Kate Smith taken out of City Hall

Paul Wellman

Kate Smith taken out of City Hall

Woman Arrested for Disrupting City Council Meeting

Kate Smith Plays Possum After Speaking Out of Turn

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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A Santa Barbara education advocate and public meeting gadfly was arrested Tuesday afternoon for sufficiently disrupting the Santa Barbara City Council meeting that it was put on hold as police responded and placed her into custody.

Kate Smith had approached the council chambers podium in front of the dais and began talking out of turn, said SBPD spokesperson Lt. Paul McCaffrey. “She was speaking at a time that wasn’t appropriate and was asked to sit down,” he explained. “She refused, so her microphone was turned off, and she was again asked to step away.”

This back and forth went on for some minutes with Smith reportedly taunting, “Arrest me! Arrest me!” An officer already in the room asked her to leave, saying her voice should be heard in a more appropriate manner. At this point, said McCaffrey, Smith plopped on the ground in front of the podium and remained motionless and unresponsive.

The meeting was halted as paramedics were called to see if Smith was experiencing some kind of health emergency. They determined she wasn’t — another city worker who knows Smith well was called to try and coax her into cooperating — and put her in a chair specifically designed to carry people in distress up and down steps.

Smith was taken out of City Hall in the chair by accompanying officers and placed in a police cruiser. McCaffrey explained she was arrested for disrupting a public meeting and interfering with officers. She would be transported to County Jail, he said.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Two out of one things that she wanted is not bad from the City Council, even it was getting arrested.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
October 2, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The School Board and County Board of Supervisors have an ongoing effective remedy for her.

But wearing crocs is almost jailworthy in itself.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
October 2, 2012 at 4:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Education advocate," wow that is generous. More like disruptive, belligerent nut who likes to try to threaten, bully and intimidate.

Scooter (anonymous profile)
October 2, 2012 at 5 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So true John, so true.

Muggy (anonymous profile)
October 2, 2012 at 5 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How much public treasury will this police and ambulance response cost the government today and beyond?

How many police responses to a meeting disruption warrant a Restraining Order?

And does someone doing all this who is not even a city resident add to the cost or annoyance?

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
October 2, 2012 at 5:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Peace, Love, Dope (crocs? I think not)

Stumbling_Distance (anonymous profile)
October 2, 2012 at 6:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

By a quirk of fate, I have met this women and several members of her family. She is, unfortunately, one of those people who is psychologically disturbed but believes that she is normal and everyone else is disturbed. The rest of her family is equally interesting. Why she insists on haranguing public agencies only she knows. She is a sad case. I hope she gets the help that she needs.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
October 2, 2012 at 6:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I hope nobody gets hurt. The fact that she isn't even a city resident and is behaving this way she should throw a huge red banner.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 2, 2012 at 6:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I completely agree with Eckermann: this is a very sad situation. Kate Smith has often spoken at public comment as have others who are less balanced than most of us, offending some of us more than Kate, as the Christian praying folk, for example, but it sounds as though she has lost whatever thread she sometimes holds on to.

(Although it is completely irrelevant, she has been a city resident and often people speak at the public comment who are not city residents, but are affected by city issues.)

at_large (anonymous profile)
October 2, 2012 at 8:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you everyone, make sure you tip your waiteress and waiter on the way out.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
October 2, 2012 at 9:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I can't wait to hear Don McDermott tell us that it's Dale Francisco's or three fingas down Randy Rouse's fault.

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 2, 2012 at 9:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany are you suggesting Ms. Smith had an allergic reaction to Francisco or Rowse?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 2, 2012 at 11:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Right on, John_Adams.

@Botany, I think your expectation of McD is quite reasonable, but I suspect he would include Hotchkiss as another target.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 7:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't know about all this crock and fashion police pontification about crocs when most here seem to be just hanging onto just a tiny little thread over much less and at the same time much more manufactured issues.

Compared with anonymous lambasting comments compared to Kate Smiths very public justice issues, especially for kids, are very brave and more admirable because she has not backed down. I don't think she is not productive because of herself but rather because of our deranged sense of representation. At the same time I don't think that many on the other side of the podium, certain council members and school board members are qualified for her complaints. They may be sympathetic but can only act with great courage and with public support. Several are moderating progress, the regressive side. But all are operating in a very frustrating fascist right wing phobic era.

