Friday, October 19, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 33
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Santa Maria Sun / Letters to the Editor

Commentary 2: Lompoc needs new leadership

Justin Ruhge - Lompoc -

Mayor Bob Lingl, who is the best mayor Lompoc has had in the past 10 years, is retiring. Mayor Lingl, who beat out ex-Mayor John Linn, has been a blessing to Lompoc for the past four years. His well-attended Thursday get-togethers, "Coffee With Bob," has provided badly needed visibility on city issues.

The city of Lompoc is floating into financial oblivion with Mosby, Dirk Starbuck, and Victor Vega as Lompoc City Council members. These three have done untold damage to the future of Lompoc. In a recent political stunt, Mosby and Starbuck were seen filling gopher holes in Ryon Park; another example of short-sighted "problem solving." These are the same two councilmembers who decreased the park's budgets radically that caused Lompoc to lose the famous yearly dog show.

The total mismanagement of CalPERS civil service benefits by the CalPERS Investments management has created a financial disaster for cities all over California, and Lompoc has been caught up in this disastrous web. Lompoc's "bill" is more than $70 million.

Councilmember Mosby and his two befuddled followers, Starbuck and Vega, would not listen to the city staff members who are way above their pay grades with financial experience and had been working on this problem for several months. Mr. Mosby apparently knows nothing about financing of city government as he has consistently demonstrated at the City Council meetings, where all he could do was flip through his budget book and make endless derogatory comments about the process and the city staff.

Mosby claims to ask the "tough questions," but in fact he can get the answers by talking to the staff as Mayor Lingl and Councilmember Jenelle Osborne have done, but instead he wasted the city's time with endless arguments. He had stopped the process and delayed the approval of the budget by months while refusing to listen to the professional experts but listening to ex-Mayor Linn. The results are cutting everything, from police to fire to parks to staff. In the meantime we still have to pay "the bill" with interest.

The "Mosby Triad" opposing Mayor Lingl and Councilmember Osborne know nothing about city management or budgets, but because they were elected to the council, they think they do, and are not understanding the damage they are doing to the city.

The Triad's disdain for the former city manager spilled over when they punished the manager for his frankness by making him and his staff and the city attorney get off of the dais where they sat for years and sit way back on the visitors floor where the little three men could look down on them. Again showing how small-minded these three are. Wiemiller was the best manager Lompoc had, and he resigned under protest and was hired by Santa Maria as assistant manager. The assistant Lompoc manager quit, as well as the second assistant, and got better jobs elsewhere. The fire marshal left, as did the manager of Public Works. The city employees themselves are supporting new candidates now running to replace Mosby, Starbuck, and Vega with their own funds. 

The Triad cut the police budget drastically. They allowed sale of fireworks but did not add more police support. And the worst, they promoted an open-door policy on the sale of cannabis–dope–in Lompoc. Even more layoffs and closures are predicted for the future, maybe even the library, Chamber, and museum will go. They know no limit. Their antics had the county grand jury investigating Lompoc again.

Only by replacing these three destroyers of Lompoc can the citizens expect any near-term improvements. They are the willing dupes of the drug czars now expanding in Lompoc.

For these reasons, three citizens have volunteered to do this: Robert Cuthbert is running to replace Dirk Starbuck in the city's new District 3. Cuthbert is a longtime citizen, works at Home Depot, is a graduate of Cal Poly, and spent 11 years on the Lompoc Public Safety Committee. Shirley Sherman is running against Victor Vega in District 2. She is a Lompoc homeowner, works at a medical instrument company in Buellton and is president of her homeowner's association. Jenelle Osborne is running against Jim Mosby for the mayor position to replace Bob Lingl. Osborne is a homeowner, university graduate, local businesswoman, and past chair of the Lompoc Economic Development Committee. She has been on the council for two years. All are committed to a financial plan that does not destroy the city of Lompoc.

We urge you all to help them replace Mosby, Starbuck, and Vega to stop further damage to our venerable pioneer town in the Nov. 6 election. 

Justin Ruhge is a 25-year resident of Lompoc. Send your thoughts to letters@santamariasun.com. 


Please support Measure U

Jack L. Owen Jr. - Santa Maria -

I am the vice chair of the Measure U2012 Citizens' Oversight Committee, a native of Santa Maria, and am retired from the Santa Maria Fire Department after 34 years of service. I strongly encourage all Santa Maria voters to vote yes on extending Measure U to support local priorities identified by our neighbors.

This local sales tax measure provides needed funding for vital public safety services and quality-of-life programs that all residents expect and deserve.

Sitting on the oversight committee since its inception, I have been able to review all of the budget reports to assure transparency and that every Measure U revenue dollar is spent exactly as the city said it would do. Last year, 91 percent of the funds went to support Police and Fire services, and the rest to Recreation and Parks, Code Compliance, and the public library.

Supporters include the Chamber of Commerce, major labor unions, and the unanimous City Council, among others. Measure U is vitally important to meet the ever-growing needs of our community. All of the revenue generated by Measure U stays right here in our community. No funds may be taken away by the state. By extending Measure U, we protect the current voter-approved funding supporting essential services and enable our community to continue to thrive.


Vote yes on Measure U

Kevin Platt - Santa Maria -

Dear editor, I am the assistant superintendent of Human Resources for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District. I fully support extending and enhancing the local Measure U sales tax and urge all Santa Maria voters to also vote yes.

The funds provide many positive utcomes for the city and for our schools. We rely on our local police department to provide safety for all of our thousands of students, staff, and families.

Without the successful voter passage of this measure, the city will have to continue to further reduce staffing and programs, degrading public safety standards when demand for service is ever increasing. Extending Measure U will provide more support for our city residents, so I ask all voters to vote yes.


Dems have no class

Ellis Romero - Santa Maria -

Hear about the GOP senators' personal information posted on the internet? Did you read the posts were traced back to a computer in Rep. Maxine Waters' (D-Los Angeles) offices? Let's judge this as Democrats and treat her like Judge Kavanaugh. She denies any involvement or knowledge. Should we believe her? Not if we use Democrats' standards.

First, we throw out the constitutional protection that a person is innocent until "proven" guilty. Second, conclude she's guilty before we know any facts or hear any evidence. Third, call for the FBI to investigate but refuse to accept the report because it does not corroborate your conclusions. Fourth, threaten death and mutilation as Professor Carol Christine Fair did to the GOP senators who supported Kavanaugh. Don't forget the teacher who was suspended for advocating killing Judge Kavanaugh.

This is the Democratic Party of today. Rabid, in-your-face, attack, revile, forget the Constitution's rights afforded to anyone who disagrees with you, and destroy anyone who gets in your way. That is exactly why we need Judge Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. A judge who will uphold the Constitution as written in order to protect everyone's rights. Democrats chafe under the restrictions placed on them by the Constitution and want to change it.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) knows that a person is innocent until proven guilty. What about Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California)? Of course she knows that also? Didn't they both take an oath to uphold the Constitution of this country? If a person is "proven guilty" then respond accordingly, but until that happens they as representatives must uphold that person's rights as they would their own. Both intentionally failed miserably. Their behavior shouts hypocrisy and they are even more despicable than the media.





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