Lesley Wiscomb’s View

The SEIU recently wrote an op-ed, “The SEIU View,” regarding my candidacy for City Council.

I interviewed with Police, Firefighters, and SEIU. In each interview, I told them that I’d like their endorsement but wouldn’t accept any money from them. As I stated in the SEIU questionnaire, I am supportive of city employees receiving fair compensation, wages, and benefits so the city can attract and retain a quality workforce, but City Council approves their contracts, and I firmly believe it’s a serious conflict of interest for prospective councilmembers to accept their campaign contributions.

City Councilmembers are in a position of public trust and, to me, high ethical standards require them to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

There is a problem when unions support candidates financially. SEIU, Police, and Firefighters contributions to City Council candidates through October 19 totaled $39,028, and in three cases — Diaz Alley, Hart, and Nelson — these amounts equaled 20 percent or more of their respective total cash contributions. Reasonable people will question the ability of councilmembers who accept contributions to remain objective when considering union contracts, a situation that’s not good for the council, our city, or the unions.

City Council elections are ostensibly nonpartisan, and I want to represent all residents of our city, including our hard working Police, Fire, and SEIU employees.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Iron Chef Caused State Street Pedestrian Death

Famous Chef Larry Forgione charged with misdemeanor for driving into Gilbert Ramirez on February 24.

Lavagnino’s Sudden Victory

5th District supervisor a shoo-in as filing window closes; Gregg Hart also unopposed for 2nd District.

One Half of Old Town Streets to Get Sidewalks

Walkways planned for one side of Goleta neighborhood streets; parking, lighting talks at community meeting March 22.

After Disaster in Montecito, Where Is All the Money Going?

Santa Barbara nonprofits account for millions spent on relief efforts.

Santa Barbara Experiences a Rainy March, but a Dry Year

Water year only 34 percent of normal for precipitation.