Supervisor Peter Adam exasperated his colleagues with his vote against the budget

Paul Wellman

Supervisor Peter Adam exasperated his colleagues with his vote against the budget

County Approves Budget over Adam’s Objections

Supervisor Says $102 Million for Maintenance Is Not Enough

Thursday, June 12, 2014
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He ran for office on the issue in 2012, fought for it at the budget talks in 2013, and served it up last week in the form of Measure M, which voters only narrowly rejected. Yet, after all he did to make maintenance funding the county’s hottest topic, Supervisor Peter Adam wasn’t satisfied Wednesday with the $102 million all of his colleagues voted to spend on maintenance over the next 10 years; he abstained from that decision and voted against the budget as a whole.

Before Adam’s votes, his fellow supervisors — whose patience wasn’t to be tested Wednesday — seemed to see his symbolic obstruction coming, noting his vote against last year’s budget (even with an extra $2 million for road maintenance) and shooting down his attempts to wax poetic on the principle of infrastructure funding.

“This is a huge win for you,” said an exasperated Supervisor Steve Lavagnino, of the $102 million. “I know what you’re going to say — ‘It’s not enough.’ It’s never going to be enough. We spend money on homelessness; we don’t expect to fix homelessness in the next 10 years. We can’t fix everything.”

Adam’s chief adversary on the board, Supervisor Salud Carbajal — who had been joined by Lavagnino, usually Adam’s chief ally, as well as supervisors Janet Wolf and Doreen Farr in campaigning against Measure M — expressed similar frustration with Adam. “I wasn’t elected to be a one-trick pony. In your measure losing, you won a lot, and you may want to consider being gracious,” Carbajal said. “It can’t be all or nothing. How silly is that? I don’t want to be questioned as well, as if you set the moral authority on our priorities. You’re still going to vote against it like you did last year. That’s the irony and the travesty of our process.”

Under the approved plan, the county will set aside 18 percent of its future revenue growth for maintenance costs, which will add up to more than $102 million over the next decade. Such a percentage-based plan, similar to that for the North County Jail, was oft-invoked by Adam’s four colleagues during the election as the better approach to the issue than Measure M. It will be up to county staff how that money is divided among roads, parks, and buildings and between deferred maintenance projects and ones that are preventative. The board will be able to reevaluate the figure every year and could change it depending on the economy.

Wolf and Farr — who each initially favored a smaller funding amount but went along with the 18 percent in the end — stressed the need for a balanced approach to the issue, especially given the many other services the supervisors are charged with ensuring, including those for mental health and social services.

Despite months of pushing the issue, Adam said he felt too rushed to make a decision on Wednesday and wanted the county instead to look at his suggestion: a 50-55 percent allocation. He and his staff pointed to that figure as one that would both prevent money from being added to the $341 million backlog and eliminate the backlog altogether within a number of years. That plan, coupled with freezing labor costs (which appears to be Adam’s next battle), liquidating some facilities, and ceasing to add money to the county’s rainy-day fund, was their answer to an issue Adam said is only going to get worse. “This thing is like a land mine that somebody’s going to step on,” he said. “And whenever they step on it, it’s going to hurt.”

The proceedings took on a less heated tone when talk turned to the overall 2014-2015 budget, which will see revenues ($905 million) outpace expenditures ($903 million) for the first time in years, as well as the addition of 115 positions for a 4,119-person workforce. The supervisors had an extra $2 million in onetime and ongoing funding to play with, which they divvied up among numerous projects.

Recipients included the 2-1-1 program ($49,700), the after-hours jail rides program ($10,000), and the Isla Vista lighting project ($85,000), which will now finish ahead of schedule. The supervisors also set aside $120,000 for Casa Esperanza but won’t disburse it until the organization comes before the board with more information on its fiscal standing.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Supervisor Adam is anti-government and anti-south County; and HE's the landmine, and his real goal of eliminating most of our Co. government is shown in Hoffman's suggestion that his next move will be "freezing labor costs (which appears to be Adam’s next battle)..." Recall Adam.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
June 12, 2014 at 4:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why wouldn't we want to freeze government labor costs in this county? This is a sound suggestion. Give it some thought.

