Newsmakers with JR
Panel: SB Top Dog Paul Casey Calls It Quits, as SBCC President Departs Amid Turmoil; Covid #s Spike
Leaving on his own terms, City Administrator Paul Casey announced his surprise resignation on Friday, following an annus horribilis of pandemic, drought, economic downturn, racial disputation, media criticism - and a constant barrage of arrows from conniving political enemies.
The nonstop bedlam arising from the city's first district-elected City Council didn't help either.
Josh Molina, first to report on Casey's departure, goes behind the scenes on this week's episode of Newsmakers TV to talk about how much the fangs-first, get-Paul campaign, led by developer and political contributor Ed St. George, contributed to his timing (not that much) and how much simply owes to the decision of a top-rank public servant that at 55, he's fielded quite enough incoming to last a lifetime (much, much more). .
It doesn't hurt that he's maxed out on his pension, either.
Casey's move was the second high-profile departure in Santa Barbara's political world this week, after City College President Utpal Goswami earlier announced he was bailing -- just 20 months after being hired -- the sixth top executive the college has cycled through since 2008. Ryan Cruz, newly hired as a reporter for the Independent, joins the gang to break down the messy politics and intrigue that led up to the resignation, including a dispute over a vaccination mandate for returning students and other clashes with the Faculty Senate and elements of the Board of Trustees.
And as the head of the CDC this week warned of a "pandemic of the unvaccinated," Jade Martinez-Pogue updates the sudden uptick in local Covid numbers, as cases triggered by the highly infectious Delta virus variant increasingly appear among the nearly 50 percent of Santa Barbara County's population who have not received a vaccine -- while also explaining the latest in the ever-shifting guidance about wearing masks.
Plus: A quick round of political gossip, as Randy Rowse raises big bucks for the mayor's race, while Barrett Read tries to figure out how to spend all his campaign loot in tiny District 4.
If it's Friday, it's Newsmakers TV -- all here, right now.
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Cartoon of the Week
Images: Paul Casey (Noozhawk); Cartoon credit The New Yorker.