Ernie Salomon, candid public access host and hyperlocal crusader, announced last Thursday he is separating from “No on S,” the grassroots campaign he was instrumental in launching against the $288 million Santa Barbara City College bond measure. Salomon has charged the hardest in online forums, outpacing the eight other members who have been working quietly to oppose the facilities bond that would replace and a half-dozen buildings on campus. The measure needs a 55 percent yea vote to be successful.
Salomon’s abrupt resignation effectively means his frequent emails — often bold and in all capital letters — will not be under the “No on S” logo. The main reason for his decision, Salomon said, is because the group process is too constricting for his tactics, which often involve quick responses to news articles and op-ed pieces. “I feel like I can move faster independently than I can with a group of people,” he said. Salomon still plans to support “No on S” and emphasized there are not any problems within the group. Glen Mowrer, also the host of a public access show — The Next Step — is the campaign’s organizer.
As for “Yes on S,” the campaign is supported by a number of education enthusiasts and elected officials, including Assemblymember Das Williams, city councilmembers Gregg Hart and Cathy Murillo, Superintendent David Cash, and school boardmembers Monique Limón, Ed Heron, and Kate Parker. So far, the campaign has raised at least $66,000, including about a dozen checks with amounts exceeding $1,000 such as from RHS Construction, Frank Schipper Construction, Lundgren Management Corp., and Griffith & Thornburgh. “No on S” has formed a committee but does not yet have any reportable funds. An exact tally will be available on October 6.
The Democratic Party for Santa Barbara County voted to take a neutral stance on the measure last week while the local chapter of the Republican Party voted to oppose the measure. The Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association and the Chamber of Commerce both endorsed it.