Home>Articles>Santa Barbara County Supervisors: The Echo Chamber of Futility

Santa Barbara County Courthouse. (Photo: countyofsb.org)

Santa Barbara County Supervisors: The Echo Chamber of Futility

It is no mystery why housing, automobiles, fuel, electricity, water, and food is so expensive in Santa Barbara

By Andy Caldwell, October 12, 2021 9:38 am

For the past 30 years, I have spent nearly every miserable Tuesday sitting in the chambers of the Santa Barbara County Supervisors.  I am convinced we need to rename the hearing room the echo chamber.  The definition of an echo chamber is an environment in which people encounter only beliefs or opinions that coincide with their own, so that their existing views are reinforced and alternative ideas are not considered.  The bottom line?  Debate and the meaningful exchange of ideas has been forsaken.

This past Tuesday, our supervisors engaged in a perfect echo chamber exercise as they pondered why our county doesn’t have enough affordable housing.  I can cite the reasons in my sleep.  The California Environmental Quality Act, the California Coastal Commission, the County Planning Commission, and the County Planning Department, along with hundreds of fees and dozens of zoning machinations, regulations and restrictions.  And, let us not forget the numerous nimby organizations such as the Environmental Defense Center, the Santa Barbara County Action Network, and CAUSE all of which comprise the choir that regularly performs in the echo chamber.

It is no mystery why housing is so expensive here.  The same holds true for automobiles, fuel, electricity, water, and food, not to mention taxes, permits and fees charged for various services!  None of this is happening by accident.  California has been governed exclusively by the democratic party for decades.  They own this situation.  It is their creation.  And, as much as they try to blame shift, the fact is California, which was the richest state in the nation, is now the poorest by any number of metrics including the people living in poverty, along with our debt and deficits.

Decades ago, the most prolific apartment developer in the region entered the echo chamber to meticulously explain why he could not build more so-called affordable units here.  He outlined the cost of the limitations having to do with requirements for setbacks, open space, and height limitations, to name a few.  He then explained that getting involved in a development project in this county is considered a risky proposition because planners and neighbors, not to mention busy-body activists, can and certainly will create delays, design changes, and most assuredly, calls to downsize the project.  When all was said and done, the potential return on the investment did not justify the risks of the same.

They paid no heed.  Instead, they imposed millions in fees to developers via a ponzi scheme, by which they charge every developer a fee by way of taxing the market rate units in the development.  Every home sold in this region has these hidden fees and taxes embedded in the purchase price that is used to pay for things our government should provide and to facilitate discount housing for others.  The injury to the insult?  The tax monies that were once used for community improvements is now absconded to help pay for the exorbitant salaries, benefits and pensions of county employees.

Unfortunately, the echo chamber stupidity of the Democratic party is not limited to or wasted on California alone.  In a competition of dumb and dumber, consider Joe Biden’s statement “My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars. Instead of wasting money on tax breaks, loopholes, and tax evasion for big corporations and the wealthy, we can make a once-in-a-generation investment in working America. And it adds zero dollars to the national debt.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki added, “In the past, companies have passed on these costs to consumers… We feel that that’s absurd and unfair, and the American people won’t stand for that!”

Translation?  We are going to tax the bejesus out of America and it won’t cost a dime!  Can you hear the echo?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Latest posts by Andy Caldwell (see all)
Spread the news:


4 thoughts on “Santa Barbara County Supervisors: The Echo Chamber of Futility

  1. Awww… I was hoping for a direct quote from the dumbest of the dumb, Hannah-Beth Jackson….

    Maybe next time….

  2. ZERO!
    The democrats live for ZERO.
    Zero waste
    Zero emissions
    Zero Covid Cases
    Vision Zero
    I give the democratic majority one big ZERO!
    They have given us Zero growth.
    They have given us Zero security.
    They have given us ZERO reasons to trust they can guide this state back to growth, safety and prosperity.
    Restore California and next election vote for 0

    1. Great thought in action!! Zero education as well! Cal Kids are behind in all areas of education, except for private schools& religious based schools…they were allowed togo for a superior education…w no long term, or short term sequelle !! Just ask gov.newsom; he sent all his kids to private schools every school day!! Millions of cal. kids are behind academically. Where is all the $$$$ from the federal gov’t to “help”public schools deal w this horrible, unnecessary limit on Cal Kids? Suicides, suicide attempts, depression, sensory&healthy interactions w kids, playing sports,!! Its the shame of california culture in action

  3. Underneath It All is an astoundingly corrupt regime of selective enforcement by the state and federal authorities. Some of the poorest counties in the state like those in the San Joaquin valley are threatened with every instrument of legalized extortion that can be mustered to force them to provide “affordable housing” but the ultra-rich (and ultra-white) enclaves like Marin, Santa Barbara, (and San Mateo home to the Tech Titan home base of Palo Alto) are the ultimate “protected classes”. And they won’t be carpet-bombed with immigrants and refugees like the rest of the state either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *