Archive for the ‘Questions my opponent has raised’ Category

I am a 32 year small business owner. In small business, to survive, we must constantly adapt and move forward. I was elected to bring my small business mindset to city government and move the city forward. Not everyone agreed with the direction that the city council and I have taken the city. With all that has been improved, it is difficult to criticize the results. Instead, allegations have been made without supporting facts.

Lompoc Record July 25th 2014-negative points brought out by Bob Lingl

Leadership style”

I was elected in 2010 and 2012 with a mandate from the community to take a proactive role in creating a customer service oriented city for residents and businesses. Today we are a truly customer service oriented city. Residents have their issues addressed in a friendly and professional manner and businesses are locating here as a result of our positive reputation.

Each week I help Lompoc residents and businesses resolve issues with the city and solicit new businesses to open in Lompoc to provide shopping choices and jobs.

At council meetings I have always worked with all council members to form compromises on matters before us that we can all support. The results are that over 85% of the time we have unanimous votes. On some issues we can not all agree and all of us have been on the losing end of votes at one time or another.

Lack of Transparency”

No examples of my lack of transparency were given. In addition to the ten day advanced agenda and the five minute oral communication period, I have welcomed public comment from both sides of issues. Many times public comments have provided ideas to improve the action the council was considering. I invite you to go to the City web site, select council agendas and view the video of past council meetings to draw your own conclusion. At the end of the meeting, listen to my report of my meetings and events that I am sharing with the council and public. The council meeting is the only time I can legally share this information with more than one council member. On a daily basis I brief the City Administrator on my work during the prior day so that staff is fully informed and I can receive staff input.

Micromanagement of City Staff”

I discussed this with the City Administrator. He stated that he did not feel I micromanaged City Staff. Remember, that the only city staff members that work for the Council are the City Administrator and City Attorney. Other than asking staff for documents or facts, Council Members and I talk with the City Administrator before discussing an issue with Staff.

I do follow up with the City Administrator to be certain that council decisions are implemented in a timely manner.

John is disruptive and counterproductive, adding last minute data and proposals that hinder the Staff and public”

After reviewing Staff reports, I alert Staff to any errors or omissions so Staff can correct them at the council meeting. Some Staff reports lack information that I feel will help council in making decisions. Well before the council meeting I provide my list of questions to the Staff so they can be prepared to answer. The Brown Act open meeting law only allows a council member to provide information or documents to one other council member except at a meeting open to the public. On complicated issues I do extensive research and review to assure I make the best decision. When the item is heard at the council meeting, that is the only time I can present what I have learned to the council members and public either verbally or with documents. Bob questions the validity of the information I have presented calling them “John Facts”. Like all other testimony and documents that a council member or member of the public presents at a meeting, each council member must decide what value to place on the information they receive. Any council member can move to continue an item if he or she feels information is incomplete or needs independent verification. This council has always preferred to consider all information presented and make a decision whenever possible.


The information John presents hiders the council’s ability to make an informed decision”

On the contrary, I believe that having more information leads to a more informed decision. Each council member can choose to rely on the information or not rely on the information.

To add an item to a future meeting takes three council members and this most frequently occurs at the end of the meeting under Council Requests and Meeting Reports. I have not counted to see which of us makes the most requests but we have all made many and usually have the support of two other council members which is required to hear the item. I have been the second or third vote to hear an item that another council member wanted even though it was not an issue I wanted to hear and I am certain other council members have done the same for me.

Bob’s Campaign Literature states:

The Mayor is disruptive of the City process.”

When I ran for election in both 2008 and in 2010, one of the key issues was that the Staff ‘led’ the council. Under my leadership, the council now leads the City and Staff is doing an excellent job of implementing the Councils decisions. I also challenge the conclusions and data in Staff reports if I believe it is incomplete. The City Administrator runs the City and the issues I find, I bring to him for resolution.


The Mayor is disrespectful to fellow council members and community members.”

Again, I invite you to go to the City web site and watch council meetings and form your own opinion. You will notice that I take notes on most public members who speak and I use that information in forming my decision or amending the item we are considering. In making decisions on council, I do rely more on the input from council members with experience in the area of the item we are considering.

Over the last two year we have lost valuable members of City Commissions and to our city council as a direct result of the action by the Mayor.”

In 2013, Ron Fink, who I appointed to the Planning Commission resigned because of my vote on Safe and Sane Fireworks and a tense exchange Bob and I had during the discussion of Safe and Sane Fireworks. Bob and I talked and shook hands the next day. This occurred during the second reading for the item which we had approved at the prior meeting. After Ron’s resignation, Bob came to me and said he did not want to lose Ron’s experience on the Planning Commission and neither did I. Bob stated that he had talked with Jack Rodenhi, his commissioner who was willing to resign. That would allow me to appoint Jack and Bob to appoint Ron and retain Ron’s experience on the Planning Commission. I agreed with Bob’s plan and that is what we did.

