The proposal to stick Santa Barbara City’s Waterfront Department
with the full cost of beach maintenance and waterfront parking lot
landscaping–about $186,000 per year–won the unanimous support of
the City Council Finance Committee, despite vehement opposition
from boat owners who will see their harbor slip fees increase by 5
percent to cover the increased costs. These expenses are currently
born by the Parks and Recreation Department, but Councilmember Das
Williams pushed for the change, arguing that Parks and Recreation
should not subsidize slip fees. Williams and Councilmember Helene
Schneider hope to use the saved money to hire groundskeepers to
oversee pesticide-free weed control in city parks. The plan
proceeds to the City Council next Monday, where its fate is
anything but certain. Boat owners and the harbor commission are
expected to show up en masse to argue that the extra costs will
push middle-class boat owners out of the harbor.


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