Barking Up the Wrong Tree

The Angry Poodle Barbecue has always been a South Coast refuge, dispensing informed commentary, satire, and wit in equal proportions. But “Biting the Hand That Bleeds You” IS wrong with Goleta on all counts. The idea that Goleta should take over responsibility for Isla Vista does not recognize the fact that the city would not exist if I.V. had been included in its boundaries. Too, one has to ask, why should Goleta take over the decades-old mess that the county and the university have created? I doubt Goleta has the clout to deal with I.V. landlords to curtail the gross overcrowding in that troubled area.

As for the Revenue Neutrality Agreement (RNA) Goleta has with the County — the worst ever written in California — Goleta’s objections are characterized as “sniveling and whining” with no attempt to justify this extraction, other than being “skunked” at the bargaining table. The county’s levy on Goleta is approaching $100 million, a staggering figure for our city of 30,000. Imagine what we might have done with that.

And why include the City of Santa Barbara in this discussion? Whatever our disagreement with Santa Barbara over the airport property, that fair city is really not involved in the RNA discussion at all; Isla Vista, though hurting the South Coast’s image in general, is not a problem of Santa Barbara’s making.

The plain fact is that when the Goleta area was in the county’s domain, it was vulnerable to the depredations of its neighbors. And our neighbors took advantage of that vulnerability. Now that Goleta is flourishing, it is time we reviewed all agreements in the hope of revising those that are unjust. Simple justice and fair play demand it. So, too, I’m hoping, will the Poodle.


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