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David Landecker Endorsed for SB City Council


David Landecker, the former Santa Barbara City Councilman who was forced to resign from the Council after he was caught stealing from the Home Improvement Center, is back. Not only is Mr. Landecker back, but he is being endorsed by the Democratic Women of Santa Barbara County. According to the questionable endorsement…

David Landecker

“David Landecker was chosen for endorsement due to his broad and deep experience in the matters of most concern to the City of Santa Barbara and the Democratic Women. In addition to his successful careers as a lawyer and businessman, David has a wealth of expertise in city planning, environmental protection, financial and non-profit management, housing, health care and growth control. Among his diverse community activities, David has volunteered for more than twenty years as an attorney and board member for the Citizens Planning Association, and has recently retired as Executive Director from the Environmental Defense Center. David has a proven track record in standing strong on women’s issues. Of special interest to the Democratic Women was his work as CEO of the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics where he spearheaded construction of the Eastside Medical and Dental Clinics and other major improvements, including creating two regional Health Program Centers to address issues of women’s and family health.”

David has a truly extensive knowledge of the history and complexity of the issues facing Santa Barbara, said Gail Teton-Landis. “He will be a strong force on the Council for implementing the new General Plan and solving the financial challenges that face the City.”

49 Responses to “David Landecker Endorsed for SB City Council”

  1. Renew -not regurgitate

    No second chance for anyone taking a partisan endorsement for a non-partisan office. That is your crime today Landecker; for those who might have forgiven your crime from yesteryears.

    We don’t need partisan, tone deaf, out of touch council members with social engineering agenda. We now have to clean up after too many years of exactly this type of city hall mismanagement David. You missed the boat and the pro-union Dem Women endorsement you eagerly accepted shows how out of touch you have become.

    For those reasons, no second chance for Landecker. We don’t want to turn the clock back to the very same times that got us into trouble today. Too many other good choices to make that will take this city in new directions and not re-visit the failed past. David, we ran out of spending other people’s money, which is a crime a bad as intentionally stealing from a local business.

  2. Anonymous

    Wonder if this is the case that no reasonable person wants to run for office these days. Or is it that once you run for office that’s all you do.Lifetime politicians.

  3. anon.

    He definitely deserves (does anyone “deserve”?) a chance to run. But whether he should deserve a vote will depend on where he stands on the issues facing the city now. Homelessness, transients, gangs/criminal activity, and looming above all the question of increase in residential density, with a cutting back of parking requirements are the major issues.

    An increase in density as allowed for in certain areas will change the character of the city, especially with the cutting back on onsite parking requirements that will fill the neighborhood streets with parked cars. It is a major issue.

    Where he stands on the issues will determine my vote. If a vote for him looks like a simple rubber-stamp increase in the Democratic/public employee union majority on the council, he does not have my vote.

    • On a Gender Bender

      Democratic Women endorsement clearly puts Landecker in the pro- public employee union and social engineering agenda rubber stamp camp.

      Why else does this partisan women’s political group exist, other than to foster more nanny-statism at every level of government they can influence.

      We need council members who are independent of partisan special interests and pre-determined social litmus tests.

      Employee compensation reform, safe streets and city infrastructure needs are the top issues this campaign. Not more birth control for teenagers and hugs for gang-bangers, while allowing vagrants to take over down town retail.

    • Anonymous

      He has a long history of saying whatever people want to hear. I suggest nobody trust him farther than he can be thrown. Good think is people of his ilk usually make their own noose and hang themselves. A vote for him is exactly that. For him. He does what he wants, for himself.

  4. Anonymous

    If the once-disgraced Mark Sanford could run and win in South Carolina, and the pathetic Anthony Wiener is back, unbelievably contemplating another race, why wouldn’t the David Landecker think he’s entitled to occupy the seat he was forced to resign from? Plus, maybe he’ll rely on his previous behavior to come up with some innovative ways to solve our City’s “financial challenges,” like he’s done before. If you don’t like the price, just switch it.

    • Anonymous

      He deserves a second chance but won’t get the votes.

      • Anonymous

        Not in my back yard! Go give him another chance someplace where his behavior is tolerated. How do you know when David Landecker is lying? His lips are moving.

    • anonymous

      I say sign him up for the newest TV Reality show, ‘Jaws’ and have accident. Jaws wins. we win. chum sb waters for those you love.

  5. Anonymous

    How about moving Santa Barbara forward not back into the 20th Century.

  6. Split hairs on the dog

    Landecker’s role as a Democratic vote splitter should not go under-appreciated.