County residents have made it clear they don't want anything that increases county revenues, so it is a quid pro quo that county labor costs as a result will be either be frozen or reduced.

How would it work any other way? Money in and money out. Needs to balance.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
June 12, 2014 at 4:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

115 incremental new positions to hire?!
With 4000+ unbelievably inefficient staff already sucking down 35% more in base plus benefits than the private sector for similar jobs and tenure?

Hell in a hand basket.

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
June 12, 2014 at 5:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Adam is nothing more that a one trick Teabagger who's chance to accomplish anything meaningful has come and gone. The only question now is who is going to run for his seat next.

Validated (anonymous profile)
June 12, 2014 at 5:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Fourth District Supervisor Peter Irrelevant.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
June 12, 2014 at 9:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Peter Adam represents 48% of the voters regarding Measure M. Though he sits alone at the conversation table set for only five, he stands heroically on any county road speaking boldly with almost half of the people at his back glaring menacingly at the other four's deafness. Peter Adam represents a minority twice the size of any of the other minorities. Each of the other four supervisors represents a mere 20% of the voters. Really? Four elected officials still don't get it? County Government's responsibility is to keep our roads fixed. The roads came first. The roads deserve first. A busted road busts your axle. A homeless man never gets fixed. Fix all the roads, then feed the homeless. What's the point of supporting a government if they don't know their job? If we have the money, feed the homeless. If we don't have the money, don't feed the homeless. The homeless, like the seagulls, will always find a feeding bin. Make the roads safe so that we may all safely make our way home.

LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD (anonymous profile)
June 12, 2014 at 11:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I wanted to like Peter Adam, if only for his freakish mustache but he's proven to be, frankly inidigestible to any rationally thinking person.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 12:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What pious blarney you spout, LOOKING. When you scribble "County Government's responsibility is to keep our roads fixed ... The roads deserve first." -- This is demonstrably untrue: human health and safety come first! Of course, the transportation system matters, and affects us traveling over them, but your extraordinarily limited definition of government is too strict. Government has to support health and in other ways education and safety regulations. I know, you hate regulations, but we have to have some. It is not all about the roads, gawd!
Agree Ken, but even though M lost, somehow Adam is controlling the discussions, and after the other Supes went to 18% Adam was still pressing for 50%, this is foolish.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 4:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't like the Tea Party or the far right faction that has hijacked the GOP. That being said, I think it best that we give Adam a little slack. There is no doubt that our government has evolved into a lumbering behemoth. He is right about the costs of our county labor force. Consider this from his recent letter in the SB View-
" The problem is labor costs. It’s not that we have more workers. The county workforce has actually shrunk by 5 percent over the last 10 years. The problem is cost per worker. Ten years ago, the average county worker cost $79,333. Ten years later, the number is $125,732. That’s an increase of 57 percent. "
Sometimes we have to listen to folks we don't agree with and I think there is some merit in his arguments about our maintenance liabilities and spiraling labor costs.

geeber (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 4:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

How much of the increase to $125,732 is due to increased Country costs for health care for its workers? A lot I expect.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 4:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The real issue the county needs to deal with is their bloated labor, benifits, and pension cost.
Fix those issues and there will be plenty of money for infrastiurecture.
But do not hold your breath .. This group will never do it.

loneranger (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 8:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ventura County collected enough signatures to put conversion to 401K county pensions on the ballot.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

CalPERS and CalSTRS are among the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world. Currently they are speculating in commodities which are driving up global food prices.

These the real Wall Street raiders: public employee pension funds with billions to move at whim and nothing to lose since taxpayers are required to make up their losses

See Kate Kelly, author of "The Secret Club That Runs The World,"

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 8:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@JJ - the Ventura County initiative, which has already been threadened with litigation, would only require a 401K style pension for employees hired after June 30, 2015. All the existing employees would continue with their existing defined pension plan.

discoboy (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Way to go guys, you conveniently diverted the discussion away from the roads.

