Vote out the incumbents

October 24, 2012

OPINION By MARGARET O’HARA-GORDON

If you like the way things are in San Luis Obispo, vote for the incumbents.

They have accomplished much: no more free parking downtown on Sundays; doubling of water and sewer rates every 3-5 years; outlawed feeding ducks, lawn furniture and visible trash cans; hired a city manager at a total cost of $330K per year (salary and benefits); squandered money on painting utility boxes at $1500 each, a double-decker bus, a more than $1 million fire truck for non-existent high-rise buildings and postponed building a much-needed fire station; gave away a city parking lot downtown for just over $1 million to the Copelands; looked the other way when city employees dumped toxic waste at the Corporation Yard (federal and state agencies are still investigating – estimated $7 million in fines against the city); and they have the nerve to claim everything is wonderful.

Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Vote for Steve Barasch for Mayor. He has the backbone to lead and get things done. This change can’t come soon enough.

 


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NorthCountyDude

Dr. Ashbaugh is great. He is way into community service and teaches at AHC. He also has experience in city planning for 30 years in our local area.


Regarding SLO, I lost interest once the Dalidio Ranch project lost Macy’s. SLO does not need Lowe’s and Target when we have Costco and Home Depot.


womanwhohasbeenthere

Yes, Dr. Ashbaugh is great, he teaches a class at AHC in Santa Maria and substitute teaches in the San Luis Coastal USD. Great career, great business man. No wonder he wants to get elected so badly – he can’t find a real job nor make his own as a planner.


r0y

NO THANK YOU. I will not be voting for Mr. Barasch, but appreciate your opinion nonetheless.


cosmos7

I’m with you on most of those points, but the double-decker bus was actually a money-saver. Routes 4 and 5 through Cal Poly were getting so dangerously overcrowded at peak times the city was having to run multiple vehicles to handle the load. Twice the vehicles, twice the cost…


The double-decker allows extra capacity without the added cost of running a second vehicle, and was purchased largely with grant money.


The City actually has a public FAQ on the bus if you’re interested…

http://www.slocity.org/publicworks/download/transit/ddfaq.pdf


kayaknut

More details are needed, I recall some articles about the double decker bus and wasted funds on a garage or something, it seems minds may of thought well when it came to buying the bus but not when planning the storing, washing, and maintenace for it. Again all details and funding need to be addressed for some items. I have seen the high rise fire several times driving through the Vons parking lot during peak times for what practice? That doesn’t seem to make sense, practice may be needed but in a busy parking lot? How about an empty lot with cones for objects.


kayaknut

That should be fire truck…… even when I proof read I miss things…..


Crusader

To suggest the SLO double decker bus “was actually a money-saver” is pure steer manure!


The justification was done with the assumption that the DD bus would be filled and that the alternative was two standard buses. It was clear from the beginning that that assumption was flawed. It was crafted to justify someone’s pet wet dream. As it is, the DD bus drives around 1/2 full or less. What a waste of taxpayer dollars!


It was also far more expensive to purchase and maintain than a standard bus. Further due to its height, it cannot be used on all routes. It’s a boondoggle. The City’s FAQ is bullcrap — just an attempt at CYA.


What **might** have made sense is a higher capacity articulated bus. It would have been far cheaper to purchase, it would have been usable on ALL the routes and despite what the “experts” said, it could have been staged downtown to unload/load passengers. Of course and articulated bus is not nearly a sexy as a DD bus and buying one would not have allowed someone at the City to experience their pet wet dream.


cosmos7

Have you been on routes 4 / 5 (the Cal Poly routes) during peak hours? The DD is packed. The city acknowledged that there are two routes the DD can’t run due to height issues, but Cal Poly ridership accounts for more than 60% of SLO Transit total ridership… the DD is there to accommodate that.


As far as the articulated bus… I guess you couldn’t be bothered to read the FAQ I linked or the evaluation study on deployment of an articulated bus in SLO, which clearly indicated it would not work due to the tight corners within the city, especially downtown. Not to mention that it would have required a rework of the DTC which had just been rebuilt a couple of years prior.


Crusader

The DD is 1/2 (or more) empty most of the time. The FAQ is BS. I have personally witnessed LONG 2, 3 and 4 segment articulated buses winding their way through small European cities that are far together than SLO.


The “DTC” would not have had to be “reworked.” It’s never full and thus could easily handle an articulated bus or two IF they were actually needed.


The DD was some bored employee’s wet dream and nothing more. The facts were massaged until the DD was justified. A perfect example of gov’t waste.


gypsycelt

Barasch, Strzepek, and Rice are really the best options for change.


womanwhohasbeenthere

The comments here are very interesting – no one has refuted the FACTS stated by Margaret O’Hara-Gordon. Jan Marx has a track record – as do all the long time incumbents(Carpenter being the exception) – and no one here is refuting it. I guess it’s true, when you can’t attack the issue, attack the messenger. I guess all these writers would rather suffer through more of the same than take a step to do something. Steve Barasch is running to change things. He doesn’t need the money or the “prestige” of leading a city heading over a fiscal cliff, and frankly I don’t know why anyone would want to expose himself/herself to the rigors and scrutiny of a campaign nor the nasty diatribes of writers like these. I think he will do an excellent job and shake things up – that is what we need! He is one voice but he is a leader and it is time for a change.


BTW – Alan Settle owned all kinds of property rented to students but he was never denigrated for that. I guess that was “different.” Nice double standard here.


slomike

Romney Lite. Those incumbents have given this town international prestige. They have dealt evenhandedly with government workers and developers. Like the presidential race, only fools would throw away real gains by hard-working, civic minded officials for folks who made a lot of dirty money and then decided they wanted a trophy job.


