City Councilmember Das Williams flew to Washington, D.C., to lobby Congress to fund several “shovel-ready” water projects with a combined price tag of $10 million. Though Williams has faced criticism for junketeering at taxpayer expense, this trip’s $500 cost was born by the Cachuma Operations and Maintenance Board (COMB), whose plans include constructing a parallel water tunnel connecting Lake Cachuma with South Coast water agencies to maintain water supply if an earthquake should damage the existing tunnel. Williams also lobbied federal representatives to fund steelhead trout restoration. (/williams35)
Number crunchers at Santa Barbara City Hall claim the city’s budget shortfall for this fiscal year is $6.7 million rather than $5.5 million as previously calculated. The growing shortfall is attributed to a decline in revenues, especially bed taxes from area hotels and motels.
Tony Strickland fulfilled one of his campaign promises by opening his new Santa Barbara office on 2/27. The Republican state senator, who has offices in Sacramento and Simi Valley, encouraged people to take advantage of his “open door policy” and make appointments to speak with him or his staff. When Strickland is not in Sacramento Monday through Thursday, he will be splitting his Fridays evenly between the new office and the one in Simi Valley. (/strickland35)