Mr. DrDan, when in history was caring for the poor a government priority? Please demonstrate for us. Who told you that the government has to support health and in other ways education? Are you still living with your parents? Health and education are the responsibility of the parents. A good family does not need government regulation. However, a good community does require a government to regulate safety. Read your history books.

The point is, 48% of the people are represented by one guy, Peter Adam. And those 48% of the people want the roads to be a priority. Yet the board throws mere scraps in a pathetic attempt to appease the hungry 48%. Each year we (the Nation) birth new homeless people. Such is not a fixable problem. But, fix the roads and maybe those homeless can direct traffic around the detours. Stop giving them one fish a day. Give them each a fishing pole. Let them start their own farmers' market.

Homelessness is a product of a family breakdown. Potholes are a product of a derelict government.

Geeber sees the real picture. During the County's prosperous times roads were in great shape. So instead of decreasing the budget, the government increased wages, hid away pensions, and expanded into homelessness. Fix the broken families! Ignore the rotting roads.

Now, we need to fix the roads. The original purpose of the government is to build roads, to keep them safe. 48% of the people know this. Yet, only 20% of the County Board of Supervisors knows this.

Adam is controlling the discussion because our human hearts know that the real purpose of the government is: to provide safe roads for the community. Like the seagulls, the homeless will always find a feeding bin. Right now, DrDan has his hand out; giving away the 48%-er's money. And, DrDan, as soon as your hands are empty, the homeless will turn away from you, without a word of thanks, gratitude or compassion, and find another feeding bin.

LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 3:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey lookie everybody it's the all caps troll.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 3:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

LOOKING, it's fallacious that "48% of the people are represented by one guy, Peter Adam." -- that's 48% of the 29% who bothered to vote, a decidedly smaller number of people. And what a load of rubbish writing "our human hearts know that the real purpose of the government is: to provide safe roads for the community." You read some more history books.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 4:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Adam at best represents 14% of the eligible voters, a far cry from your absurd 48%. The role of government in reducing poverty can be useful without giving everything away, LOOKIE. You deal in dead cliches, like "DD has his hand out" -- I've worked all my life, my hand has never been out, you know BS about me and less about the homeless. Your vicious heart can write stuff comparing humans to seagulls: "Like the seagulls, the homeless will always find a feeding bin." Hard heart; hate to be you.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 4:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The US government generally does less in human services and economic assistance for the poor than most European countries. So these nations, less wealthy than the USA [Germany, an exception], help out their PEOPLE (people, not seagulls!) more than we do:

DrDan (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 4:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan and Herchel, your speech carries the tone of a bully's pomposity. (Hey lookie, his jeans are green instead of LEVIES "all caps" and hey, "He falsely accused me of being false.")
Once you guys look beyond the quirks of the speaker, if you every will, then we can get to the issues at hand.

The people who vote are the only ones who care. The silent majority don't care. History teaches us that. Again, Peter Adam represents 48% of the people who care. And those wonderful countries of which you speak? They are homogenous. They fail in the diversity spectrum of humanity. You fallaciously fool yourself into believing that those countries care. In reality, what appears to be a "care" for their people is actually a "punishment," if they do not comply with expectations. Thus, they have fewer recalcitrant folks who resist responsibility. Those countries you speak of restrict an individual's liberty, unlike the USA.

Writing stuff like: "The homeless will alway find a feeding bin." sounds starkly familiar to: "There will always be poor." Do you know who said that Mr. DrDan?
Back to the roads, the job (division of labor) of the government is to fix the roads not feed the homeless. Other division of labor jobs, also, don't require feeding homeless. The job of the news reporter is to report the news, not feed homeless. The job of a commentator to to commentate, not feed homeless. A plumber, doctor, teacher, wall street trader, all would be fired if they spent company money to feed the homeless. Each job has its specific task. Every individual must be responsible for the job at hand. The job of an individual is to care, for oneself. The job of the government is to fix the roads.

