Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Play It Dumb Strategy by Chamber-Backed Goleta Candidates

The first candidates forum for the Goleta Council race was held and the debate went along familiar lines. Council Member Jean Blois reportedly had the following to say according the the Valley Voice:

Asked where the water, sewage and electrical infrastructure will “come from to the feed all big development,” Blois was surprised by the question.

“I don’t know what they mean by the big development,” she said. “We don’t have any big development going on in Goleta at this moment, and I don’t anticipate any in the future.”

For his part, candidate Dan Gilman -- also backed by the Chamber PAC -- said: “We’ve got people in place now to make sure rampant, uncontrolled growth doesn’t happen".

Both candidates tried to lay blame on the first council of which Jean Blois herself was part. Playing dumb on the impacts of the General Plan changes instituted by the Chamber PAC Three is the kind of strategy we are seeing at the national level. If you say something that isn't true enough times, people will begin to believe you. If you think otherwise, I've got a "Bridge to Nowhere" to sell you....

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Anonymous Adding a bit more said...

What the Valley Voice didn't tell readers is that the paper is owned by Wendy McCaw, whose Santa Barbara News-Press co-sponsored the debate.

And readers who didn't make it to the very last sentence in the Valley Voice story might also want to know that one of the debate moderators was Travis Armstrong, editorial editor of the News-Press.

9/14/2008 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

One yes/no question of these candidates would suffice to tell us where they stand and what they will do. That question is: Have you ever, do you now, or will you ever support changing the zoning designations for Bishop Ranch and the Glenn Annie Golf Golf Course from agriculture and recreation respectively to residential? No qualifications, parsing, or temporizing, just answer "yes" or "no."

9/14/2008 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Judge for yourself said...

"Adding a bit more" - Why does any of that matter? What Blois and the other candidates said is what they said regardless of who put on the forum.

To watch a replay of the debate and judge candidate responses for yourself, go to and click on the front page. Scroll across the video gallery until you see the icon for the debate and click on that.

Thank you to Wendy McCaw and the News Press for sponsoring this community service.

Some of you on this blog are incapable of saying anything complimentary about the News Press no matter what the circumstances.

9/14/2008 8:13 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Eckermann is 100% correct.

Our water, power and transportation infrastructure cannot support more development. When will we start electing leaders who understand this elementary fact?

9/14/2008 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Goletaman said...

Oh, I see. The possibility of Bishop Ranch being developed now that ag lands may be changed to residential doesn't count. And the University's approved faculty housing doesn't count. The more than 1000 approved units of housing in the pipeline don't count, Cabrillo Business Park, etc. etc..

Wow! Is this wilful stupidity or just plain forgetfulness?

And who pays the salaries of the people who "make sure rampant uncontrolled development" doesn't take place? Could it be the Council majority that includes Jean Blois?

Wake that guy up too.

9/14/2008 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Circumstances said...

Notice no other news organization is covering this because this candidate forum was sponsored by the News-mess, hosted by people who do not even reside in Goleta.

9/15/2008 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Goleta_watching said...

It was an interesting forum. I thought it was fairly and evenly moderated by Mr. Armstrong. There will be another forum on October 1, sponsored by the LWV and Citizens Planning Foundation on October 1, also at the GVCC.

All the candidates now have Web sites. Blois's has been mentioned in Blogabarbara. Check out: Connell's and Easton's and Gilman's are also up.

9/15/2008 4:25 PM  
Anonymous AN50 said...

Bill, Eckermann, I know you guys are rabidly anti-growth, that’s a given. However, Bill, the purpose of government is to provide the resources for the community, water, roads, etc., not choke them off to control growth. That was the tactic in 1972 when the no-growth advocates decided that if they couldn’t win at the ballot box or through the normal course of zoning then scorched earth was the way to go. The result? Water shortages, traffic jammed unimproved roads, over priced housing, a collapsing private sector industrial base, crowded neighborhoods, crime and on and on. Look I do not argue with you guys at all about wanting to control growth and try to preserve the area’s look and natural setting. But the methodology has been a complete failure. Meanwhile UCSB has doubled its faculty, staff and student body without having to make one improvement in any of our community’s infrastructures. We, that is you and me, the anti’s and pro’s have got to stop the fighting and bickering and demonizing and start fixing the 35 years of neglect Goleta has suffered through. We, who are pro business, and pro growth don’t want this place trashed any more than you do. It is why we elected the three we did, because we want to get things done. Just saying no is not a solution. And you can better believe that UCSB will continue to grow without limit, at our expense, while we bicker on and on, meanwhile using the anti growth movement to prevent them from making necessary improvements, just like they have in the past. We have got to stop being useful idiots and start working things out together. This place is not going to suffer by progressing toward the future, but it will if our only answer is to stick our collective head in the sand and ignore the 800 pound gorilla in the middle of the room.

9/15/2008 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

AN50, I agree with you that that UCSB has a major impact on Goleta and should contribute to infrastructure improvements necessary to adjust to that impact. I disagree that somehow the development of Bishop Ranch and Glenn Annie Golf Course is a solution. On the other hand, if you would like to talk about the complete redevelopment of old town Goleta, I am with you 100%, even if it means adding residential and commercial square footage there. First though we have to fix the flooding in that part of Goleta, which is a huge public policy issue and the type of public works project that government does best. Maybe UCSB would contribute to such an effort in exchange for more student housing built in Old Town. I am not a doctrinaire no-growther. I would just like to leave the open spaces open and concentrate the development on the places that already have the basic infrastructure in place.