Crusader

Is your posting a weak attempt at hilarity?


The Gimlet Eye

Pretty good list of reasons there, MARGARET.


But I have a better idea. Put a moratorium on government for 5 years.


bobfromsanluis

I will be one of the first progressives to state that I am not particularly happy with what has happened under the guidance of Jan Marx, but I also know a neighbor who is a contractor that has had business dealings with Steve Barasch and states, in his opinion, that Mr. Barasch has no principles concerning fairness or compassion, it appears that for Mr. Barasch, in making business deals, it is all about the profit for him no matter who else suffers with the terms of any deals he makes. I was seriously leaning towards supporting Steve for the Mayor’s race, but after talking to my neighbor, I will stay with Jan Marx; better to deal with what you know than to bring in an unknown factor that could turn out to be much worse in the long run. Do we want someone with ties to the construction business making deals for city projects? Like I said, I am not happy with some of what Jan Marx has done, especially the deals concerning the Copeland brothers, but at least those deals eventually had some daylight shown on them; my concern about a Mayor Barasch is that there could be deals made that would never see any daylight. Given the little bit I have learned about him, he sounds a little like a much smaller league Mitt Romney ….


SLOBIRD

Really, you are going to take the words of a neighbor (who might be a great neighbor) who is a business person, in this case a contractor, that could have had a bad business dealing with this person and you are basing your vote on that comment. You write her frequently and are using well informed (may not always agree, but you seem to do your homework well) but then to base a critical vote on a neighbor’s comment is so petty. Look at the issues above, look at the positions Marx has stood behind and supported, listen to Barasch’s idea’s and then decide. The Mayor’s term is for 2 years, vote him out after two years, but keeping someone you know is an idiot for someone you THINK might be an idiot does not make sense. VOTE FOR CHANGE, and then if you don’t like it, VOTE FOR CHANGE AGAIN but first get informed and vote based on facts, information at forum’ and other gathering, Bob!


bobfromsanluis

Actually, my contractor neighbor has had three separate attempts at business deals with Mr. Barasch, and each of them went south when the terms of the deal were firmed up. It seems that not only is Mr. Barasch not able to make a good business partner, but he apparently cannot remember who has dealt with in the past. My neighbor has an outstanding reputation in his particular field of work and is a good, solid judge of character as well, so I trust his judgement of Steve Barasch.

I never equated Jan Marx as an “idiot”, although a few of her actions could have been labeled as “idiotic”; I am not in favor of replacing her just to replace her; if there were a quality candidate competing for her seat, I would consider voting for them, but Steve Barasch will not be getting my vote.


CommonSenseMama

You are comparing someone’s actual record with your hypothetical what if’s. What we need right now is accountability, not speculation.


“but at least those deals eventually had some daylight shown on them” So that makes it ok?


bobfromsanluis

Of course it doesn’t make them “okay”; it makes it so we, the general public, can see who is doing what with whom. Without daylight (investigative reporting, like is done by Karen, here on CCN, those who make secret sweetheart deals can continue to do so, either enriching themselves or their friends and/or cronies. I’m not sure how you got “there” since I clearly stated that I would vote for someone other than Jan Marx if there was a good candidate running against her, I just don’t believe that Steve Barasch is that candidate.


womanwhohasbeenthere

Well you can’t always get what you want. It’s tough to find anyone who wants to take on a race like this. Steve may not be very “”warm and fuzzy” but we need someone who will make tough decisions, not kick them down the road. I know the present council is not up to the task, hence the mess we are in. I strongly urge you to reconsider.


r0y

You can always vote for Don Hedricks. While a bit ornery, he does see bigger picture issues as they effect our fair SLO town…


slow

Is a slumlord 9/11 truther what SLO needs in a mayor?


Crusader

Beats an individual (Marx) who is working on contract under the radar for developers (Copelands) while serving on the SLO City Council!


womanwhohasbeenthere

Good point, Marx voted to give the Copelands the city parking lot for a measly $1.1 million so they could build another in-town high-rent shopping center for tourists. She was involved with the Copelands in trying to keep Ernie Dalidio from developing his property. For her part, she was fined $3000. That’s it. Now all the rest of that property has been developed – Target, Home Depot, Costco and so on – traffic is a total mess out there despite hiring the best and brightest and spending millions of dollars on staff and planners to resolve traffic problems. The overpass will never be built – great negotiating skills there! We will be living with this mess forever. Let’s give Jan Marx and her ilk more time to mess up more. Can’t wait to see another bar downtown – o wait that has already gone through “the process”. Who got paid off for that one?


SLOBIRD

There are lots of tenants that dislike there landlords because they don’t like the rules. Rent to someone and no pets allowed (then sneak in a pet), must maintain the property (then do nothing), continually creating back ups and other issues at the property and lastly, “The rent is due on the first”. Anyone who owns or manages property know how unhappy tenants are especially in a college town. This is off the table for me!


SpeakTruth

I think 9/11 Truthers deserve respect for demanding answers and accountability from our government. They don’t do it for personal gain, they do it for the overall good. I wish more people had the courage to stand up against insurmountable criticism in the name of what is right.


womanwhohasbeenthere

My understanding is Barasch,as an expert on high-rise buildings, was asked o do an analysis of the Twin Towers.


kettle

And comedy gold that analysis is.


kettle

Lol, thanks for those links.


Vote for Don!