Here is the link to the candidate's video statement.
Hello. I’m Bendy White. I am a Santa Barbara native, lifetime civic activist, and now a member of the Santa Barbara City Council. My past service on both the County and City Planning Commissions, as well as the Water Commission have given me a deep understanding of local government and good community planning.
I am committed to protecting Santa Barbara’s character, our quality of life, and to taking proper care of the resources we have inherited from previous generations.
Four years ago the full effects of the Great Recession were hitting the City. Since then it has been a struggle just to provide essential services. From my positions on the Finance Committee and Sustainability Committees, I have helped protect the City’s financial health while supporting critical programs such as library service, restorative policing and the Rental Housing Mediation Task Force.
When I joined the Council the City’s General Plan known as Plan Santa Barbara had been struggling through the system for nearly seven years. Yet there was not enough support on our divided Council to make Plan Santa Barbara into law. We formed a sub-committee and I was able to negotiate a compromise which received the Council's unanimous endorsement. I am willing to work with the entire Council to get the City's business done. I will not compromise my values, but I will seek common ground with my colleagues.
I led the effort to oppose Measure Y in 2012. This initiative would have granted a private developer the right to build a bridge on Park Lands, to serve a development of large homes in the Las Positas Valley, our City’s largest open space. City voters eventually voted by a 2 to 1 margin to oppose Measure Y. For now the open space is protected.
With my background on the City Water Commission I knew that Santa Barbara owns a hydro-electric plant, mothballed for years because of Federal red tape. With my efforts the City will re-open this facility in 2014. Once operational the plant will generate enough power for 250 homes without burning fossil fuels. It will also increase city revenue by selling the electricity.
Over the next four years we need to increase maintenance of our streets, parks, and buildings, and address social challenges such as homelessness and gang violence. Residents and visitors must feel safe in our city. There are no easy answers to any of these issues. But I will continue to work with colleagues, stakeholders, and citizens to make steady progress on these fronts. I’ll continue to advocate for slow growth, environmental protection, and neighborhood preservation.
I respectfully ask for your vote.