9/16/2008 5:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

AN50 BEE: No one is trying to "choke off" the supply of water to control growth. Wake up! Right now water districts throughout the region are using smoke and mirrors to justify new meters. There is not enough water to support continued, increased development. Plain and simple.

9/16/2008 10:55 PM  
Anonymous AN50 said...

Eckermann, I couldn’t agree more. I do not believe developing every square inch of space is the solution either, though because I refuse to advocate no growth that is the label I’m often stuck with. I concur with the old town redevelopment and actually prefer that our neighborhoods stay largely intact. I made my preference for “small villages” surrounding an urban core design known to the first city council during the drafting of the original general plan (I also pitched the idea to the development folks at UCSB, but they just go off and do their own thing). That idea creates lower density neighborhoods with some small retail commercial (stores and neighborhood serving businesses) centers in roughly walking distance from homes. This gives neighborhoods that small town feeling, while at the same time building up the central core and using that to link the villages together. Thus we have small town with big town amenities, sort of a co-op type of thing. You see a lot of this evolving in larger metropolitan areas anyway. It comes from the natural human limit to the number of relations we have. What we got was high density infill where ever they could cram it with little objection, like industrial properties. I love this town way to much to see it destroyed by all this divisiveness. We have got stop the name calling, we’re neighbors for God’s sake. We can make this work, but we have got to get over the fear of development we have been living under the last 40 years.

9/16/2008 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Ilovegoleta said...

Am i missing something? When you say "if you say something enough times, people believe you" aren't you talking about all this growth rhetoric? Let's be honest, how many new houses got built last year in Goleta? How about new commercial construction? Well, let me answer the question, a whopping 22 new house permits last year. And one new office building in Old Town. Yep, rampant growth from our City Council.
Please stop with the sky is falling stuff. Goleta is the good land, and it has a lot to do with our current City Council trying to fix what the last City Council screwed up, especially the most idiotic revenue sharing agreement in the history of the State of California. And yes, Jean was on the City Council back then, but was outvoted by the majority every time, and one of those people wants to come back and screw things up some more.

9/17/2008 9:51 AM  
Blogger Kinnoley said...

It amuses me that Margaret Connell says she is “no growth” when she is the very same Councilmember who signed off on a General Plan that plans for rampant housing growth on Hollister Avenue – causing traffic, congestion and pollution in our City.

Margaret is telling Goleta voters that she wants to “maintain the character of our neighborhoods.” How exactly are we maintaining the quality of our neighborhoods by building low income, high density housing along the Hollister corridor?

Wake up Goleta! We don’t need people like Ms. Connell who want to cram dense housing into our commercial areas.

9/17/2008 9:29 PM  
Blogger GoletaGlenn said...

Finally, someone is talking our Revenue Neutrality agreement – hands down the worst in the State. This ridiculous agreement, which is basically a ransom payment, will bankrupt our City.

Margaret Connell, who is re-running for Council, is the very same person who wrote the revenue neutrality agreement with the County of Santa Barbara in the first place.

Our current revenue neutrality agreement (RNA) that Connell and her cronies agreed to that is putting our city under financial distress. We are giving away a third of what we make – for absolutely nothing in return. Some deal!

9/17/2008 11:32 PM  
Anonymous said...

Anonymous Ilovegoleta said... "Am I Missing something?" and claimed only 22 new permits were issued last year.

Yes, you are missing something. The Goleta Council gave $12 million taxpayer dollars to subsidize Michael Towbes La Sumida project now being constructed at already gridlocked Hollister and Patterson. That's for 200 new units! The council also approved hundreds of new units at another busy intersection, Los Carneros and 101 for another few hundred units.

But what is scarier, the Council gave its encouragement to UCSB's plans to build housing for 5,000 new students, who will all be using Goleta's streets and highways.

If you really want to be scared, the Council moved forward changes to Goleta's General Plan that will allow rezones of ag property. Supposedly this is being done for Shelby ranch but the changes will affect ALL ag in Goleta, especially Bishop Ranch which is proposing nearly 2,000 units and the Glen Annie Golf course pushing nearly 200 units.

Many would like us to be asleep at the switch until the permits are actually issued. But by then it's too late.

This council is out of control and must be stopped by voting for Connell and Easton.

9/18/2008 9:00 AM  
Anonymous redphoenix1984 said...

The most important question of this election is this: Should the current plan for high density on Hollister be scrapped and instead should Goleta return to a plan for housing that fits into the rest of the community?

If we go back in time and elect Margaret Connell, we will return to the way of the old Goleta City Council. Connell was part of the Council that drafted a General Plan for massive housing along Hollister Avenue with 20 housing units per acre - that is more than three times the average of Goleta today. This would totally change our city forever, from a quiet, sleepy beach town to an urbanized city.

This is not what the residents of Goleta want, and it is time to make changes to our city’s General Plan.

9/18/2008 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

So Redphoenix1984, would you agree that the zoning for Bishop Ranch should remain agricultural and the zoning for Dos Pueblos Golf Course should remain recreational? If not, I believe I detect the scent of red herring from your Hollister Avenue example.

9/21/2008 11:08 AM  

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