High-ranking Santa Barbara city officials have asked Granada Theatre supporters to rescind their request for an additional $500,000 from the city’s Redevelopment Agency. Several city councilmembers expressed interest in imposing new conditions on any additional financial assistance given to the theater rehabilitation. Councilmember Grant House suggested adding a $1 surcharge to Granada tickets to bankroll other arts organizations. Councilmember Brian Barnwell wanted the Granada to train high schoolers to run the lights and sound boards. Other councilmembers thought the theater – which has already received $4.5 million from the city – should wait until the normal budget schedule begins in early spring before asking for money. Renovation costs have almost doubled since the project’s unveiling.
The City Council voted behind closed doors to settle a long-simmering legal dispute with gay ex-cop Ruben Lino for almost $1 million and a positive job reference, rather than appeal the awards already granted to both Lino and his attorney Janean Acevedo Daniels. A jury awarded Lino $451,000, saying he’d been the victim of retaliation – though not discrimination, as Lino also charged – after he complained to Chief Cam Sanchez about anti-gay remarks made by fellow officers. Daniels was awarded$660,000 in attorney’s fees. Around City Hall, Lino’s victory was widely regarded as the result of a weak-minded jury, and City Attorney Steve Wiley argued City Hall stood a good chance of prevailing upon appeal. Apparently, enough councilmembers felt otherwise, or Wiley changed his mind.