Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, March 27, 2009

Two in One Day...Now Schneider Changes Position on Height Ordinance

This morning I referenced a story about Mayor Blum having a few words about Council Member Falcone's vote on the union contract. No sooner than I posted it, a different article came out that pointed towards an apparent change of position on Council Member Helene Schneider's part on the height ordinance issue. Some readers who aren't my fans were quick to point this out as if I didn't mention it on purpose in the last post -- I actually hadn't seen it. I also want to hear more about the reasons why from both and I am sure the issue will be bandied about for days.

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Anonymous CRB said...

With all due respect, SDLG, I don't think either of them "switched".

Iya spoke and voted for a two week pause in order to look at the effects of the new information and to see if in consultations with the union, only the SEIU, unfortunately, not the fire/police, there could be changes.

Helene has consistently refused to commit herself one way or another on a competing height initiative, all the while expressing her concerns about the one-issue ballot measure. She has consistently taken note of the large number of Santa Barbarans who signed the petition.

...Both of these, again respectfully, are being blown out of proportion. I doubt that many of the SB voters are one issue voters, although probably some of the height initiative people are (both for and against.)

3/28/2009 7:52 AM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

I haven't seen this weeks council meeting yet. If Joshua Molina's article is accurate then I could understand how Flacks could be mad. Withdraw her support for Schneider? Who's she going to back? I admit that I don't always agree with my favorite council members and they can even make me nearly as mad as Joe Armendariz is. But so far who else would mad Micky Flacks support? I think Schneider is the best candidate so far.

"NOT A FAN" what's not to like about SDLG, the place where readers get to post "the other side," interpret, misinterpret, use conjecture, jab and spout off the party line while steering the topic off into a completely twisted direction.

3/28/2009 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Check the actual record said...

When the City Council voted last November to have the Ordinance Committee (not including her) explore how an alternative ballot measure would work and what it would be, Schneider supported that with a big and clear caveat she said in her remarks that then she would have to review the actual City Charter Amendment and companion Ordinance to decide further if she would support any alternative ballot measure. Those did not exist at the time last November.

The proposed Charter Amendment, draft companion Ordinance, and the collective alternative ballot measure, subsequently were written up during the following four months, and they then stanked as an extremely messy and confusing package of legislation, which Schneider said they were in much more polite words.

As a result, Schneider voted against them and the alternative ballot measure died.

THAT IS NOT even close to the "I was for the labor union contract before I was against it" flip flop of Iya Falcone during the City Council meeting last week, a contract that could not change during a two week continuance that Falcone and Francisco proposed. They knew that but were just postering and grandstanding for their narrowing voter base.

3/28/2009 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Joe Armendariz said...


To be clear, are you suggesting I am mad? or that I make you mad? I can appreciate if it is the latter, the former, however, I must reject out of hand. Indeed I am quite happy. Just ask my anger management coach.

Joe Armendariz
5212 Carpinteria Ave
personal cell: 990-2494

3/28/2009 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

I always find it amusing when people are shocked (shocked!) that politicians blow with the political winds. These are not Roman Senators that got their positions by virtue of birthright. These are politicians who must earn votes to hold their positions. Micky Flacks is an idealogue who firmly believes that we should build homes for poor people and also believes that those who do not share her belief are immoral. It is ok for her to think that and she has the luxury to remain ideologically consistent and pure. Politicians must keep their fingers to the wind to detect the shift of the center. They have a name for politicians who tack into the wind and do not pander to the majority of their consituencies. They call them losers.

3/28/2009 10:55 AM  
Anonymous We love Helene said...

Allied Lovers Helene

CPA loves Helene

The League loves Helene

SEPV loves Helene

The 11,000 voters who signed the height initiative love Helene

Helene is going to be our next Mayor as she respects that the vast majority of the voters don't want high density smart growth and don't want an more 60 feet monstrosities like those on Chapala.

Please vote yes on the citizens height initiative ballot measure next November and save our city from smart growth and monster buildings.

3/28/2009 12:30 PM  
Anonymous CRB said...

Check: I disagree: If the SEIU had been willing to make changes - that is, had it had another union vote, then there could have been changes made in the contracts ---- although I think that was MOST unlikely, still a revisting was at least a reasonable suggestion.

As for mad, one can be both mad and happy. (I take Mr. Armendariz at his word that he is happy, but madness has external standards. :) )

3/28/2009 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Get real said...

CRB, why should the union have another (ratification) vote? The only way that would make sense is if the City gave up something non-monetary that was of value, or was willing to open a concessionary deal if times got better midterm. Have you ever heard of an employer doing that?

3/28/2009 4:05 PM  
Blogger LC [Left Coast] said...

