Pension Costs, SBA Clash Vex City as Pot Tax Fail, Mental Health Needs Roil County; Solvang Skeever
It's budget season for local governments across California, the time of year when reporters typically struggle with their congenital deficiencies in funny math, numeric rigor and the basic laws of arithmetic.
Fortunately for us, Newsmakers TV's all-star panel of top local journalists this week includes two exceptions who prove the rule, bringing clarity, insight and conscientious computation to several of the most perplexing issues in municipal finance.
Josh Molina tackles the big, and repeatedly under-covered, quandary over hundreds of millions of dollars in unfunded pension liability for which the city of Santa Barbara is on the hook for public employees past and present, while Ryan P. Cruz breaks down the latest facts about county taxes in detailing the ongoing collapse of cannabis revenues amid one of the most egregious policy failures in recent history.
Nick Welsh chimes in with some real-life implications of the latter situation, recounting the crying need for expanded mental health services, at a time when advocates are fighting a fiscal and philosophical battle against traditional strategies of locking up the afflicted in county jail.
Plus: the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen has some harsh words in response to the gay bashing now abiding in the ersatz Danish town of Solvang; Goleta neighbors make a big noise over their growing annoyance, irritation and headaches with SB airport expansion; the Toontown playground project advances'; superblooms and the electrifying Leah Stokes, a superstar Santa Barbara climate science activist who's making waves across the country.
All this and more, right here, right now on Newsmakers TV.
Watch the new show via YouTube below or by clicking through this link. The podcast version is here. The program also airs on TVSB, Cox Cable Channel 17, Monday-Friday at 8 p.m. and at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. KCSB, 91.9-FM, broadcasts the show at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays.