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Frank Hotchkiss Kicks off Re-Election Campaign

Incumbent Santa Barbara City Councilman Frank Hotchkiss kicked off his campaign for re-election this weekend. In addition to a kickoff event at the waterfront, Hotchkiss debuts a new website, where he lays out his appeal…

“My name is Frank Hotchkiss, and I am running for reelection to Santa Barbara City Council. It’s never easy for a straightforward candidate like me to win office, but we did it in 2009 and I am confident we will do it again this year. However, it won’t be easy. Nothing worth doing ever is!

Over the last four years, we’ve made real changes that help our City:

  1. Increased cruise ship visits from 2-3 a year to 24 this year. Estimated economic impact to the city — $5M.
  2. Balanced the city budget and pared down 81 city personnel.
  3. Banned parking meters in El Pueblo Viejo (downtown) in the General Plan Update.
  4. Held airport retail prices in line with regular street retail prices (Cup of Frank)
  5. Saved the Christmas Holiday tree in 2012.
  6. Removed RVs from Cabrillo Blvd.
  7. Reduced the number of proposed curb extensions (partial victory).
  8. Kept politics out of our city commissions with an ABR reprimand.
  9. Increased the number of police on the street (4 beat officers).
  10. Began a gang injunction (not yet in place but supported and now in court).
  11. Reduced the number of marijuana dispensaries.

What’s next?

I hope to reduce our “street population” for their sakes and ours, and to pressure potential gang members to seek a better way of life. I also think we need to double our beat police officers from four to eight, and increase funding for our Restorative and Veterans courts, which take people out of the criminal justice system by getting them into real – and very strict – recovery programs.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please take a look at the site and be sure to sign up to volunteer.



32 Responses to “Frank Hotchkiss Kicks off Re-Election Campaign”

  1. Good man

    Got my vote. Thanks Frank, for all you have accomplished. You care about the neighborhoods.

  2. Thanks for all the sunshine last year, and thus more tourism, inturn more bed tax, and the revenue up! Was it Frank or Mother nature that helped balance the budget? Either way, go Frank!!

  3. Impressive

    #6 alone is worth the price of re-admission – long, long, long overdue. Keep it up and make this ban city wide for the best interests of everyone.

    • The City had banned Rvs city-wide before Frank showed up, but got sued and lost.

      • City did not lose; city gave it away

        Get the facts right. The city did not lose this RV case.

        The progressive city council “settled” this case instead, in their misplaced sense of social justice magnanimity. So now we have to live with that ultimate cop-out, while those misguided progressives all got termed out of office and don’t live anywhere near the neighborhoods now overrun by this mess.

        Too many other cities in this state ban RV’s outright, so SB turned itself into an RV magnet after choosing to roll over so easily. Time to take this to the mat, get a final ruling and appeal it all the way to the CA Supreme Court so everyone has to share this blight, not just SB.

        And for goodness sakes get a new city attorney who can actually argue for what it best for this city, and not whimp out like Wiley. Cheaper to take this case to the Supreme Court for final state wide resolution than continue to be the dumping ground for every other city who send their train wrecks to us instead.

        • I have my facts straight. the City banned Rvs city wide and insofar as installed signs all over town banning them. The got sued in court by social justice lawyers and were forced by court ruling to withdrawn the ban and rewrite the ordinance. The progressive city council had nothing to do with it, in fact they approved the ban. While I agree that we need to ban them completely, it is a fact that the City lost in court. Trust me, I know the facts, and I know that the City wants a ban too. The difference in other cities, is that they don’t have a million social justice wing nut lawyers suing them.

          • Yes, they settled by way of not wanting to lose tons of money, if that’s what you mean.

          • And that's the truth

            They settled the case, rather than litigate it to the state Supreme Court where it should have gone. Had that city council put the business of city residents first, instead of their own pandering “social justice” agenda, this is what would have happened. Good riddance to them, but we are stuck now with their permanent legacy of the blight they left behind.

  4. Oh, Yay! Frank saved Christmas! Because it was so threatened and we were just on the verge of completely eliminating it. What a close call!

    • Lettuce B Frank

      Okay, we see you are trying to be cute – but stick to what Frank said he did; not mock what he did not say he did. The downtown holiday tree has long been a welcome part of our city winter holidays. Thanks Frank for keeping the tradition alive and well.

  5. Waffles

    I’ll vote for anyone who will make State Street less disgusting and scary.

  6. Anonymous

    Mr. Hotchkiss claims credit for the debacle called a “gang injunction.”

    The injunction askes a judge to declare that vast tracks of Santa Barbara a “nuisance area.” This claim will depress our property values. If Hotchkiss has his way, I must disclose to anyone who might buy my home, that it is in a zone in which I and my neighbors live in constant fear of a gang attack.
    This, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, is the price of the injunction.

    On the positive side, the injunction would prevent 30 gang members from associating with one anotther in public. 15 of those 30 are already in jail or in prison. Of those who are not already locked up, roughly 10 are already on parole or probation with much tougher criminal penalties for violations than any civil injunction can offer.

    So, Mr. Hotchkiss supports spending hundrends of thousands of dollars so 5 gang members who are not on probation or parole can be kept apart.

    This betrays poor judgement on a collossal scale.

    So Mr. Hotchkiss

    • Who's on first?

      Hotchkiss initiated this long over-due discussion. Recently in a silly photo op blitz, Mayor Schneider and Bendy White tried to pre-election hijack this issue in a non-sensical agenda item discussion they knew ahead of time was going no where, except on the front pages showing Bendy White was “concerned about crime”.

    • No crime is even better for property values

      Clue: without the gang injunction your home will be worth even less, because of the unmitigated crime activity going on in your neighborhood right now. Bogus attempt to deflect what is needed.

  7. Anonymous

    Give me a break. If the injunction is a boon to property value then why aren’t our neighbors who live outside of the proposed nuisance area are all begging to be included inside the nuisance zone?

    Mr. Hotchkiss, please explain exactly how the injunction will make me safer. Safer from the 15 individuals who are already locked up in prison or jail? Safer from the 10 to 12 who are on probation or parole and who already have rules that are more stringent than any civil injunction, who can be searched at any time for no reason at all? Who is left? Is it worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a new misdemeanor preventing 4 or 5 guys from standing next to each other?

    No, this is a side show sponsored by our tax dollars and, if successful, by my lost property value when my home is declared a nuisance.

    • Redline

      Most people I know want the gang injunction city wide. Let’s get started.

  8. Increased Cruise Ship Visits to Nuisance Area?

    I have to agree with Anon. Furthermore, #1 and #10 are incompatible “achievements.”

    At some point the tourists will ask: If Santa Barbara is so dangerous it needs to be declared a gang nuisance area, then maybe it is also too dangerous to visit in a cruise ship.

    And what kind of insurance does a cruise ship company need before it can drop unwitting tourists into a gang nuisance zone?

    The injunction will end up costing us in tourist dollars.

  9. Ship ahoy

    You can bet once a passenger gets knocked off, the cruise ships will be the first to leave. They did this in the Caribbean and in Mexico, which ironically is why they are looking now at the California Coast because the drug traffickers made too many other areas unwelcoming. The way Santa Barbara has been going lately, we are probably not far behind. Take their tourism dollar while you can.

  10. Injunction sets a course toward the rocks

    Agreed. And screaming to the world: “Santa Barbara is a Gang Nuisance Area!” is not good for tourism.

    And for what? To create a new misdemeanor for guys who are already in prison? To create a new misdemeanor for guys who are already on parole?

    Every hour our law enforcement officers spend sitting in court for this nonsense is an hour they could have been on the street focused on criminal acts.

    Every hour the DA and her staff spend on this nonsense is an hour they could have been prosecuting perhaps these same people, but perhaps also others, for criminal conduct.

    The injunction misdirects the focus of law enforcement from what is important, while risking the good name of Santa Barbara among tourists.

    Mr. Hotchkiss, it is time to direct these engines full astern.

    • For those writing against the gang injunction here, probably all on Palabra’s payroll, please get off this site. One of your homies just went down in a big flameball as the head of a criminal organization that collected drug taxes from street gangs throughout the county, and if convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. See the Indy story this week. You’ve been exposed as the gangsters you really are.

    • 1000 mile journey starts with one step

      The gang injunction needs to start now. If you only sweep in five now, this is an excellent start. Then you work one by one until (1) you get these thugs off the street and (2) the city gets a new message: gangs have no place in Santa Barbara.

  11. Questions for Mr. Hotchkiss

    1. Santa Barbara enjoys a good reputation of Santa Barbara as a safe city for tourists. What risks to that reputation are triggered by the attempt to designate most of Santa Barbara a “nuisance zone”?

