones are ever so much more upscale than dougnhuts. Brian Barnwell is probably wishing he'd sprung for them instead when he famously gifted the fat and happy city planning dept. for their work on bloated projects; it was just about as dull and tasteless as the fried blobs of dough they so happily gobbled up...scones just say it much more elegantly, Montecito style.

7/20/2008 10:44 AM  

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