Panel: SB City Council Goes Full "Survivor" as Rivals Clash Over Budget Handouts
In a political fusion of "Survivor" and "The Price is Right," members of the Santa Barbara City Council this week produced a dramatic spectacle framed by conflicting values, personal rivalries and the pressures of an election year.
Amid the ongoing failure of Mayor Cathy Murillo (now seeking another -- five-year-- term) to bring collaboration, let alone harmony, to the city's first district elected council, members provided public glimpses of behind-the-scenes political and personal differences, as they approved or disapproved financial requests ranging from outreach for homelessness and money for goats to chomp down wildfire fuel, to rent for a Black community center and ongoing financial support for local public access TV.
On this week's edition of "Newsmakers TV," Nick Welsh and Josh Molina break down the policies and politics that shaped the discourse and also offer their commentary and analysis on the council's struggle to find an alternative to homeless encampments throughout the city, with proposals that extend from inviting the unhoused to camp at City Hall to dispatching many of them to Goleta.
Joining the gang for the first time is freelance writer Ryan P. Cruz, until recently editor in chief of the Channels at SBCC, who makes an impressive debut and offers a first-hand look at the extraordinary community celebration that unfolded with the recent return to her Central Coast home of Juana Flores, matriarch of a large local family, who was abruptly deported to Mexico during the Trump Administration but now has been reunited, thanks to a campaign led by Rep. Salud Carbajal and retired Superior Court Judge Frank Ochoa.
Plus: good news and bad news about Covid, the latest on high fire season conditions and District 4 election gossip.