Like a Good Neighbor

We Really Are Worth It: A Montecito investigator who likes to toy around with tax numbers says Montecito is a hefty contributor. Using the fresh tax-assessment numbers for the county’s 2006-07 fiscal year, we’re told Montecito’s secured property-tax value is $6.4 billion. That value will generate some $65 million in tax revenues, raised from Montecito alone (using the Fire District boundaries). While some of those tax funds are returned to Montecito for schools and special districts, a huge chunk goes to benefit our whole county. Now, there’s a good neighbor policy! Our ledger-sleuth also reports that Montecito’s assessed tax value is a whopping 4.5 times that of Carpinteria.

Shuttle Diplomacy: Ty Warner-project-pilot Greg Rice is on everybody’s must-meet list. Last week, attorney, mediator, and planning commissioner Michael Cooney shuttled down to Channel Drive to visit Rice at Ty-Central, Warner’s full-steam-ahead project plant, housed in the old Arco Retreat. Word has it that Cooney made the “informal and unofficial” visit to ferret out the issues driving Warner’s Biltmore beach staircase appeal. The Montecito Planning Commission altered the design of a beach balustrade and the Board of Supervisors is set to review that decision on November 7.

After breaking up warring titans Rob Lowe and Fred Gluck, Cooney is reputed to be Supervisor Salud Carbajal’s diplomatic can-do pitbull. Anyone in a tiff in Montecito can be fairly assured of having a chat with Cooney. Some locals are teasing that worldly negotiator, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, has planned her November 6 visit just to get tips from Cooney.

Not in My Front Yard: Channel Drive neighbors met last week at John and Lucy Lundegard’s Butterfly Beach home to continue a nearly four-year-old debate about a county-proposed pedestrian path above that beach. Currently, walkers must choose between balancing precariously on uneven, old asphalt or dangerously navigating between the bikes and cars on the street. While the beachfront neighbors say they are concerned about the hazards, they are also protective of their foliage and views.butterfly006.sized.jpg Given they actually own the beach to the mean high-tide line, their opinions count. In a straw vote of the 20 people attending the meeting, only two opposed a new path. County of Santa Barbara representative Matt Doberteen agreed to go back to the drawing board and try to return in 90 days with a design that meets neighborhood standards. One novel suggestion was to use “plastic lumber” to create a fake boardwalk. That idea probably won’t pass muster, because who’d ever accept a “plastic” Montecito?!

Montecito Meanderings: On Monday, October 6, Dan Eidelson has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Montecito Sanitary District Board created by retiring director Robert Begley. … Hugh Boss, Susan Keller, Harry Kolb, and Jean von Wittenburg are retiring from the Montecito Association come January. All except Kolb will join Joan Wells on the nominating committee. Nominations for new board members remain open until October 20. Look for longtime Montecito Association leaders Diane Pannkuk and Jack Overall to re-up for new three-year terms. … Montecito neighbor and art dealer Frank Goss, of Sullivan Goss, is putting on a gallery show titled Neo-Icons, featuring recent works by painter John Nava.150627.jpeg The pieces are portraits of young people wearing T-shirts with political messages. Goss said he’s getting flack from some Montecito customers, who, it seems, prefer pastoral pleasures to politics. The show runs October 19-November 22 at 7 E. Anapamu St. … Tip of the Montage bonnet to Montecito residents Paul and Natalie Orfalea for hosting former president Bill Clinton’s UCSB lecture on October 13 at the Arlington. Perhaps the Orfaleas might want to present the former president with a John Nava portrait.

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