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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on July 29th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 21 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 21

Lingl challenges Linn for mayor of Lompoc

BY AMY ASMAN

Two-term Lompoc City Councilman Bob Lingl filed papers on July 25 to run against Mayor John Linn in the November election.

In an interview with the Sun on July 28, Lingl said he decided to challenge Linn because of some of the current mayor’s actions over the last several months.

“John and I are friends. We’ve been friends for a long time, and I hope when this is over, we’ll still be friends,” Lingl said, but added that he is concerned about Linn’s alleged “disrespect for fellow council members, specifically Councilmember [Ashley] Costa” and disregard for proper procedure.

He mentioned Linn’s last-minute decision in early April to place on the council’s agenda a letter in support of local businessman Jim Mosby, who was embroiled in a lawsuit against the county over his recreation fields. The move sparked accusations of a potential Brown Act violation, which the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office is currently investigating.

Linn told the Sun in April that he cleared the action with the city attorney before moving forward.

“And then two meetings ago,” Lingl said, “he tried to introduce information that would have been a Brown Act violation.”

At the June 17 meeting, Linn asked his fellow council members to give City Administrator Patrick Wiemiller direction on how the city should enforce its ban on illegal fireworks and uses of “Safe and Sane” fireworks.

“I’m troubled because what I’m hearing is seeking a concensus of the council on an item that is not on the agenda, so I have a Brown Act concern,” City Attorney Joseph Pannone told the council.

Lingl said he also feels that Linn “dismisses [Costa’s] ideas and doesn’t let us discuss them,” and that the mayor has been disruptive to city staffers by “continuing to go around the city administrator.”

“It’s frustrating to the staff and the council members, and it wastes time,” he said, adding that he and some other people have talked to Linn about these issues, but without lasting success.

Linn could not be reached for comment as of press time. Lingl said the mayor is currently out of town.

If elected mayor, Lingl said his priorities will be similar to Linn’s and include public safety, economic development, and code enforcement.

“But the approach I take will be different,” the challenger said. “I will be respectful, and I will follow protocol and the law.”

He also wants to develop a closer relationship with Lompoc Unified School District “to see what the city and district can do to help the schools and the children.”

“The top three things people look at when they’re looking to move to a new city are public safety, health care, and education,” Lingl said. “Our schools are good, but they could be better. The test scores show that.”