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Posted on March 4 at 12:33 p.m.
The reason for the necessary BoS advance approval is primarily for the Sheriff and the Board to fulfill their fiduciary duties to the people of this county. You cannot have a sheriff, or any official, getting huge donations of private funding for their department's official responsibilities -- or for any similar reason. It's up to the BoS to decide how budgets are to be formulated, funded, and how that funding will be spent. It's also an anti-corruption move -- as that much money floating around without adequate controls, oversight, and accountability is exceptionally dangerous especially in a government environment. It also conceals, as some have already mentioned here, the true source of the monies and what the donor is expecting in return . Just remember, "There is no such thing as a free lunch!". The Sheriff seems to have an ongoing struggle with accepting the fact that he has to do things according to the rules. Perhaps if he adhered to that requirement as expected of him (and, as he must know he has to do) it would set a better example for his troops. He's a public servant, not an emperor who answers to no one. The voters elected him, but if he can't do the job according to the rules and ethics, the voters can easily replace him!
On County Balks at $800,000 in Helicopter Gifts
Posted on May 1 at 11:40 a.m.
Word on the street by knowledgeable people has it that Roger left SBPD under a cloud and in the midst of major disagreements with the Chief. Someone, in an earlier comment above, mentioned that Roger is not too bright -- an apt description in the experience of many residents. He criticizes Ms. Wolf for taking campaign contributions from the SEIU and other unions, yet his coffers are replete with thousands upon thousands of dollars from the oil industry, most of whom are out of his district. While problems caused by oil companies have plagued this county for decades -- mostly horrific spills -- Roger sees no problem in taking tons of their petro-dollars. What a hypocrite! When money comes in from campaign donors who can't even vote for the recipient, it means only one thing -- they are trying to buy his support and future votes.
There's a big difference between taking donations from employee unions, and pocketing money from bad corporations. Remember, Roger is perceived to be not too bright. This difference should have been crystal clear to him, but it obviously isn't.......
Janet has done a good job and the old adage certainly applies -- "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it."
On Roger Aceves Runs for Supervisor
Posted on November 6 at 5:05 p.m.
I hope the city learned something from this once again low turnout election. Let's get back to the way elections are supposed to be run in America -- neighborhood polling places, local precinct workers who know their neighbors watching the polls, the ability to insert your own ballot into the ballot box, an election official making sure the person voting is actually the registered voter, etc. This kind of vote by mail may save the city a little money -- but what price do the voters pay? City officials receiving ballots directly, city officials are able to check the voters name and ballot number on the envelope as well as inked bubbles on the ballot inside and thus being able to discern who voted for whom (so much for secret ballots), etc. I'm certain this was another bright idea from our ego-maniacal city administrator -- who incidentally, almost all city employees work for (hmmmm?).
And then there's the election results themselves! Surprise, surprise -- no real change, no new faces, no new ideas, just more same ol', same ol'! Somebody on here referred to Bendy White as a "raving do-nothing". Wrong! He is not a raving anything -- he doesn't have an original thought to rave about! But, he is the epitome of a "do nothing" -- a timid, whining political empty suit.
And Hotchkiss? Well, what can I say? Frank is, by far, the least qualified and dimmest bulb on the dais and basically does what Francisco and Rowse tell him to do. I wonder if he ever played "The Shadow" when he was a D-List actor eons ago?
And Hart, like so many politicos, has no concept of what a conflict of interest really is. As a paid PR guy for the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), he thinks there's no conflict to also be one of the leaders of a SBCAG member city. Me thinks he's got no other job or source of income and needs to hang on to that income. The other cities ought to raise a big stink over that one. Ya really think he'll be impartial? (Ever hear of a bridge for sale in a New York City suburb?)
Now, that leaves us Helene -- the darling of the extreme left in this city who likes to act like the mayor actually runs this city -- what d'ya say about that, Armstrong? If she runs for Lois's seat sometime in the next few years, if elected she will get run over by the Washington political bull-dozers faster than she can even call for a blue tsunami-line around Washington DC in case the Potomac unleashes a tidal wave. Unless she has someone at her elbow telling her that to do, how to vote, what to way -- she'll be worse than Lois in Congress.
Well, the voters got what they deserved -- only slightly over 15% of the voters even bothered to vote! This election was a real tragedy!
On 2013 City Council Election Results
Posted on August 10 at 9:16 a.m.
The most offensive aspect of this for the taxpayers is that, actually, we are paying this employee twice for the same time for which he has already been properly compensated. The other problem is, I don't believe for a minute that anyone can go long enough to accumulate that amount of unused sick leave without having been sick at some time. So, this means either he came to work while sick and probably infected co-workers and the public -- or never recorded the days he was off sick. Or, maybe the same woman who collected (and embezzled) the parking ticket money at SBPD was also in charge of recording sick leave -- a quid pro quo?
