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Santa Maria Sun / Canary

The following article was posted on September 27th, 2022, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 23, Issue 31 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 23, Issue 31

No stopping

By THE CANARY

Seems like the Santa Maria City Council is setting itself up for a game of Whac-A-Mole with unhoused residents living in vehicles. 

Councilmembers unanimously approved closing four streets in the city to parking from midnight to 4 a.m. in an effort to get those unsightly RVs, overstuffed cars, and SUVs that neighborhood businesses have been complaining about to skedaddle, move it along, you’ve got no home to go to but you can’t stay on Furukawa Way, Hanson Way, Kameo Street, or White Court

Mark Zarate, who spoke on behalf of one of the complaining businesses, told the City Council on Sept. 20 that RVs and cars interfere with access to businesses in the area. A city staff report noted, an increase in vandalism and littering in the area and the illegal dumping of solid waste from vehicles. 


That means poop on the streets, and we definitely can’t have that. 

But these RVs aren’t just going to disappear. The owners will find other places to park their homes. And what’s the city going to do? Implement “no stopping zones” on streets across the city from midnight to 4 a.m.? 

It’s untenable. So what’s the solution?

They have to exist somewhere. We can’t just chase unhoused residents from place to place to place to place to place. Can we? 

If you ask Mike Stoker, who’s running for the state Assembly’s 37th District, fighting inflation will help. How’s he going to fight inflation? He didn’t elaborate. It might have something to do with Proposition 13, though. But he also said addressing the mental health and drug crises will fix homelessness too. He believes we need mental hospitals to stick them in! 

“One of the biggest mistakes Gov. [Ronald] Reagan made was closing down our mental hospitals,” he said. 

That’s quite a throwback! I’m pretty sure he did that because some of the treatment that patients were receiving was less than savory. But never mind that, Stoker wants to lead a bond measure effort to fund mental health clinics. 

“We pass billions of dollars in bonds that do very little for improving our quality of life,” he opined. 

So why not pass another one? 

Stoker’s opponent, current 2nd District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart, believes the “state must support policies that prevent people from falling into homelessness.” OK.  Care to provide details?

He may not have elaborated on preventing homelessness, but he did advocate for putting people into small housing units at multiple locations around the county and providing services to them, which he said could be a model for the state. 

Rumor has it one such location is going in next to the Santa Barbara County Government Center off Betteravia. How do we think people are going to feel about that? Not good, if Ross Mayfield’s cartoon this week (page 10) is any indication. 

Maybe the city can create a “no stopping zone” all around the government center to prevent the riffraff—including county officials—from clogging up the streets with their solid waste. They can always park somewhere else.

The canary never parks. Send comments to canary@santamariasun.com.










Weekly Poll
What do you think about a farmworker resource center in Santa Barbara County?

It's a great way to create a network of collaboration and reach people in need.
It's been needed in the county for a long time and should have been made earlier.
We don't have the funding now, but we should come up with ideas in the meantime.
We don't need it. There are plenty of resources readily available.

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