Conflicted Hart

Saturday, October 12, 2013
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I recently attended a City Council candidate forum where Gregg Hart was asked about his full-time employment with the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments. SBCAG is a regional planning agency comprised of Santa Barbara County and all eight incorporated cities within the county. It distributes local, state, and federal transportation funds and acts as a forum for addressing regional and multi-jurisdictional issues.

I’m curious how Mr. Hart will be able to fairly represent Santa Barbara City’s interests as city councilmember when he will be pulled by the SBCAG to make decisions based on a county-wide, eight-city perspective.

SBCAG may agree with the City of Santa Barbara, or it may not, when it comes to doling out funds and to policy matters.

Doesn’t Santa Barbara city need a councilmember who will advocate for the city’s own interests without Mr. Hart’s apparent conflict?


Independent Discussion Guidelines

" ... when he will be pulled by the SBCAG to make decisions based on a county-wide, eight-city perspective."

As spokesperson for SBCAG, does Hart really have a decision-making role?

SBCAG does excellent work with regards to regional data gathering, analysis, and sharing of that output with all the local municipalities. They identify trends and provide good data that allow local leaders to base decisions upon.

Their 2040 Regional growth forecast is an example:

If there are no conflict issues, I think the city could benefit again from Hart's background and previous experience.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 12, 2013 at 1:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hotchkiss asked this same anemic question to Hart at the forum by Chamber of Commerce a couple of weeks ago. Gregg Hart handed Hotchkiss his hat with a crisp rebuttal about how any imagined conflict of interest was confirmed as a negative by the city and state attorneys who oversee such questions. Hart then reminded all about his deep experience with transportation planning issues.

As we all know, negative campaigning and commenting about candidates means the critics are afraid of the same candidates they criticize.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
October 14, 2013 at 9:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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