I think Helene Schneider will let the voters decide what they want to do about height. I’d say Helene Schneider is someone who supports slow-managed growth policies. That’s a mix of slow growth and smart growth (not a bad thing for a City like Santa Barbara). She opposed the Veronica Meadows project. Iya Falcone supported it. And for that I’m opposing Iya Flacone.

3/28/2009 5:08 PM  
Blogger local said...

We didn’t elect the City Council to compete against the will of the citizens. Helene did the right thing.

3/28/2009 7:55 PM  
Anonymous treedom said...

Why would Falcone line up with Dale Francisco on this or ANYTHING? Francisco seems to have run for council because he was unemployed, bored, and looking for a platform to bait and provoke Das Williams and anyone else that actually believes in something. Jeez, Falcone, don't encourage the gasbag.

3/28/2009 9:16 PM  
Anonymous I do not get it said...

I'm confused---so is Helene then endorsing this purported "will of the citizens" to implement a mandatory height ordinance?

3/28/2009 10:03 PM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

Check the actual record; without checking the record I think your account is accurate. Sometimes it is difficult to follow and retain in the brain the see-saw of our democratic processes.

Joe Armendariz; Yes. I think you were mad when you made endorsing statements for Iya Falcone on your blog. Using "anti-business and anti-america" to describe Iya Falcone's "nutroots" party members was an irrational and mad episode. That's how I read it. I'm just using my plain old folks common sense on this one. For a professional opinion consider asking your anger management coach (I assumed you were joking about the coach.) I'm glad you're happy. Best back.

3/29/2009 8:13 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Where's "Not a Fan"? Thought you'd want to chime in on this one :)

3/29/2009 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Which way does Helene blow? said...

Now it remains to be seen if Helene campaigns either for or against the height limit on the ballot.

It is one thing for her to oppose the number and quality of ballot propositions but if Helene encourages a no vote on the height ballot what has she gained?

Will Helene support or oppose the 11,000 voter driven height limit initiative. Or, will she like Iya Falcone try now to have it both ways?

Or will Helene take the ultimate cop-out position and stay neutral on the issue and wait in the wings "for the voters to decide"?

We may have jumped to the conclusion Helene's no vote late week was a yes vote for height limits. This remains to be seen.

3/29/2009 9:23 AM  
Anonymous AN50 said...

The question is do they or do they not support the initiative. Clearly the competing measure would have further obfuscated the issue, which the backers have already done enough of, so taking it off the stage was good. It now leaves us with the challenge of debating the original initiative.
It is a shame that so many are mistaking this height limit as a growth limit tool, it is not in anyway going to stop growth. It will change what the growth looks like. The growth will be less dense, less focused on the down town core and more suburban like. For example, buildings will look more like the “Chapala One” building and Cottage Hospital’s new addition, low and sprawling, gobbling up more land area than a smaller but taller structure. The limits are antithetical to the character of the downtown core which is uniquely urban in a southern California suburban mind set.

3/29/2009 10:54 AM  
Anonymous New Conservative Majority said...

Treedom, Dale Francisco ran for city council, according to his very public statements, because he was not happy with the way things were going in the city. You reached offensive and unsupported conclusions about him that are personally repugnent. Why was that?

A lot of voters agreed not only with Francisco because he unseated an incumbent as a relatively unknown candidate, but other total newbies to local politics also came very close to unseating Williams and Schneider.

Your comments not do justice to both Francisco and the thousands of voters who supported him. And who remain thoroughly happy with his council performance. He has set the new standard for council candidates and shows what our new city council this fall is going to look like.

3/29/2009 11:30 AM  
Blogger local said...

I don’t think it matters if Helene supports or opposes the limit (or stays neutral). The issue for me was this: Council shouldn’t put a competing measure on the ballot that was so clearly designed to compete against the will of the people. By the “will of the people” I mean the placing of the citizen’s initiative on the ballot in the first place. We deserve a clean up or down vote. We’ll see if the people want to pass a height initiative or not. I have to say I’m leaning toward it. I'm also leaning toward Helene. I liked Steve Cushman in theory –but what’s best for our local economy is not more Chapala monstrosities. I think Steve would be too pro-developer. And I know exactly where Iya stands when it comes to her support for the developer class.

3/29/2009 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Umm, yes, it matters said...

RE: Local---such a transparent attempt at doing spin for Helene----"I don't think it matters if Helene supports or opposes the limit"---what? how can it not matter since it is a directly pertinent local issue---and one that can have a 'yes' or 'no' answer---I'm sure she'd prefer to talk in obscure generalities so as not to alienate any of her "fan bases" but sorry---she's going to have to demonstrate whether or not she can make a tough decision when faced with one and act as a leader.

3/29/2009 7:34 PM  
Anonymous Actual Majority with Better Things to Do than Blog Comments said...

So the we-got-ours crowd now also wants Schneider to advocate for their position on the ballot measure?

Killing the competing ballot measure was not enough?

