Tuesday, December 18, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 41
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Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on October 17th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 33 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 19, Issue 33

Commentary 2: Lompoc needs new leadership

By 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. 




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