    Anything that breaks up the Daraka-Dem slate train wreck is to be encouraged. (No to Dem slate: White-Hart-Alley)

  7. Lagomarsino

    If he can switch the price tag on city benefits he’ll get my vote :-)

  8. voter

    Party endorsements aren’t necessarily a bad thing. I’m sure candidates on the right will accept an endorsement from their respective party. I have no part affiliation so it won’t sway my vote on way or the other. As I’m certain there is more to these candidates than their party affiliation.

    I can’t say I’m too familiar with David Landecker and wasn’t around when he served on the council. I get that he screwed up and I haven’t made up my mind about what that means yet for me.

    I’ve met Megan Ally. She seems bright and capable. She has a lot to prove of the next few months to show she’s up for the job.

    Michael Jordan has also indicated he’s running. A smart guy with Planning Commission chops. I look forward to hear why he’s running.

    Frank Hotchkiss and Bendy White both have clear records and distinctions between the two of them. Don’t know if this is baggage or benefits for them. The polls will decide.

    Gregg Hart is by far one of the smartest and most responsible elected officials we’ve had in the last 20 years. I will be supporting him while considering the others.

    • Keep party politics off council

      Party politics and endorsements are always a bad thing for non-partisan city offices. Too bad the Democrats took the lead on this. Or not, since a Democratic endorsement is now a well known toxic surrogate for employee unions these days. Good to get at least three names now off the table so voters can concentrate on those who won’t be carrying the Democratic albatross around their necks. (Dems: White-Hart-Alley)

    • Run the numbers

      You have known Gregg Hart is the best thing that happened to Santa Barbara in the past past 20 years, but don’t know anything about David Landecker’s shoplifting incident that caused his city council resignation in 1991? Okay.

    • White Out

      Bendy White has a clear record of distinction? Please enlighten us.

      Frank Hotchkiss at least got rid of the RVs on Cabrillo Blvd which means he should become a permanent council member.

      But all Bendy has done is take union marching orders and nothing else in the record besides this little calculated photo op on the gang injunction agenda item knowing this issue was going no where until the courts pick it over.

      That bit of political grandstanding is not what we want on city council. We want council people who roll up their sleeves and get the work of the city on the agenda so they can do something about it; not just get some cheap headlines in an election year.

      White is out. He had four years. Zero, zip, nada. Sorry voter, you are clearly at pains to make points for your favored candidates but it all sounds too artificial.

      • Frank rocks

        Frank made sure the city did the right thing by the Milpas area on their complaint against Casa Esperanza last year. He pushed for the gang injunction. He and Randy got the RVs off Cabrillo Blvd. He put in new guidelines to try to stop the CDBG giveaway to Homeless, Inc. That’s the kind of councilman we need.

    • anon.

      Gregg Hart may be smart but he also was extremely arrogant in his 8 years on the Council. Seems to me that “termed out” should mean exactly that: no repeated bites at the apple. He hasn’t said whether he will be giving up his county transportation job; seems that job would be a clear conflict.

      • Pot holes

        White – Hart – Alley = road to no where

  9. Anonymous

    Michael Jordan may have “planning chops” but he sure was on the wrong side of Measure Y – supporting the proposition that the city give parkland to a private developer, thankfully 70% of the voters said no. Not sure what else he has done, but that’s a big strike against him in my book.

    I agree Gregg Hart is bright, and he’d be at the top of my list if he committed to leaving his job at SBCAG if he’s elected. He says he has a legal ruling that it isn’t a conflict, but it seems like one to me (and probably others); the city funds the programs and is part of the policy making board.

    I am old enough to remember David Landecker and his problems. He may have done some good things in the community, but I think he had his chance and we can do better.

    Looking forward to hearing what Megan Ally and Lesley Wescomb has to say. I like bright women and think we need more of them in government, but I don’t know much about either one of them.

    Should be an interesting summer and fall.

  10. Deja vu david

    Wat a joke. As a Dem i am ashamed that this mans ego demands that he force himself on the public once again. I lived here through his price tag switching debacle and his less than repentant reaction. Unseemly then. Unseemly now. We have a lot of great candidates who are free of criminal records. Lets focus on them.

  11. Anonymous

    I wonder what the owners of the Home Improvement Center think of Landecker’s candidacy, especially after his arrogant and privileged behavior when he got caught. Imagine if this was a Republican candidate who had this in his/her background and had the audacity to run.

    • anon.

      If it were a Republican candidate there would be exactly the same outcry. David destroyed his political career and made a fool of himself (hard to know which is worse), but it was about 20 years ago….

  12. voter

    @run the numbers: 20 years – 2013 is 1993. Wasn’t around for Landecker’s incident.

    @ white out: implied there’s a distinction between the two incumbents. Not that either of them have served with distinction.

