WEATHER »
Helene Schneider

Paul Wellman

Helene Schneider


Mayor Delivers Mixed News at State of City Address

Says Facilities Need Repair, Hints at New Tax or Sales Tax Increase


There was no shortage of positives for Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider (pictured) to accentuate in her annual State of the City address this Tuesday before the Chamber of Commerce ​— ​and she certainly did just that. But the not-so-subtle subtext was that City Hall needs a new revenue source if it hopes to put a dent in the $368 million in unfunded infrastructure needs. Neither Schneider nor City Administrator Jim Armstrong ​— ​who also spoke ​— ​mentioned a sales-tax increase or any other tax by name. But when asked afterward if such a tax might be a reasonable expectation, Armstrong replied, “That is a pretty logical conclusion.”

In his remarks, Armstrong praised previous council leaders for having “the courage” to invest in the city’s system of parks, streets, bridges, and infrastructure. “But as you drive around our city,” he said, “it is clear that many of these facilities are long beyond their useful life and need to be replaced or restored.” Schneider took pride in the city’s ability to weather the recent recession and highlighted many of the new bridges, hotels, museums, and shops now springing to life. She praised City Hall’s Restorative Policing team and added that housing had been secured for 114 chronically homeless people since last May. Likewise, she noted that the number of juveniles on probation with gang terms and conditions dropped almost by half in the past five years.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Phone Scams Spike Countywide

Callers are claiming to be IRS and Homeland Security agents.

Longtime Fiesta Soldados Given the Boot 

Ousted Marc Martinez said Old Spanish Days has become "less inclusive."

Los Padres Forest Officials Ban Unpermitted Campfires

Wildfire conditions prompt caution.

County Out $2M Annually on Recycled Paper

A changing world market is to blame.

Electricity Bailout?

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson squares off against Governor Jerry Brown.