New Show: Questions Swirl Over Consultant Contracts; Homelessness Up; Water Supply Down
The estimated cost of a City Hall consulting contract for the State Street Master Plan Committee ballooned to $800,000 this week, as the SB school board quietly slipped through another private consultancy deal to address a spate of racist incidents.
In a new episode of Newsmakers TV, Nick Welsh, Josh Molina and Ryan P. Cruz join the genial host in loudly and contentiously dissecting the two outside consulting deals, as controversy brews, both over the sudden and surprising spike in cost for the State Street long-range planning effort and about the lack of transparency in SB's Unified School District approval of an $8,100 contract with anti-racism activist and entrepreneur James Joyce III --- which appeared on the "consent calendar" portion of the board of education's agenda.
Breaking down some other top local news stories, the gang discusses whether the relatively small increase in the number of homeless people in this year's point-in-time count in Santa Barbara County represents progress or regression for the costly and complex efforts of government and non-profits to address the intractable problem - and updates the latest bad news coming from the State Water Project amid our 1,000 year drought.
Plus: Mr. Cranky Pants rants about the absurd hydrological cost of almonds - but finds common ground with Supervisor Das Williams over Covid.
Cartoon credit: The New Yorker.