Your Tax Dollars were not wisely spent for SB County social services, and one department is $11 MILLION in the red despite State Law requiring that they must have a balanced budget

Department of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Services (ADMHS) web site states that Santa Barbara County receives millions annually for new Mental Health Services Act (MHSA, Proposition 63) programs, allowing "leveraged" funding for services to the community, including the Casa Esperanza Homeless Center at 816 Cacique Street, and Fund for Santa Barbara, which funds "Media Justice Grants" (ie. Citizen McCaw movie criticizing the News-Supress, etc.), support for Spanish-speaking people in Santa Maria for the "citizenship process, voting rights, and self-advocacy" and support to maintain an office in Santa Maria that provides information to the Oaxacan community in Spanish and indigenous dialects.

Although the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Santa Barbara organized emergency efforts to override normal building codes and procedures to open the shelter which was promised to get homeless off the streets, it only attracted more homeless people to Santa Barbara, and numbers of homeless and empty vodka bottles around this neighborhood have apparently shot up since.

In November 2007, only Supervisors Salud Carbajal and Janet Wolf knew about a meeting "designed to discuss shortfalls in the budget.” William Boyer stated that, “By law, they have to have a balanced budget” but the projected deficit was $3.4 million facing the department. Rob Pearson, executive director of the Santa Barbara City Housing Authority, which built the 61-unit El Carrillo project, a permanent affordable housing complex for the previously homeless, stated that if the County “can’t deliver on the service side, I don’t know how we can keep providing housing.” Although the homeless received nice, new homes, "only" about 20 percent from the complex moved out and returned for pursuit of the homeless life.

Then it was reported in February 2008, that the department, which works with a total budget of $84 million, was $7 million short of a balanced budget for the 2007-08 fiscal year, and the Board of Supervisors agreed to bail out "Santa Barbara County’s financially failing mental-health services department".

Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf wanted to fully restore the budget for 2007-08, and stated, “I don’t want to make a decision that negatively impacts those people who are struggling, who are on the line, yet who are so strong,” she said of those with mental illness. Perhaps she feels that she is one of them.

Janet Wolf Wolf added that she has tremendous faith in the department’s new director, which reminds us of 2004 when Representative Maxine Waters (D) confirmed her faith in Franklin Delano Raines (recently Barack Hussein Obama's economic advisor and financier), former chairman and CEO of the Federal National Mortgage Association, who was being investigated for cooking the books at Fannie Mae, and dismissed the possibility of market problems. Representative Maxine Waters (D) stated that, "Everything in the 1992 Act has worked just fine. In fact, the GSE's have exceeded their housing goals. What we need to do today is to focus on the regulator and this must be done in a manner so as not to impede the affordable housing mission, a mission that has seen innovation flourish, from desktop underwriting to 100% loans." Doesn't this sound like the "innovations" of the present Santa Barbara City government?

By September 2008, the County ADMHS deficit figure has reached $11 MILLION that SB County will have to repay the State of California, and the County officials are now discussing sacrificing the County Reserve Fund to bail out the department.

Much of 18 years of Measure D Taxes and other County waste was unaccounted. Where did the money go? Do you really want to vote for continued taxes to fund this malfeasance?

Key Officials responsible:
RDA Board Members
Marty Blum, Chairperson and Mayor; Iya Falcone, Agency Member; Gregg Hart, Agency Member; Harold Fairly, Agency Member; Roger Horton, Agency Member; Babatunde Folayemi, Agency Member; Dan Secord, Agency Member
Key Agency Staff Members
David Gustafson, Assistant Community Director; Mark Taylor, Community Development Programs Supervisor; Steven Faulstich, Housing Programs Supervisor; Simon Kiefer, Project Planner
Project Developer- The Coalition to Provide Shelter and Support for Santa Barbara’s Homeless
Project Architect- Brian Nelson

©2008 Santa Barbara Coalition Against Government Waste and Malfeasance™
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