    2. Why is there no mechanism for property owners within the proposed nuisance zone to dispute whether their house or their neighborhood is in fact a gang nuisance area? (Many don’t even know they are within the proposed nuisance area!)

    3. Why spend hundreds of thousands in legal fees to create a misdemeanor crime for the four or five people who aren’t already in jail, in prison or on probation or parole?

    4. How many hours have law enforcement officers and attorneys already spent in pursuit of this civil lawsuit addressing gang members who are already in prison, when they could have been investigating unsolved crime and preparing criminal cases for trial?

    Thank you.

    • Seedy Santa Barbara

      Santa Barbara does not enjoy a good reputation as a safe city as scores to letters to the editor from visitors protest how unsafe they felt walking our down town streets. The rapidly increasing crime now throughout our neighborhoods and drug activity and deaths in city parks is reason enough for a serious crackdown on the criminal element invading our city.

  12. Westie

    Santa Barbara has a gang problem. If this is a tool to use, we use it. Then we reassess it. You are kidding yourself if you think the injunction will stop only with this first list. Anyone who also wants to join this illustrious list of gang thugs will be welcome to apply and their names can be added later once it gets going.

    Your arguments against it are specious. What is your real agenda? The price of not doing a gang injunction is far higher. The gang activity itself is what blights too many neighborhood, so officially declaring these areas to be now gang-free zones instead of letting them rot as they are is the better choice. Live in one of them and happy to see this finally happen and get a new message out on our streets. Sick of the gang graffiti and vandalism that always is out there now.

  13. An Expensive Tool that Could Break Santa Barbara

    We agree. The Injunction is a tool.

    A sledgehammer is also a tool, but that doesn’t mean I want Mr. Hotchkiss to use one to fix my Rolex.

    The injunction tool was invented to address a specific situation: Vast tracks of hopelessly blighted neighborhoods in Central Los Angeles. Needless to say, these were not tourist destinations. No cruise ships were pulling up to visit these nuisance zones, nor will they ever.

    Santa Barbara is different. Part of protecting that difference is recognizing that some tools aren’t right for us. We deserve leaders who recognize the risk to tourism if we portray our city as a nuisance zone.

    • Seedy Santa Barbara

      Not dealing with gangs is the biggest risk to tourism.

  14. A Tool That Could Break Santa Barbara

    We agree, the injunction is a tool.

    A sledgehammer is also a tool. Nevertheless, I do not want Mr. Hotchkiss to use a sledgehammer to fix my Rolex.

    The injunction tool was invented for the problems of the inner city. It was perfected in Los Angeles to attack vast sections of the city where law abiding residents could not walk out of their homes without fear of attack. These were not graffiti problems. These were drive-by shooting problems.

    The injunction tool is for neighborhoods whose reputation is already completely wrecked.

    The injunction tool was not invented for neighborhoods that are visited by tourists, or by cruise ships.

    Santa Barbara is different. And we deserve politicians who recognize that.

    If Mr. Hotchkiss tells the world we are a nuisance area, some tourists, some investors just might believe it. The risk of this tool far outweighs any vague benefit.

    • Black Pot

      Mr Hotchkiss proposed this city discuss the pros and cons of a gang ordinance. This will be a full city council vote and may well play a role in the upcoming election.

      If a majority of city council including newly elected representatives chosen to be the voices of this city, support a gang injunction your continued vilification of Mr Hotchkiss, and not the gangs themselves, will need new justification.

      Vilify gangs; not Mr Hotchkiss.

  15. stop feeding the poder trolls

    Hey everyone – the anti-gang injunction troll, using minted Poder talking points, needs to go back to the Indy’s echo chamber. Oh wait, your thought leadership from Poder / Palabra just got busted for…being in a gang! Who knew that those most opposed to the injunction and trying to stir the pot…were gang members??

  16. How do I find out if my home is in the nuisance zone?

    Why would having your house called a nuisance be good for your property value?
    Seems like a reasonable question.

    I would at least like to know if I am in the nuisance zone. Does anyone know where to find the map? How did they decide where to draw the borders?

    If criminal gangs are eliminated, that would be great. But, is spending $800 thousand dollars in resources on people who are already in prison or on probation or parole a fiscally sound approach?

    If Mr. Hotchkiss has answers, I am willing be be convinced.

    I’ll let the previous poster speak for him or herself, but I didn”t think the questions amount to vilification.