Recall that another council gadfly Bruce Rittenhouse was also very challenging at times, while at the podium not so long ago. And he was friends with the mayor. He was, like Kate Longstory, an advocate for youth and against the school to prison pipeline. But again Kate is dealing in a very different time and very regressive time. And Bruce Rittenthouse thankfully and more gracefully, was able to leave the country.

And yes certain council members, the phobic and scapegoating Dale Francisco, Mesa and chamber gang member Randy Rowse, as well as Malibu enclave-ist Hothckiss are representative of a majority of the general public who are narrowly focused on petty, fluffy, phobic issues and the Self. They lobby and vote to protect themselves and their very own neighborhoods, while treating others and other neighborhoods with less respect.

DonMcDermott (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 8:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

She is insane and in need of professional help. That being said, she should be held accountable for the "waste of taxpayer funds" she has caused by having PD and Fire respond to her meltdown. I hope they bill her.

BeachFan (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 9:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Now, now, Don McD.
Hotchkiss immigrated from Pacific Palisades, not Malibu.

And annoying as he was, Rittenhouse never wore crocs nor cried crocodile tears while faking injury with very bad acting rolling around on the floor.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 9:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Bruce Rittenhouse was a vigorous and sometimes aggressive advocate, yet he was able to remain within the bounds of courteous debate and shared public comment.

He did, however, wear the Crocs of his day: Birkenstocks.

binky (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 10:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Domoic acid poisoning. I've seen it before.

eightdolphins (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 11:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks for the folklore Don.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 12:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If they can outlaw RVs at the beach as eyesore, can't they ban Crocs from public spaces for the same reason?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 1:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Domoic acid poisoning. I've seen it before."

eightdolphins (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 11:33 a.m.

I have too, it's what killed fivedolphins and sixdolphins, and why nobody messes with Kingprawn.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 4:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Kate Smith has at times expressed valid concerns about how children with special needs are treated by local public schools, but she does so in such an incoherent fashion as to undermine the points she seeks to make. She is mentally unbalanced and can be quite a bully. It seems she really went over the edge here.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 8:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Despite the validity of her expressed concerns, "mentally unbalanced" people who really go "over the edge" often go on to shooting up movie theatres. Gievn the accounts I've read here and other sources, she does not seem able to discern what is an appropriate way to express her concerns and what are not. I hope Ms. Smith gets the assistance she needs to live a happy fulfilling life; we can't to see if she'll run over a bunch of people in a car to decide we wish we had done more.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 9:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To take this woman to jail is a horrible waste of taxpayer dollars. It would make more sense to evaluate her for a 5150 and if she isn't a danger to herself or others, just leave her alone. Save the jail space for dangerous criminals.

buckwheat (anonymous profile)
October 4, 2012 at 10:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What year was it the Independent endorsed Kate Smith for School Board? The same year as they endorsed Schwarzenegger?

Chester_Arthur_Burnett (anonymous profile)
October 4, 2012 at 10:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I like Mr. McDermott's comment because it acknowledges that we live in weird times. By "weird" I mean--it is WEIRD to many of us that local politicians and police have far more regard for a park hours ordinance than they do for the U.S. Consitution, which guarantees the right of free speech, and the right to petition the government for recourse. When all other channels fail, the only thing people can do is physically come together and speak out, which is what the demonstrations were about last year. Perhaps some people don't believe we are at a time of crisis in this country where we are not being represented---or that the only way left to be heard is to demonstrate or make noise. I'm glad those folks are doing just fine and do not see the crisis. But it is not true for many, many, many of us today, who cannot be heard when it comes to basic public health and safety issues like Smart Meters, for example. They have been making people sick for years now, and the Public Utilities Commission does nothing. What is there to do but demonstrate---? And then get hogtied, positionally tortured, humiliated and jailed by police.

This just happened in Riverside, California, to a woman who I don't know personally but who has very valid concerns about the city awarding contracts to out-of-town and out-of-state businesses. And I'm talking very, very, very juicy contracts.

Council "gadflies" have been around since the beginning of time, but these confrontations have not. We are living in changing times. What is perhaps most upsetting is that police, who are often the best among us and who have to deal with criminals every day, do not recognize the difference between criminal activity and civil rights.

The Independent erased my last comment. I hope this one will be allowed to stay.

Burkey (anonymous profile)
October 24, 2012 at 3:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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