  13. Anonymous

    David isn’t exactly “back.” He didn’t go away. He kept working hard in the community. For more than 20 years he has worked hard. I’d consider voting for him. But I’m looking forward to the forums.

    • Anonymous

      But he does want to get “back” to the same seat on City Council he had to resign. If you remember, he tried to keep the incident quiet by telling the clerk at the store that he was a councilman. There must be lots of documentation and accounts in the News Press, because that happened a long time ago, when it was still a newspaper.

  14. This is the best we can do? It’s embarrassing: Parks and Rec and Planning commissioners with no track records. A has-been that shoplifted as a councilman, and was caught and tried to cover it up using his councilman standing. Another has-been councilman that can’t see there is a total problem with deciding city matters and being an employee on a multi-government board where his city is a participant. Libs take note: how many of you objected to oil and energy companies deciding US energy policy? Same thing here! Good people have run: Terry Tyler, Loretta Redd, Sharon Byrne, and more. We didn’t elect them. Why not?

    • Anonymous

      Well, maybe the answer lies in today’s column by Loretta Redd, about the high cost of running for office. What regular citizen has access to that kind of money, or the stomach to go begging for it? There are likely many many qualified individuals who would love to serve this community, but the money issue would never allow them to jump into the arena–unless they’re promised funding by the usual endorsement groups. Ironically, giving Council Members an actual wage has only made this problem worse.

    • Sorting it out

      At least the Parks and Rec commissioner has a degree in finance, a business background and a public record as a current civic volunteer in one of our most important city departments. Lesley Wiscomb, if you want to know this candidate’s name.

      • Anon.

        What’s the city department in which she is a volunteer? (Being on a commission is not being part of that department, although Wiscomb unfortunately seems to act as though she is an official part of the Parks/Rec Department.)

        • Sorting it out

          Not sure why you need to split hairs on this – being on a citizens advisory commission to Parks and Rec can be seen as being “part” of the department since it is a legally constituted position created by the City of Santa Barbara . Or not, under your rules of semantic technicality.

          Serving on any city authorized advisory commission does put any volunteer advisory committee member in a position to observe, understand and participate in the transactions of that department and how it interfaces with the workings of city government as a whole.

          Being a planning commission member has often been the launching pad for many a future city council person. A member of the city Parks and Recs commission should be no less so of an important volunteer position because it was created to support a very important city government function.

          Even more so than planning or ABR, since it deals with the operations of a vast part of the city’s infrastructure and ongoing programs. Planning and ABR deal more specifically with applications from outside entities. P&R deals with actual city operations.

          • Re sorting

            It’s not a hair-splitting technicality to insist that the volunteer advisory committees are Santa Barbarans’ oversight of the departments, not arms of the staff, not part of the department.

            It’s the only way citizens do have a voice in how they’re run and that voice is lost when the advisory committee forgets its role is to be the voice of the people, not a cozy rubber stamp of the staff.

            One decision of the Parks that’s been very much in the news the last months has been the give-away of the Las Positas tennis courts to Elings for an annual rent of $1/year. Was this agreed to by the advisory committee and, specifically, P&R chair Wiscomb?

          • Sorting it out

            To re-sorting: I see we are using similar terms, but meaning something quite different. Thanks for clarifying your terms and tying it to the Las Positas tennis court matter.

  15. Lagomarsino

    David is a good dude and has paid his dues but why he wants to open up these old wounds is beyond me.

  16. David Landecker

    I was distressed to read the Santa Barbara View editorial referring to me only as a “disgraced” City Councilman, and many of the comments above. I cannot deny that I was disgraced 22 years ago, when I resigned from the Santa Barbara City Council. I was repentant then, as I am now. Suggestions to the contrary are simply wrong.

    But does that failure define me forever? My son, who was four months old when this happened, graduated from college this week. Does my single moment of terrible judgment erase all of the good I have ever done? Certainly, that is to be decided by the voters.

    I switched a price tag in 1991 to save eight dollars. It was wrong, stupid, and a violation of everything I stand for. I apologized to the people of Santa Barbara immediately, as I have almost daily since. I certainly learned many lessons about my own fallibility and arrogance. It will never happen again. I don’t ask that anyone ignore that moment; but only that that they weigh it against other aspects of my life before finally judging me.

    At the end of last year, I retired from my job as the Executive Director of the Environmental Defense Center. I successfully built bridges between that organization, farmers, ranchers, local businesses and institutions, based upon all of our mutual commitment to environmental protection in our region. I added staff and programs, and placed EDC on a stronger financial footing. Before that I served as Executive Director of the newly created Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, where I successfully conceived and led the efforts to build the Eastside Medical Clinic and the Dental Clinic, renovated the Isla Vista and Westside Clinics, and moved a critical but struggling organization into stable management and a sustainable financial condition.

