City Priorities Questioned

Mayor Cathy Murillo lost an appointment to a seat she coveted her first day in office. She had insisted that she be appointed to the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), which is a regional planning agency that includes representatives from the county and all the incorporated cities in the county. It distributes local, state, and federal transportation funds throughout the county and acts as a forum for addressing regional and multi-jurisdictional issues. Murillo’s peers voted to appoint Councilmember Jason Dominguez in a 3-2 vote. Councilmember Greg Hart abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest. He is a deputy executive at SBCAG.

When councilmembers are termed out, their assignments are redistributed by majority vote. Councilmember Dan Secord, not the mayor, served on SBCAG for years. His peers chose him over the mayor.

Mayor Murillo won’t be a team player and compromise. Instead she and Councilmember Eric Friedman are practicing party politics and are trying to remove Dominguez from SBCAG. Is this a good use of council and staff’s time and city resources?

The city faces urgent issues that demand a professional mayor. They include: the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslide, downtown revitalization, homelessness, affordable housing, and developer giveaways. These issues outweigh county issues and they should be the mayor’s priority.

Should Mayor Murillo be attempting to manipulate council appointments and play party politics rather than focusing on the top priorities of the city? Tell the City Council what you think:

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

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

City Closes In on New Police Station Location

Santa Barbara's Saturday Farmers Market may lose its 35-year site.

Homeless Could Get ‘Tiny Box’ Homes Downtown

Neighbors complain as City Hall fast-tracks grant application.

Ethnic Studies to Become Graduation Requirement

School board votes unanimously for 2023 start date.

School Shooting Threat to Santa Maria Schools Made via Facebook

Further investigation revealed that suspect did not have access to firearms.

Celebration of Life Ceremony Scheduled for Mark “Marky” Meza, Jr.

The 21-year-old former Carpinteria resident was killed in the Borderline shooting.