If one is unable to care for one self, then asking for help necessitates a chain of command. Do you not agree? So, DrDan, please demonstrate the proper chain of command. My suggestion is: personal effort, family assistance, a friend's helping hand, the local religious community, secular non-profit organizations, social security insurance, welfare, government housing, living in the streets, jail.

Looks to me like homelessness is the last resolve, before becoming criminal. Should an individual fail to meet the expectations at each of the clearly available levels of caring, then perhaps one has chosen to live free, in the streets of the USA. Good roads is the better place to put our tax dollars.

LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 6:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We've gotten to the issue at hand: you equate human beings with seagulls. I've lived some years in Germany and in Greece: you falsely write "Those countries you speak of restrict an individual's liberty, unlike the USA." Untrue! Finally, your simplistic mantra that "The job of the government is to fix the roads" suits you. I do not need to demonstrate the proper chain of command!
Yes, of course these matter: "personal effort, family assistance, a friend's helping hand, the local religious community, secular non-profit organizations, social security insurance, welfare," but social security insurance/welfare, government housing: come from that very government you insist only work on roads. Grow up. In fact, admit it, you are Peter Adam's alter ego. Troll.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 7:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Exactly the point Mr. DrDan, government assistance is way down on the list. If we have the money, and only after our roads are perfect, then we may choose, as a community, to feed the homeless. But at this moment in time, 48% of the voters who are represented by only one heroic county supervisor, out of five, believe that the smart thing to do is fix the roads.

Those governments that you have experienced (Germany and Greece) are certainly contrasting examples. Greece is bankrupt. Germany is very regimented. Both have different employment expectations. Your claim that my statement is "Untrue" without a counter to my fact that they have a homogenous population is disingenuous, if not cowardly . The USA must contend with much more diversity than those two countries you mentioned.

Feeding the homeless is a family issue not a government responsibility. You, in this discorce, have provided us with empty opinion. Goodness, beef up a bit. Your panty lines are showing.

Perhaps you will think with more clarity for the next election.

LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 9:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Feeding the hungry is a cultural and moral responsibility. Your greed is showing, and you make for quite a nauseating read full of narcissism, moral ambiguity and greed.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 11:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I bet many of Peter Adam's constituents receive sicial assistance. here's hoping Joni Gray gets her seat back, or somebody else with a foot on planet earth.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2014 at 11:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken, who taught you that "feeding the hungry is a cultural and moral responsibility?" Do you speak of serfdom? Am I the villein and you the weary peasant? Shall we beseech our lords' benevolent mercy?

My lords, I beg of you, please don't fix the roads upon which I must push my heavily laden cart of broccoli to the market. But rather, leave the potholes, tax me anyway, and feed the idle folk, for they toil on the streets in fastidious wait for my lords to bless them with a basket of bread.

Greed compels the infant to suckle upon it's mother's breast. Narcissism expels humility which emboldens one to wonder the streets with unrestrained vulgarity and insolence. Ambiguity, certainly, if you see it that way. But I think that you do not know what that word means. If your moral compass is unable to determine which way my words point, then you might do well to recalibrate it.

Fix the roads first.

LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 3:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Politicians are just a bunch of pungent twerps.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 5:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The biggest lie ever told to the American people is 'the American dream'. It was a brilliant piece of propaganda. Convincing the hard working services classes that they could improve their lot, while the free market, by design, does everything it can to make certain that they stay put. After all, there's a lot of money to be made off the backs of the working class, so keeping them in place is important.

@LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD: "Narcissism expels humility which emboldens one to wonder the streets with unrestrained vulgarity and insolence."

I've always wondered what would happen if MadLibs and a Ouija board had a baby. Now, I know....

@LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD: "If your moral compass is unable to determine which way my words point, then you might do well to recalibrate it."

My moral compass is properly calibrated. You are a self-involved drip who has confused long, boring diatribes with having an actual point. Peter Adam is a joke, and whatever accomplishments he's been handed in his professional life, he's certainly unqualified to be serving as a representative of the public. He's a selfish hack, who has been totally exposed as utterly useless.

Anyone who believes otherwise is not paying attention.