In 2008 I supported Cecilia Martner as one of the two best candidates for City Council because she had a positive attitude and promised to bring her experience from the high tech industry, where she worked, to help create jobs in Lompoc. Cecilia brought a combative style to council meetings with constant negative comments on staff reports. In 2010 Cecilia ran against me for Mayor and was defeated. Cecilia said in an August 2, 2012 Lompoc Record article that the reason she will not seek a second term is that she and Ashley “have routinely ended up on the losing end of a 3-2 split vote” with Linn, Lingl and Starbuck in the majority.

In 2010 I supported Ashley Costa as one of the two best candidates for City Council because she was a lifetime Lompoc resident, had a degree in Political Science, was tech savvy and brought youthful ideas to the council. Ashley listed multiple reasons in the May 18, 2014 Lompoc Record article for not running again, none of which involved the Mayor.


No one has drawn more negative attention to the City than our current Mayor.”

This is a very subjective statement referring to the District Attorney’s review of Council actions regarding the Mosby Sports Fields. I chose to support the Mosby fields because after reading the county ordinances, I felt Mr. Mosby was entitled to and would receive a conditional use permit from the county. The Mosby fields provide a variety of youth activities at no cost to the County or City. The three south county supervisors voted to deny the permit even though the county staff had recommended approval and three environmental reviews had been conducted with the same conclusions. Mr. Mosby sued the county and the court issued a restraining order preventing the county from closing the Mosby fields. The court found that the Board of Supervisors by not granting Mr. Mosby the permit had either violated the county land use ordinances or the ordinance was in violation of state law. The Mosby fields included two soccer fields, two paintball areas and a radio controlled car track operated by a non-profit committee.


Many people in town think that John makes up his own rules.”

The City Attorney and the City Administrator are charged with advising the Council and the Mayor on State Law, City Ordinances, The Administrative Policy Manuel, The Commission and Committee Hand Book and the Council Handbook. I have read the last three documents fully as they are the ones that most affect the Council. In the past, I proposed a number of changes to Council Handbook that the council approved to meet our current needs. I consult with the City Attorney regularly and we discuss questions of law in depth. After review of laws and policies, the City Attorney explains his interpretation. Conflicting laws and interpreting them can make it difficult to move items forward. Although I have not always agreed with the interpretation, the City Attorney has the final word.


“…his actions have delayed the general plan update by two years.”

In early 2012, I recommended to the council that the Zoning Ordinance be updated before the General Plan as that document limits the use of business properties in Lompoc. The current Zoning Ordinance drafted in 1976 is obsolete and has prevented businesses from occupying the only building in Lompoc that met their needs. The council agreed to this approach and the work was begun. Then the lobbying began and after the Zoning Ordinance update was well along the council decided to stop and work on the General Plan first. Although I recommended that we update the Zoning Ordinance first to improve our economic development results, I was only one vote. The current General Plan was begun in 1997 when Joyce Howerton was mayor. In the adopted General Plan Land Use Map of 1997, hundreds of properties were down zoned without the property owners even being notified. The property owners were not notified until 2005 when the council moved forward with the down zoning on the Zoning Map. That is when I became involved in City politics as property owners, the realty community and concerned residents went to meeting after meeting to stop the taking of property rights and values. In 2014, the council returned the property rights to 254 south side home owners after 17 years and over 20 City Council and Planning Commission meetings. Over 100 properties have yet to be corrected including 9 industrial properties with buildings that were re-zoned to residential.


John’s misguided attempts to promise everything has created a backlash with the business community, non-profit organizations and citizens.”

I would like to address the specific issues when they are listed. I do work with businesses, non-profits and citizens to move forward and I challenge City Staff to find ways to facilitate progress within the many laws we have to deal with. As an example, after a conversation with the representative from Chrysler Corporation, Chrysler agreed to open a dealership in Lompoc. The Chrysler Representative stated it took them two to five years to open a new dealership. I committed we would be much faster. City Staff rose to the challenge and Chrysler and the Franchisee submitted their documents on time. The parallel track that Staff recommended, to work on both the Planning Commission approval and the building permits simultaneously, worked perfectly. The Lompoc contractor finished the dealership in record time. Almost exactly one year to the day from my first conversation with the Chrysler Corporation representative, the dealership was open for business providing more choices for Lompoc residents and sales tax for our Police, Fire, Parks and Recreation.