    I served for 20 years as a Board member, Treasurer and as President of the Citizens Planning Association, as I also did for my Congregation. I served as Treasurer of the Fund for Santa Barbara, for the Democratic League, and for the EDC and SBNC Boards. I have provided volunteer legal services in many major environmental cases, and as the unpaid manager of the campaign that defeated Fess Parker’s hotel proposal to abrogate normal City planning processes. I took on major roles, as a volunteer, on the campaign to defeat the County Split proposal, and to fund Highway 101 improvements. I took six months off work after the death of Walter Capps to elect Lois Capps to her first term in Congress.

    Despite my 1991 “disgrace,” the well-being of Santa Barbara has continued to be my highest priority, and my efforts have created lasting benefits for the community we a” love. Are those successes not even worth of mention when you attack those who decided to support my candidacy after an exhaustive process of review? Obviously, it’s your call.’

    I thank you for the opportunity to respond and tell my side of the story. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss the issues of importance to the City in the future. Please be willing to listen.

    • Real concerns

      Sorry you can’t claim broader credentials than supporting failed uber-liberal agendas in this town that have put us in trouble we are today trying to dig ourselves out of. Plus word on edhat today is the community health clinics may have to shut down due to lack of “sustainable” funding. Can’t have it both ways if you claim your work there as a political credential, Landecker.

      I agree, you should not be judged today by that unfortunate single and stupid shop-lifting incident (keep your kid out of it), but you can be blamed for a partisan bias in your subsequent activities in this town that are clearly out of step with where this community needs to go.

      Tell us how you will reform city employee compensation, keep our streets safe, fund the repair and maintenance our ailing city infrastructure, streamline our municipal code, and audit all existing city departments for effectiveness and need.

      You need to roll up your sleeves if you want this job; not rest on a rosy version of your own past laurels.

      While you were out of office, the city ran out of spending other people’s money. And permanently changed its economic base to include 17% of all housing units now dedicated to low-income residents, loss of multiple valuable tracts to the city tax base and letting downtown retail deteriorate into a week end tourist destination only.

      Thank you.

    • Anonymous

      David, your disgrace is the defining gaffe in Santa Barbara politics. It’s Bill Buckner letting a ball roll through his legs in game 6 of the World Series. This is bigger than you so don’t fight it. Anytime someone majorly screws up in this town it’s called his/her “Landecker Moment.” A term still used some 20 years later.

      • Puzzling

        Cheating when one did not need to — that remains troubling.

  17. Distressed over a published endorsement? NewsPress and other goingto be much worse but nice rebuttal.

  18. el_smurfo

    I was in my 20s at the time of your “disgrace”. At the time, it was pretty big news to break through my political apathy, but ss a pretty regular follower of local politics for the last few decades, I literally only know you from this one event. I remember it was the Home Improvement Center. I think I remember you were switching price tags on some type of pliers…perhaps channel locks. I remember to this day thinking it was one of the most batsh!t crazy things I have ever heard until I heard you try to talk your way out of it and that was when I first heard the level of arrogance that I have sensed ever since in our local politicians. You taught me a very valuable lesson…that local politicians are arrogant, entitled elitists and anything they propose is always the opposite of what is good for me, personally. It was the most valuable lesson a politician every taught and for that, I’d give you another chance…until I saw your early endorsements and then I realized you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice…can’t get fooled again…

  19. Back to basics

    I worry more about any candidate who still wears the fig leaf of environmentalism and social utopianism today as their leading credentials, than what exonerated transgressions they committed in the past.

    We need some hard-headed fiscal realism on city council and will in the near and far future if we are to crawl out of the prior council’s social utopian bills that have now come due.

  20. Trace the money

    Be sure to hold all the other candidates to the same fiscal scrutiny – proven track records managing business enterprises, and not leaving new management with bills due later down the road.

    More than Landecker fail that criteria. The city has both spending and revenue problems -this is the most important candidate consideration this time. Get some number crunchers on council to stabilize where this city is going. We know where we need to go; now let’s make sure we have the money to get there.

  21. Nov 5 Countdown

    If I had to choose between Landecker and any of the other three pre-endorsed Democratic candidates – White – Hart – Alley – I would pick Landecker. But at this point I don’t have to make that choice. There are good alternatives showing up that already make more sense than these other hold your nose, hold-over choices.

  22. I find it especially distressing that nearly all of the commenters here have chosen to levy their attacks against Mr. Landecker under the cloak of anonymity. Please step into the light and stand up for your opinons but don’t hind who you are. I think it’s a shame that our discourse has sunk to this level. I think his many years of good service far outweigh the transgression of the past.

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