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 8:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

LOOKING for "discorce" [sic], try using spellcheck, on your thinking as well as in this discourse. You bromance with Adam is pretty weird when you write about "one heroic county supervisor" --- puh-leeze! Get over yourself, Pete. You're telling KV he doesn't know about the term "ambiguity" -- look at your own incoherent thoughts and writing, e.g. "they toil on the streets in fastidious wait for my lords"
First, fix your heart, LOOKING.
done with you.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 8:24 a.m. (Suggest removal)

" However, a good community does require a government to regulate safety."

The health, wealth and safety of any community means

- minimizing poverty as much as possible (crime goes down)
- minimizing hunger as much as possible (school performance goes up)
- providing education to all (more people can be employed, hence more revenue to be able to fix things such as infrastructure)

Safety and protection of any community requires money - supporting anything that generates that money, is important. The generators of money are well-fed, well-educated workers.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 9 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why did Santa Maria Energy donate tens of thousands of dollars to the Yes on M campaign?

Blubbo (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 11:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It gets me that some of these companies are willing to throw thousands towards lost causes like M, but won't pay ten cents tax.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 12:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ms. Tabatha, you are so sweetly tepid. Your itemizations are great but you are missing the lower tiers of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. At the base of his model lies "Physiological" needs. That means roads.

The energy companies donated tens of thousand because they use the many poorly maintained roads with their great, big, gigantic trucks to move our resources. Yet they still pay taxes on their revenue generating endeavors. Ken, who taught you that the Santa Maria energy companies won't pay tax?

I seems to me that Ken and DrDan only drive the 101.

Oh and DrDan, go easy on the typos, we are having a conversation here. Unless you are calling a tennis match, keep the "out" calls out of the discourse. Be wary of those who throw the baby out with the bath water. By the way, Einstein was a horrible speller.

So Tabatha, once we have fixed the roads, then we can move up the Maslowvic model and deal with safety: Police, Ambulance, Fire trucks, all of which need a fixed road to service the public sufficiently. Road building is the responsibility of the government because it benefits all of the people.

When our roads are perfect and the safety issues are handled then we should talk about social concerns. Until then, fix the roads. 48% of the voters believe that it is the right thing to do. Peter Adam is the one man who speaks this reality.

LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 12:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Pricing poverty out of the market is a good thing.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 3:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

One senses condescension and snootiness, Lookingfor, when you write "Ms. Tabatha, you are so sweetly tepid" ! Why don't you respond specifically to her points instead of referencing Abraham Maslow's 1970s hierarchy of needs? The physiological is "roads"! Balderdash.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 5:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When measure M was first proposed, I asked right here at the Indy where are these horrible, unsafe roads? Not one poster has come up with an example . Please instead of bloviation, provide ONE example. Come on trolls you can do this.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 5:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Measure M should not have worried you. It asked simply to maintain county infrastructure at current levels. It merely added a layer of discipline to the county budget process. As such, it should come back to the voters when there is less emotional argument against it.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 6:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So Jarvis Jarvis cannot come up with one road that is desperately in need of repair.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 8:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey, those who wrecks it, fix it.


Walter (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 8:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Herschel, what about the road to perdition?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 9:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Now we are getting somewhere.

"Which roads need fixin?" Herschel inquisitively asks. Peter Adam knows.

The information is in the 2013-2014 Road Maintenance Annual Plan. "Public Works estimates the current backlog of unfunded road maintenance projects
for the Santa Barbara County Road System to be approximately $250 million." the book says.

Tabatha is smart but tepid. Her brain needs to burst out a stronger bite. Put some force into the insightful information you provide. Statistics are useful if they provide a direction. For example: She says, "The generators of money are well-fed, well-educated workers." Such a statement is true. So.......?

The generators of money are well-fed, well-educated workers, because they tend to focus on goals. Read, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. They generate money because they focus on a goal: if they need to eat, they figure out a way to feed; if they want an education, they figure out a way to read. Tabatha is correct with her maxim. Heat it up with some motivational persuasion. Money makers are real Americans. A detestable idea to DrDan.

