I am new to town, having purchased a home two years ago. I have since learned that State Street is a mess, and, like other locals, find it less and less attractive to visit and shop, i.e., spend money.
I support change in Santa Barbara. The people who are in charge got us into this mess, and my vote is “no confidence.” I am not going to pretend that they can get us out of this problem.
We need executive leadership. “Execute” means “to make happen.” We already have many useful laws and ordinances that are unenforced. The homeless problem, for example, has many laws prohibiting the behavior that all of us find undesirable. We don’t need a new law that says “enforce the old laws.” We have the laws; we just need the leadership.
Similarly, State Street needs a complete renovation. Not just of the buildings but of the entire process of getting entrepreneurs to want to open new downtown locations. It has to be easy to get permits and be a true partnership with the city. Not a dictatorship of an approval board with “institutional memory,” or “that’s the way we’ve always done things.”
For those reasons, I want to see Angel Martinez become the next mayor and get to work executing the laws that already exist, and removing other obstructions to the renaissance of State Street.