Isla Vista residents, students and county officials met for the weekly stakeholders’ meeting at the I.V. Clinic Tuesday night hosted by Assemblymember Das Williams’s office to discuss self-governance in I.V.
Attendees addressed the parking meeting held Monday night, hosted by Santa Barbara County in conjunction with Planning and Public Work staff. Stakeholders scheduled specific topics to be discussed at the following meeting through mid-February.
Long-term I.V. resident and business owner Jay Freeman said he did not like the presentation-oriented structure of the parking meeting. According to Freeman, attendees contested the results of a previous parking survey which found a 15 percent increase in parking in I.V.
“It was all a power-point presentation format and we all had only three minutes to say what we didn’t like about the parking study,” Freeman said. “Essentially everyone made the argument, ‘well we don’t have any parking spaces even though you found 15 percent parking.’”
Long-term I.V. resident Bonnie Murdoc said she is concerned about UCSB’s involvement in the suggested parking permit program, and is suspicious the University will push students to pay for campus lots.
“I feel they have another objective,” Murdoc said. “They want people to pay in their lots or want to make parking expensive enough in Isla Vista that people will use their lots. That concerns me.”
Field Representative from Williams’ office and UCSB alumnus Cameron Schunk said the SB County Sheriff’s Department will not be responsible for enforcing parking permits in I.V.
“In our most recent conversation, the Sheriff was not willing to be responsible for the enforcement of a parking permit program in Isla Vista,” Schunk said. “Basically saying we don’t have enough manpower to do it without paying them.”
Community Organizer from Williams’ office Darcel Elliott said issues concerning parking services are complicated.
“There’s so many different directions we could go with this,” Elliott said. “There’s so many parts of it. There’s permit ideas, parking structures, parking restrictions, coastal access. Everyone has their own vision of what a parking program will look like in I.V.”
Elliott said she wants to create a subcommittee to tackle issues specific to parking in I.V.
“It needs to be a diverse group of people with different representations of various demographics in I.V.,” Elliott said. “The parking program could affect everyone in different ways.”
According to Elliott, the subcommittee would create a proposal for an I.V. parking program to present to the California Coastal Commission and the community for feedback.
“They would then present it at a meeting with the Coastal Commission and the community,” Elliott said. “They will be there to give us feedback on the proposal.”
Elliott also said some I.V. residents are disappointed the recently appointed Community Resource Deputy (CRD), James McKarrel, is monolingual.
“They said he wouldn’t be able to reach out to Latino communities and that’s part of what the community resource deputy is supposed to do,” Elliott said.
Schunk said there are limited options when hiring a CRD, as the S.B. County Sheriff Department will only hire within the department.
“They will not bring [officers] in outside of their departments or jurisdictions,” Schunk said. “I don’t think UCPD has that same guideline of restrictions, so our ability to contract for additional law enforcement services by both the county and UCPD can open possibilities.”
Executive Director of I.V. Youth Projects Luann Miller said a party should be held to celebrate the community working together at stakeholders’ meetings every Tuesday night over the past year.
“We need to celebrate the work we’ve done and how the community has gotten involved. In order to keep us all engaged here,” Miller said. “It would be nice to step back and appreciate everyone every once in a while.”