Javis, on the other hand, sees clearly that Measure M simple directed the board to be more disciplined in their spending. A tax was collected to build the road, the same tax should be used to maintain the same road.

But, we lazy citizens loosened the reins on our government officials. Those unconstrained officials moved tax dollars from road maintenance to mental health issues. Now that the roads need fixed, the officials are not willing to first apply the tax to fix the roads. We the People must again, limit their discretion on how our money is spent. Fix the roads first. Peter Adam understands this concept.

As far as the Road to Perdition goes, when we are asked, "Are the roads in good or bad repair?" We must answer, "They feed the homeless!"

LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2014 at 11:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Eat. Your compass is missing either the needle or the script.

The hard working services class is indeed a thankless unachieving job. I believe that they call it "joblock." Who told you that you would get rich working the service industry? Shame on them.

But Mr. Eat, are you really that gullible? Sell something. Making that sale will make you rich.

Dare to Dream. Break the chain. Don't listen to the ney sayers. Make a difference: teach your own child, start your own business, sell something.

The rich get rich by selling an item that others want, desire or need. If you have a union job, you are a service provider. If you are fighting the unions, you are a seller. If you receive an insurance and retirement package, you are a service worker. If you are providing them, you are a seller. Service workers get paid for their time. Sellers get rich by their ingenuity.

In America, anybody can be ingenious.

"The biggest lie ever told to the American people is 'the American dream'. It was a brilliant piece of propaganda."

Maybe that's why immigrants become more financially successful than the millions of one language Americans, they didn't know it was a lie. Or maybe our service workers were trained in our public schools. (Did I hear a bell ring? Lock down!)

LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD (anonymous profile)
June 15, 2014 at 3:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@EatTheRich: Sometimes the American Dream is a reality, the question is, balancing a capitalism-based incentive economy with the reality that some people will--by the very design of capitalism--fall between the cracks.

As far as I can see, Scandinavia may come the closest to the ideal society, but one thing for sure, an all-out capitalist society, or a communist society, will not achieve the best all-around goal.

The biggest obstacle to achieving earthly Nirvana is human nature itself.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
June 15, 2014 at 4:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Like your summation LOOKINGGOOD:

Employees sell their time. (A fixed commodity)

Entrepreneurs sell their ingenuity. (Sky is the limit)

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
June 15, 2014 at 9:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

LFAGR - you are so sweetly incoherent.

Just peruse the online news in this town - and what are the most common topics - homeless, education, gangs, etc. I rarely read about complaints about the roads.

The roads and infrastructure are in the state they are, not because they have been ignored, but because there was little revenue in the Great Recession.

The homeless at the end of State Street have become a problem, because until this year, there was no money to do anything about the problem.

Education fees were severely cut during the years of the Great Recession because of budget problems in Sacramento. This is now changing.

In my book, and not Maslow's, students graduating without jobs is more pressing than roads used by corporations. Look after the jobs, and the tax revenues from those jobs will fix the roads. Cart. Horse.

In the last 30 years, despite an increase in productivity, middle class pay has flat-lined. The pay of people at the top of corporations has increased exponentially, where the gap between them and workers is the highest in the world. Where would the jobs of the CEOs be without the workers?

If roads are so important to the corporations, possibly they should not expect the underpaid taxpayers to fund them. During the Bush years, there were two tax cuts that favored the rich because they were supposed to be the "job creators". Well, the job creators created an abysmal number of jobs during the Bush years - Obama outstripped him in his first term. In other words, one could say that those who received tax cuts squandered that money on their own personal needs, and did not deliver for the country. Maybe they should use those tax cuts to fix roads.

And there are complaints about Supervisors handling their Great Recession diminished budgets? I think the bonuses of those on Wall Street who trashed the economy should rather have gone to infrastructure. I think the close to 4 trillion that was spent in Iraq should rather have gone to infrastructure in the US.

