City 1-8

The Santa Barbara City Council will be presented with grim financial news at a special 1/8 meeting at which city administrators hope to resolve next year’s projected $9 million budget shortfall. (For comparative purposes, the city’s general fund is roughly $100 million.) On the table will be cuts for all departments-even public safety-as well as tax increases and leaving vacant positions unfilled. Layoffs have not been discussed. (/budget18)


A lawsuit filed by a Santa Maria man, Javier Bravo, will be the topic of a closed-door session of the City Council next week. Bravo seeks about $500,000 and complains of physical ailments sustained two years ago when Santa Barbara SWAT officers shot his door open during a raid in search of his son, a suspected gang member who was in state prison at the time. Bravo claims the officers’ sudden entrance startled him, which caused him to injure himself. At issue is whether the officers gave Bravo enough time to answer the door before blasting the lock. (/bravo18)


As many as five of the nine Conejo Road homes burned during the Tea Fire might be rebuildable, despite a city ordinance restricting construction there because the shale soil was dangerously prone to mudslides. By shifting the location of the homes on their lots, the reconstructed homes could be moved an acceptably safe distance from the mudslide zone, but the City Council would have to waive setback requirements. (/rebuild18)


In-home health workers for the developmentally disabled marched down State Street on 1/6 to protest Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed elimination of $473 million in state funds for their services. Such a cut would reduce in-home workers to the minimum wage, increase fees for some recipients, and eliminate outright the annual cost of living adjustment that would have gone into effect in 2010. Schwarzenegger’s proposals to balance the state budget have yet to win support from the Legislature. (/health18)


Developer Mark Lee, repeatedly stymied in his nine-year effort to build 25 homes off Las Positas Road, could have to pay his chief environmental adversaries-Citizens Planning Association and the Urban Creeks Council-$119,000. These groups prevailed against Lee’s proposed Veronica Meadows development in court last month and consequently became entitled to legal fee reimbursement. Superior Court Judge Thomas Anderle ruled the project’s fate would be decided by Santa Barbara City voters. Lee’s attorney, Steve Amerikaner, stated his client would appeal Anderle’s decision. (/veronica18)

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