Former Santa Barbara City Councilmember Lyle Reynolds died this weekend at the age of 94. A passionate tennis player, Reynolds took to politics after concluding a successful career as a UCSB administrator during the turbulent 1970s. As dean of students, Reynolds often waded into crowds of Isla Vista protesters, urging calm. In one celebrated event, he found himself toe-to-toe with Abbie Hoffman, then head of the national Yippie movement. Hoffman sought to humiliate Reynolds by putting a bandana on his head and a joint in his mouth, but Reynolds defused the moment by laughing along with the joke. In 1977, Reynolds – known for his warmth – narrowly lost the mayoral seat to the confrontational and conservative David Shiffman. Two years later, Reynolds won election to the City Council as part of the well-mannered slow-growth wave that still controls the levers of political power. Reynolds was part of a council majority that reduced the amount of city land zoned for commercial development in order to balance the city’s workforce with its housing supply.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Volunteers in Policing Is Looking for 10 Good Men and Women

An eye-opening volunteer program at Santa Barbara Police Department.

Alvarado and Ford File for School Board

Mark M. Alvarado and Kate Ford registered to run for the Santa Barbara Unified school board.

Thousands Received DACA Relief After Lawsuits Filed

Renewal applications have totaled 117,446 since program suspension was overturned.

Bank Robbery Suspect Kills Self in Bathroom

[Update] The suspect in the Goleta Rabobank robbery has been identified as Keith David Goodwin, believed to ...

News-Press’ Found to Owe Union and Employees $2.2 Million

National Labor Relations Board puts money amount on employee losses since 2006.