Former Santa Barbara City Councilmember Lyle Reynolds died this
weekend at the age of 94. A passionate tennis player, Reynolds took
to politics after concluding a successful career as a UCSB
administrator during the turbulent 1970s. As dean of students,
Reynolds often waded into crowds of Isla Vista protesters, urging
calm. In one celebrated event, he found himself toe-to-toe with
Abbie Hoffman, then head of the national Yippie movement. Hoffman
sought to humiliate Reynolds by putting a bandana on his head and a
joint in his mouth, but Reynolds defused the moment by laughing
along with the joke. In 1977, Reynolds – known for his warmth –
narrowly lost the mayoral seat to the confrontational and
conservative David Shiffman. Two years later, Reynolds won election
to the City Council as part of the well-mannered slow-growth wave
that still controls the levers of political power. Reynolds was
part of a council majority that reduced the amount of city land
zoned for commercial development in order to balance the city’s
workforce with its housing supply.


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