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Like a Good Neighbor

We Really Are Worth It: A Montecito
investigator who likes to toy around with tax numbers says
Montecito is a hefty contributor. Using the fresh tax-assessment
numbers for the county’s 2006-07 fiscal year, we’re told
Montecito’s secured property-tax value is $6.4
billion
. That value will generate some $65 million in tax
revenues, raised from Montecito alone (using the Fire District
boundaries). While some of those tax funds are returned to
Montecito for schools and special districts, a huge chunk goes to
benefit our whole county. Now, there’s a good neighbor policy! Our
ledger-sleuth also reports that Montecito’s assessed tax value is a
whopping 4.5 times that of Carpinteria.

Shuttle Diplomacy: Ty Warner-project-pilot
Greg Rice is on everybody’s must-meet list. Last
week, attorney, mediator, and planning commissioner Michael
Cooney
shuttled down to Channel Drive to visit Rice at
Ty-Central, Warner’s full-steam-ahead project plant, housed in the
old Arco Retreat. Word has it that Cooney made the “informal and
unofficial” visit to ferret out the issues driving Warner’s
Biltmore beach staircase appeal. The Montecito Planning
Commission
altered the design of a beach balustrade and
the Board of Supervisors is set to review that decision on November
7.

After breaking up warring titans Rob Lowe and
Fred Gluck, Cooney is reputed to be
Supervisor Salud Carbajal’s diplomatic can-do
pitbull. Anyone in a tiff in Montecito can be fairly assured of
having a chat with Cooney. Some locals are teasing that worldly
negotiator, former Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright
, has planned her November 6 visit just to get
tips from Cooney.

Not in My Front Yard: Channel Drive neighbors
met last week at John and Lucy Lundegard’s
Butterfly Beach
home to continue a nearly four-year-old debate about a
county-proposed pedestrian path above that beach. Currently,
walkers must choose between balancing precariously on uneven, old
asphalt or dangerously navigating between the bikes and cars on the
street. While the beachfront neighbors say they are concerned about
the hazards, they are also protective of their foliage and
views.butterfly006.sized.jpg Given they actually own the beach
to the mean high-tide line, their opinions count. In a straw vote
of the 20 people attending the meeting, only two opposed a new
path. County of Santa Barbara representative Matt
Doberteen
agreed to go back to the drawing board and try
to return in 90 days with a design that meets neighborhood
standards. One novel suggestion was to use “plastic
lumber”
to create a fake boardwalk. That idea probably
won’t pass muster, because who’d ever accept a “plastic”
Montecito?!

Montecito Meanderings: On Monday, October 6,
Dan Eidelson has been appointed to fill a vacancy
on the Montecito Sanitary District Board created by
retiring director Robert Begley. … Hugh
Boss
, Susan Keller, Harry
Kolb
, and Jean von Wittenburg are
retiring from the Montecito
Association
come January. All except Kolb will join
Joan Wells on the nominating committee.
Nominations for new board members remain open until October 20.
Look for longtime Montecito Association leaders Diane
Pannkuk
and Jack Overall to re-up for new
three-year terms. … Montecito neighbor and art dealer Frank
Goss
, of Sullivan
Goss
, is putting on a gallery show titled
Neo-Icons, featuring recent works by painter
John
Nava
.150627.jpeg The pieces are portraits of young
people wearing T-shirts with political messages. Goss said he’s
getting flack from some Montecito customers, who, it seems, prefer
pastoral pleasures to politics. The show runs October 19-November
22 at 7 E. Anapamu St. … Tip of the Montage bonnet to Montecito
residents Paul and Natalie Orfalea for hosting
former president Bill Clinton’s UCSB lecture on
October 13 at the Arlington. Perhaps the Orfaleas might want to
present the former president with a John Nava portrait.

Montecito Montage is dedicated to the people, places, and
politics of Montecito. Readers’ interests define the column, so let
us hear from you. Comment in the box below or at
j.amy.brown@att.net. The
opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and not
necessarily those of
The Independent.

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