Palladini for President?

Moves for Montecito Association and Much More

reported by Montage on Monday
, incumbent Montecito Association
President Robert
will not seek another term at the helm of the
powerful Montecito homeowners’ organization.

Bill%20Palladini.jpgInstead, Montage hears that Bill Palladini, (pictured) entering
his second year on the board, will be elected to take over the
reins of the 1,000-member Montecito group at the February 13
monthly meeting. However, it may be one of those
“he-left–the-room-and-was-elected-president” moves, as Palladini is
currently traveling in South America. While he will miss his first
meeting in the hot seat, Montage understands he has agreed to
accept leadership and has asked first VP-nominee Diane Pannkuk to keep his seat warm
until his return.

And what a warm seat it is! In the past year, the 60-year-old
Association has received abundant, highly publicized criticism
about its actions and its purpose. Collector said while some
citizen comments were personal and painful, he weathered the
censure and was ready to accept a second year as president — but
that a recent family matter cinched his departure.

Bob Collector’s wife, Laura Collector, represents a
group of neighbors who oppose Westmont’s expansion
and Bob
believes the six-year-old issue is likely headed toward a
courtroom. Bob said a “Collector” lawsuit against the county could
cause community misunderstanding, and potentially bring unwarranted
harm to the Association.

“I determined I would stand down to alleviate any perceived
confusion between my wife’s lawsuit and my leadership role. It must
be made clear that there is no connection — a misunderstanding
would be unfair to the Association, the organization must remain
above reproach,” Collector explained.

He said he would remain on the Association’s board and, as the
immediate past president, he will serve on the organization’s
influential executive committee. Collector said as a board member
he looks forward to continuing his public service work on Montecito
land use issues and on finding safe routes to schools. He is also
looking forward to resuming full attention to his career as a
filmmaker and his role as a family man.

The full slate of nominated officers for the Associations 2007
year will include Palladini, president; Pannkuk, first vice
president; Barry Siegel,
second vice president; Richard Shaikewitz,
secretary; and Gene Sinser,
treasurer. Sinser will be appointed to the board at the February
meeting to replace David Myrick, bringing
New Years crystal ball predictions
to almost 100 percent

TAKE A HIKE! Supervisor Janet Wolf
tipped Montage off a secret: If you want her attention, take a
hike. To prove her point, she sponsored a brisk one-mile downtown
walk in support of the American Heart Association’s Go Red
for Women
. janet%201.jpg The new Second District supe gathered a
group of non-partisan supporters on the steps of the County
Adminitration building with she had one goal in mind: to stop heart
disease, which is the number one killer of women.

In honor of the event, most of the crowd wore red, including
Pedro Nava
, who said he continued to work on legislation to
insure better health care for women. Supervisor Wolf, who revealed
she has had a heart attack herself, reminded us that government can
help, but good health is up to each individual. With that advice
she sprinted off, leaving Montage panting in her dust, but showing
us she’s a supe on the move!

AND THE AWARD GOES TO: SBIFF! As the Santa Barbara International Film Festival
packs up for another year, Montecito is reminiscing over another
memorable event — great movies and an amazing host of parties
(complete this year with black-coated bouncers). Top star billing
is going to SBIFF executive director Roger Durling (entertaining with an
ever changing rainbow mane) for his uncanny ability to forecast a
year in advance who and what will be hot, and with the foresight to
book them into Santa Barbara for SBIFF.

Montecito homeowner Michael DeGruy (pictured)
is also getting rave reviews for
his interview with Nobel Peace Prize nominee Al Gore and filmmaker
Davis Guggenheim
. degruy.jpg DeGruy, a natural history filmmaker,
said he had only a few seconds with the interviewees before his
on-stage session, but he said he did lots of prep work before the
moment. “I never met these two, so I felt sort of naked because I
had no past anecdotes to rely on. I wanted a personal

Given DeGruy’s ebullient personality and free-spirited interview
ad lib style, he managed to turn the huge Arlington Theatre into an
intimate yet huge living room. He created a very personal, often
amusing, up close chat, which is why most of the ticket holders
choose these talk-only events. “I had a blast and Gore and
Guggenhiem told me they lots of fun,” DeGruy enthused. And that
pretty well sums up SBIFF 2007. Lots of fun!

Here’s Montage’s slideshow from the SBIFF ‘007.

WESTMONT APPEAL DENIED: Most awakening comment
at the five-hour Board of Supervisors Westmont hearing on Tuesday
came from Gerd Jordano. “My husband and I have
collectively lived in Montecito for 138 years — which, of course,
means my husband is 100 years old.”

In the crowd, the neighborhood protection group’s newest team
members, pit bull attorney
Barry Cappello
and movie producer Ivan Reitman. After
opponents and proponents tried to talk each other into conversion,
the outcome was as expected: the neighbors’ appeal was denied and
the Westmont project approved.

What’s the next step? Cappello turns on his meter and the above
mentioned “Collector” lawsuit moves closer to a reality, leading us
to the next item.

informs us that
Coral Casino protector Cynthia Ziegler
did not appeal the
Warner redo project to the state supreme court. So, after nearly
seven years, the issue is closed and a new Coral Casino is now set
to go forward without future furor. Rice says only he is “pleased”
— which, Montage believes, is putting it mildly!

DUNCAN DEPARTS: Ty Warner Hotel and Resorts has
announced the resignation of Duncan Graham, who
has managed to keep the San Ysidro Ranch up and
running (and receiving awards) during its two-year refurbishment.
His last day will be February 25. Graham is third Ranch manager
since Ty Warner purchased the property, but Graham
feels his mission is complete. He supplied Montage with the
following statement:

“When I was interviewed for this position over three years ago
by Ty, he made me several promises about how he would make the
Ranch a more magical and romantic experience without actually
changing it. He has more than lived up to those promises he made.
This month we will celebrate the completion of his $150 million
restoration and yesterday we reopened The Plow and Angel (The
Stonehouse has been open since December), and were completely full
within 30 minutes of (re)opening our doors. Never has The Ranch
looked better.”

The Ranch was recently awarded the Andrew Harper “Top Three
in North America.”
And how did Graham accomplish this during
the construction phase at the ranch? “With a smile and a little
pixie dust!”

Association is hosting a community reception for
Rick Caruso, new owner of the Miramar
. It will be held on
February 16 from 4 until 5 p.m. at Montecito Community
, and is open to the public.


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