Tuesday, June 25, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on October 10th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 32 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 19, Issue 32

Commentary 2: John Linn endorses the Lompoc City Council triad

By Ron Fink - Lompoc

John Linn, who was the object of two historic Lompoc election losses to his opponent, is endorsing a triad of Lompoc City Council members who have consistently supported his agenda. Following his last defeat, Linn promised to "remain active" in Lompoc politics; since then he told me that he "lives two weeks a month in Arkansas."

The triad's judgement appears clouded by their loyalty to a person whose ideas sound good on the surface but can't stand the test of time or facts. Why Councilmembers Jim Mosby, Dirk Starbuck, and Victor Vega continue following someone who only lives half time in Lompoc is a mystery.

The triad's biggest failure was an ill-conceived motorsports park project; the idea sounded appealing, but once again it was the substance of the plan that killed the project. The wildly exaggerated predictions of general fund tax revenue were easily debunked using elementary math.

But that didn't deter the triad; they pushed forward wasting months of staff time while keeping their voting base satisfied that they could make the motorsports park dream come true.

What they failed to acknowledge was that the site chosen for the project was controlled by an agency outside of their influence. They knew early on that this project was a non-starter based on emails Linn received from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA dictates what can be placed on airport land, the site chosen for the park, but they pushed forward anyway, ultimately wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars of off-road-vehicle taxes and the park contributor's money.

Even today, they persist in this frivolous pursuit and blame everyone but their own poor planning for the failure.

An idea for a space port visitors center was punctuated by hollow presentations by people who had no means to build, operate, or maintain anything their glitzy proposals suggested. Even though regional politicians who had dealt with some of these people warned Linn about their schemes, he persisted and once again the triad supported his every wish, and again many hours of staff time were wasted.

While mayor, Linn tried to put forward a strong "clean up the city" policy while his own properties demanded code enforcement action, and Jim Mosby, the candidate he has endorsed for mayor in this election, has accumulated scores of code violations on several properties as well.

The cleanup idea was sorely needed, but without adequate resources, which the triad has consistently allowed to deteriorate, and the goal of cleaning up Lompoc cannot be achieved. A city can only have economic success and attract well-paying industries if the quality of life and the appearance of its viewscape is appealing. Another failure of leadership.

Legalizing "safe and sane" fireworks was another flop. The concept two of the triad supported was that the use of illegal fireworks would stop any revenue from sales taxes and fees and fines would support the policing effort. None of these predictions proved true, and the use of illegal fireworks has grown and continues unabated year-round.

Lastly, the triad has failed to provide the voters an opportunity to vote on a critical issue. The next budget, and every budget for the next 15 years currently, doesn't have enough revenue to adequately staff parks, police, or fire departments. Your safety and quality of life is at risk, and three council members won't even let you have a choice in the matter by placing a temporary sales tax measure on the ballot.

This trio had four years of political dominance to make things better, and all they produced was this list of failed ideas; if you want to see the city deteriorate further and you don't want the economy to grow, your vote to keep the triad in place will make it happen.

If, however, you think that a different team with fresh new ideas might produce a better result, support the challengers, all of whom should be given a chance to prove that Lompoc "can be great again." 

Ron Fink is a resident of Lompoc. Send your thoughts to letters@santamariasun.com.

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