Vote for Doreen Farr for Supervisor
October 28, 2008
I've chosen to endorse Doreen Farr for 3rd District Supervisor because she is the best choice for representing Goleta's needs. Here's a television commercial which further explains why I hope you will give her your vote.
Vote Yes on Measure H
October 18, 2008
Because of substantial state budget cuts, local schools need supplemental local tax dollars to fund programs that provide our students with the highest quality education possible. As many of you know, one of my main goals as a council member is to work closely with the school district to collaborate on ways the City of Goleta can help improve the education of our youth. I am supporting Measure H because the measure will help supplement math, science and technology education; as well as music art and theater.
The best part about Measure H is that it protects taxpayers by including a sunset clause, requiring a citizen oversight committee and allows for senior citizen exemption. These clauses are important to make sure the money gets spent where it was intended and will make us less reliant on state government budgets that are not always completed in a timely manner.
I hope you will join me in voting for these important local measure.
Leadership Academy and Oil Moratorium
September 12, 2008
I wanted to publicly thank Assemblymember Pedro Nava who nominated me to be his district representative to the Chrysler/California Caucus Institute Elected officials Training Academy. It was an excellent training through a partnership with the highly-respected Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ita Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.
The program was titled Advancing the Practice of Effectiveness, Transparency and Ethics in Local Governance. It was managed by the Senator Richard Polanco (ret). and was held in San Francisco, August 1-3, 2008.
In other news, I asked my fellow council members to place a letter in support of an oil moratorium off our coast on next Tuesday's agenda. I consider this an important issue as oil development off our coast has a direct effect on the City of Goleta. I hope you will join me in supporting the ban and my efforts to get council to do so as well.
Council Candidate Endorsements
August 18, 2008
Here's the text of my speech when I gave Margaret Connell my endorsement -- RA
Two years ago, I campaigned on three key issues;
Revenue Neutrality, Public Safety and the General Plan as it applied to the inclusionary housing rule.
I campaigned as an independent. I was not on one side or the other. I was not endorsed by or sponsored by the Goleta PAC. My training as a hostage negotiator has allowed me to focus as the person in the middle, the centrist, to listen to both sides and especially the public, as we guide our city into the future. This is a future that builds a sustainable community for future generations. I will be of little influence, however, should the council shift further into the current chamber majority.
I am here today because our city is at a critical crossroads. the council majority of Blois, Bennett and Onnen have placed our residents on a roller coaster ride, a ride that does not seem to have working brakes. I knew that the general plan required some changes in its housing element and staff had found some changes needed. What I did not expect was a general plan update process where Council would take testimony from the public and totally disregard what was being asked. We have come to the point of changing general plan policies that anticipate future development without the benefit of public discussion on the proposed projects. This is not keeping with our democratic principals of open and transparent government.
What started out as a minor tweaking turned into a major development driven change order. Over 100 amendments were proposed, of which, 34 were related to the Bacara. I have not weighed in on that project since it has not come before council other than some specific plan changes under threat of a current lawsuit against the city. all I ask is that the public be allowed to see the plan, how access to Haskell's Beach will be protected, how our protected resources will be preserved.
May I also remind you that the council majority of Blois, Bennett and Onnen approved a $500,000 line item budget for the general plan changes. I shudder to think what we could have used that money for.
One of the announced candidates for Goleta City Council characterized himself as aligning with the reasonable side of the council. referring, of course, to Blois, Bennett and Onnen.
So I ask you today,
Is it unreasonable to want to manage future growth with sustainability principals?
Is it unreasonable to want to rebuild Old Town without gentrification, so that those that work and live there continue to enjoy its uniqueness?
Is it unreasonable to want to protect our shores from future oil development and once approved, will be around for generations and generations.
If these are examples of being unreasonable, then I am proud to be an unreasonable person.
In closing, I was approached by all four candidates for Council and asked for my endorsement. It truly signified that I am the centrist that I ran to be and have continued to be. The decision on my endorsement amounted to one of should we have a council that continues to disregard comments and continue to taking its marching orders from a select few, or do I seek out and find those that will listen to our citizens.
I realize that those whom I have chosen to endorse will not agree with me all the time, nor will I always agree with them. I do believe that we will allow the public to direct us and we will work together. This race has been characterized as no growth vs. pro growth. I disagree. It is about careful planned growth and protecting the environment.
I have previously endorsed Ed Easton for Goleta City Council and proud to attend his press conference in front of many members of our community.
Today, I an honored to endorse Goleta's first Mayor, Margaret Connell. I ask every one of you to work hard in electing Ed and Margaret to the Goleta City Council.
Many Thanks to the Gap Firefighters!
July 14, 2008
As I begin to post more often to my website in the coming weeks and months ahead, I wanted to first take a moment to thank the many firefighters who protected Goleta and our friends in the mountain areas just above our city from the recent Gap Fire.
Some 3,000 homes, including my own, were on at least voluntary evacuation for much of early July. We could not have gotten to the present high level of containment without the assistance of our state government, fire departments from as far away as Arizona, and many local city and county agencies. I appreciate Earl Warren Showgrounds, Dos Pueblos High School and San Marcos High School for allowing their facilities to be used for firefighters and relief efforts. I am also proud of the many residents of our city who have put "Thank You Gap Firefighters" signs on their homes and at their place of business.
As always, I am open to hearing your feedback on how the city did in responding to this emergency or any other issues of interest to you. For city-related business, feel free to call me at City Hall (961-7500) or email me at email@example.com.