Whatever Maslow talks about (have not read it), it probably is not about the malfeasance of those in power who have betrayed their own citizens, economically. You live in a la-la world of theoretical unreality.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
June 15, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Knock knock
Who's there?
Maslow who?
Refill por favor, mi cafe mas low.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 15, 2014 at 12:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken, that was silly. This is a serious blog.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
June 15, 2014 at 5:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Can't use the top of the pre-2008 bubble economy as the floor for government spending.

Pre-2008 was the ceiling. That type of bubble spending should never be contemplated again.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
June 15, 2014 at 11:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Your point is evident Tabatha, you want the world to fit into your book.

Maslow studied people, who live in this world. If you had googled 'Maslow', then you would have seen the picture he drew to help you understand the real world, not the one that fits into your book.

Again, your facts are sweetly sifted for us. Thanks.

But, think Tabatha: the revenue (to fix) a road, was built into the budget when the revenue (to build the road) was generated.

Your current, elected officials (instead of maintaining the roads with the money that was budgeted for such) have deferred road maintenance to a tune of $2.5M. Rather than fix the roads, they continue to use the budgeted money to fund different projects that were not fully funded at their inception.

That means, they take the money that was originally integrated into the budget to be available for the roads and spend it on non-road concerns that were started from surplus funds that should have been returned to the taxpayers by a reduction of taxes.

[In my book, surpluses should always be returned to the taxpayers not integrated into an increased budget.]

Against the advice of our heroic Adam, your elected officials continue to defer the maintenance of our roads until a later date in time. Pete Adam insists that such a time is now.

In other words, 48% of the voters want the budgeted money to now be applied to the roads, as originally planned. Do you think your elected officials (in the past) built a road without first showing their constituents that a plan was put in place to keep the road in good repair (in the future)? In contrast, solutions to social problems are never prearranged by elected officials because their constituents will not stand for such squandering of funds.

In retrospect, social solutions are always sneaked into a bloated budget by benevolent politicians, only to be revealed to the non-recipients of such social programs during financially hard times; when fiscal responsibility once again becomes the top priority.

Like the company Enron did, your elected officials are taking money that is designated for one thing (maintaining roads) and waste it on other things. Ask your parents about Enron. It will not be in the news that you peruse in this town.
Cart. Horse. Chicken. Egg. Which of these things is not like the other?
Ken, U go first after finy14. bill and eat just watch.

LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD (anonymous profile)
June 15, 2014 at 11:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

LOOKINGFO...(you know the rest)

Why are you such a nasty one today? Did someone poop in your Cheerios? Im thinking so. Im not making fun of this. (Ken and Bill, and Tabatha, just restrain yourselves for a minute, OK?)

I can just imagine how I would feel, if someone, walked into my kitchen, at 7 in the morning when Im reading the morning issue of the newspaper, walked over to my breakfast bowl, lovingly prepared with the proper balance of cereal, milk, and accompanied by a nearby glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, and fired a rump missile into my cereal bowl. Having said that, you (LOOKING...) are making me angry, and I have special powers, so don't offend me anymore, or I will, through my magick powers, turn you into a flaming left-wing Democrat. Do you want to be turned into a flaming left-wing Democrat? (No, I didn't think so) SO be nice to Ken, Bill, Tabatha, and the rest. Comprend-vouz mon ami?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
June 16, 2014 at 2:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The two million in revenues over expenditures is a joke. That will be gone with mid year adjustments by November. This shell game is the same old same old

BeachFan (anonymous profile)
June 17, 2014 at 5:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Beach, good eye.

You are right $2.5M is indeed a drop n the bucket. It got to be a typo.

Let me check.

LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD (anonymous profile)
June 18, 2014 at 12:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yep, you are right.

Public Works estimates the current backlog of unfunded road maintenance projects for the Santa Barbara County Road System to be approximately $250 million. ($250M). p. 18.

I stand corrected. Thanks.

LOOKINGFORAGOODREAD (anonymous profile)
June 18, 2014 at 12:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

One bulbout intersection costs the city $250,000. How far with $102 million go for county infrastructure in 10 years?

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
June 18, 2014 at 9:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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