Williams and Schneider were not closely toppled during the 2007 election. Williams won handily and Schneider saved her campaign money instead, so the outcome was more narrow.

3/29/2009 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Blowing in the wind said...

Of course it matters if Helene is either for or against the height limits. This is a critical local issue.

11,000 voters have claimed it is an important issue even if all they want is to see it on the ballot, though it appears most who signed were totally in favor of the limits.

We want someone who cares about this city in the same way as those 11,000 who signed the petition. Not someone who thinks it is okay to sit on the sidelines. And certainly anyone opposed to the limits needs to tell the voters this too.

Iya Falcone thinks she is side-stepping the whole thing by saying all that is needed is a little ordinance tinkering instead of a charter amendment.

Sorry Iya, you have been on the council now for how long? And not one peep from you about tinkering this ordinance ever came from your lips prior to this massive public outpouring wanting this issue cleaned up once and for all.

Iya, you can't be both for and against it at the same time. And Helene, you have to say one way or the other and can't just sit on the fence.

Cushman never saw a development project he didn't love so all guesses are he is in the pockets of the building industry who may gin up the money but they will never be able to get up the votes to defeat this.

There will be more choices in a few months. There is hope and change on the horizon in Santa Barbara too.

3/29/2009 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Local control said...

Good description:

1. The we got ours crowd

Versus the:

2. We want ours and we want you to pay for it crowd.

3/30/2009 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Blowing something said...

Should Helene Schneider also contribute her campaign money for the vote-yes campaign for the ballot initiative as well?

3/30/2009 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Blow off said...

Blowing something, why exaggerate the issue demanding Schneider be "required" to donate her campaign money for the ballot initiative.

Yours is a non-responsive reaction. What was your point? The issue is whether Schneider supports or opposes the issue. That is all.

Why create a straw dog argument. Besides having seen this work so well with the Obama campaign when they wanted to malign the opposition with false arguments and pre-empt them as well by blowing up non-issues.

3/31/2009 10:00 AM  
Anonymous AN50 said...

Yes I'm a greedy developer.
And I will make a lot of money by building a lot of tall high density monster projects.

But so what? This is america and if Wall street made a lot of money we developers have a right to do so also.

I know more about planning than all 11,000 voters who signed the height initiative petition combined!
So you voters can like high density smart growth or lump it. Because we developers are going to implement high density smart growth whether you voters like it not! have you ever heard of campaign contributions? HA!

Santa Barbara is ripe for the plucking, and, like it or not, developers are just the ones to come in and transform your city from a charming small town character into a true big city with lots of beautiful tall buildings, one big building at a time. surely you don't mind as long as we do it one building at a time. Santa Barbara is disneyland and not worth preserving anyway!

We did it in Santa monica and look how much better it is today than it was 30 years ago. Sure we promised that if Santa Monica adopted high density smart growth that it would have less traffic and sure, we lied, and the traffic congestion is now a nightmare but what's a little traffic congestion as a small price to pay for being able to look at such beautiful tall buildings.

So do as I say, because I know what;s best for you, and get with the developers smart high density growth program.

Just try and stop us!

3/31/2009 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Less is More said...

Point is Less, you can change your moniker, you can post under a million different names, I’ll still know its you. You can use my moniker to post disparaging comments if you want, but as this little demonstration points out, anyone can do it too. So go have yer little melt down, use my moniker if that gets yer jollies but be prepared for the come back kid. This is the internet.

3/31/2009 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Smart growth is dumb said...

AN50, gosh Santa Monica also got more homeless flocking to it after all that smart growth too. Santa Barbara had better pick up the pace before we lose all our homeless to our sister souljah sity to the south.

3/31/2009 11:41 PM  
Blogger local said...

I still don't think it matters what Helene says about the citizen’s initiative. I think Council should stay out of this and let the voters tell them which direction they want the City to go.

4/01/2009 4:26 PM  
Anonymous inane logic said...

LOLOLOL.......someone (or a few people) is really trying hard to diminish expectations re: Helene's [lack of] support for the height initiative. For a candidate/councilperson who felt it quite appropriate for a City Council member to weigh in on matters as far-reaching as the Iraq War, Patriot Act and other things, I'm amazed Helene doesn't see the more pertinent issue of a local initiative on a ballot--the same ballot her name will be on--as worthy of weighing in on. She won't be able to avoid for much longer

4/02/2009 12:07 AM  
Anonymous AN50 ( aka ETTAG) said...

Many folks think I'm a raving lunatic just because I know what's best for all of you.

But I'm only a greedy developer who wants to come in and build a lot of tall monster buildings here.

So vote no on the citizens height initiative, and let us greedy developers come in and rape your city. After all it's ripe for the plucking.

And Remember I you that hundreds more monstrosities like those on Chapala are what's best for you. Do you believe me or your lying eyes?

4/09/2009 1:14 PM  

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