On Retired Police Captain Cashes Unused Sick Leave for $115,900
Posted on July 11 at 9:42 a.m.
And, I forgot to mention our city management's newest tourist attraction -- almost hourly helicopter flights and landings in the middle of town!
On 99¢ Store Moving to Lower State Street
Posted on July 11 at 9:36 a.m.
Here we go again! Just one more backward spin in the downward spiral of State Street. It's already bad enough that out of town tourists, disembarking cruise ship passengers, and sightseers have to pass through a quasi-skid row, sleazy looking section of lower State St. amidst all of the bars and junk-souvenir shops before entering the "real" Santa Barbara downtown. Now we have our own deep-discount '99 Cents' store with cheap foreign made trinkets, wrong-sized clothing, child-endangering plastic toys, unsold and out-of-date supermarket products, packaged food with labels in foreign languages, and gaudy porcelain dishware and imitation statuettes!! Welcome to Santa Barbara, friends!! C'mon down and see what poor city management hath wrought on the once beautiful and picturesque 'American Riviera!' (cough, cough!)
Posted on June 19 at 3:54 p.m.
Nick hit this nail right on the head once again....(hmmmm, I wonder if that is what could have happened to Wendy some time ago!) The News-Press does itself no favors, nor any for the community, when it spews forth such inarticulate, ill-conceived, inept, and idiotic things as Nick references in this column. But, one thing has always bothered me about all of this, and it is something that gets very little, if any, media coverage. And that is the influence her affianced, carved-in-concrete-toothpaste-commercial-smile ‘svengali’, Arthur von Wiesenberger aka The Nipper, has on her. His having adopted the snobbish royal title of "Baron von Wiesenberger” a few years ago, obviously an attempt to burnish his growing reputation as Wendy's personal "Captain Hook" and aide d’ boudoir , I wonder if he can produce his royal birth certificate or his official Baronesque certificate? The Baron has now craftily maneuvered his way into a Rasputinish-close proximity to the 'McCaw Fortune', a quantum leap forward from having been a local barkeep and self-promoting food and wine connoisseur extraordinaire. (And, ignorant me, I had always thought that there was only one Baron in the McCaw media circles – Baron Ron Herron. ) Anyway, I think it’s a valid question to ask if The Nipper is truly Wendy’s “svengali” in many matters especially in helping to turn the News-Press from a journalistic fine wine into sour vinegar. Just some Hell’s Kitchen food for thought!
On Dog in the Manger or Mangy Dog?
Posted on June 9 at 11:25 a.m.
The primary reason for increases in burglaries and robberies, as many studies have shown, is the absence of a physical police presence in that area. When burglars know that it is highly unlikely, if not improbable, that there might be a police officer cruising by, they know they have almost a zero possibility of being caught. The professional burglars case their target and know who the most vulnerable targets are, and when the best time of day is to hit the place. The only real unknown they must face is a patrol car cruising the neighborhood, but if there are none, then..............
In this town, when our police are consistently understaffed preventing them from conducting routine neighborhood patrols, helping to set up neighborhood watch groups, or keeping tabs on known burglar or burglary high risk areas, the burglar rates go up.
The poor leadership of our police department and our city government in this area is palpable. What is it going to take -- a resident getting killed in their own home by a surprised burglar caught in the act? Or, an officer getting shot after arriving at a burglary in progress alone because there aren't enough officers to provide him or her with a backup? Someone needs to look at police staffing levels in other similar cities and see what they have. I'd bet we'd be surprised.
On Santa Barbara Burglaries on Rise?
Posted on February 2 at 8:20 a.m.
Forgot to include another thought............since Covarrubias had reportedly earlier mentioned something about killing himself if this illicit relationship was discovered, and obviously his best, closest buddy on the department would have known this, any chance there was a pre-arranged scenario in play here?
On Arrest of Officer Goes Terribly Wrong
Posted on February 2 at 8:10 a.m.
Maybe this was suicide by cop, maybe it wasn't. Either way, it doesn't mean his colleagues had to kill him -- especially if there had been less loose talk about the investigation and his imminent arrest (which he had heard or been told) and better planning and execution (no pun intended) for such a dangerous arrest. Was there anything so urgent about this incident that would not have allowed the cops to arrest him in a safer environment? And, come to think of it, why was this female cadet allowed to work on this DUI checkpoint with him if they were already investigating the allegations? A lot of stuff doesn't add up here -- especially with the other shooting debacle back in December where two other SM cops were also shot by their fellow officers in yet another example of either failed training programs, or bad planning, or faulty supervision and fire control.