If you want to find money in the city coffers to address the deficit, find out how many Santa Barbara officials have credit cards, how many are issued, and what is the annual cost to pay these credits.
Also, check travel expenses by city officials, including the City Council.
Who uses most of the travel allowance, and why is it used?
I am sure millions of dollars of wasteful spending will turn up and can be used to erase.
But instead of doing this, the burden to make up this deficit is put on residents.
Like me, many people work downtown or are members of gyms like 24-Hour Fitness and Gold’s Gym. Unfortunately, we have just seen an increase in parking rates to $2.50 an hour. Now, it is going to be a 50-cent increase and a decrease of free period by 15 minutes, which means from 75 minutes to an hour.
Many members are parking at a supermarket with plenty of underground parking — this started happening after the first rate increase. A few members canceled their memberships because they’ll pay an additional $50 to $80 a month for parking.
This rise in parking fees will be a self-inflicted wound on the downtown economy.
The media and citizens should get copies of the current budget and start questioning where all this money is spent and why?
It is important to remember that the Open Records Act gives citizens and the media the right to access all public records except those deemed confidential by state law.
Therefore, it’s essential to take the time to access these records and ensure that the city is using funds wisely on necessary costs.