The Lompoc City Council has long rejected proposals for housing and business development, concurrently adding administrative positions and granting generous wage increases.

Restrictive zoning and burdensome regulations tighten the noose around taxpayers’ necks. While the gas tax smothers this commuter state, the governor questions why gas prices in California are among the highest in the nation.

Criminals can steal up to $949 per day, possess cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine and, if caught, be charged with a misdemeanor. Violent crimes recently reclassified as non-violent include trafficking of a child, abducting a minor for prostitution, rape by intoxication. Rape of an unconscious person or various other sexual assaults if the victim is unconscious are all now non-violent crimes. How do you recruit police to serve in an environment of legislated anarchy?

Healthcare, housing, education, services and various waivers of laws are promoted for illegal immigrants while mentally ill and addicted citizens live in filth on our streets or are jailed.

Sacramento moves repeatedly to elevate and centralize local zoning to the state level. State lawmakers have proposed that public health officials, instead of local doctors, decide which children should be vaccinated before attending school. The state taxes us but does not represent our best interests for liberty and freedom.

The City Council should open up Lompoc for success, claw back state taxes that serve to endanger us, eliminate regulations and zoning unrelated to health and safety. Rescind earlier council actions that throttled back our economy. It is not possible to tax your way out of bad government policies.

Consistent in her support for government revenue expansion aligned with reductions in citizen services, Mayor Jenelle Osborne at the May 21 meeting doubled down on a Lompoc investor. The citizen requested relief from a city code that would have required him to tear up a section of Pine Street ostensibly to alleviate a problem that does not and has not existed for 50 years.

Council member Jim Mosby recused himself from the discussion to avoid a potential conflict due to property he owns within 500 feet of the property involved.

Council member Dirk Starbuck agreed the citizen’s request was “common sense.” Mayor Osborne made a motion to deny the citizen’s appeal of the code. The motion failed on a 2-2 vote. Both consistent citizen representatives, Starbuck and Victor Vega had voted against the mayor’s motion to deny in favor of the citizen’s appeal. Vega moved to bring back the ordinance at a later meeting and consider an exemption on behalf of the citizen. That motion also failed on a 2-2 vote. Starbuck and Vega had both voted to consider an exemption to the ordinance and offer relief to the citizen.

Council member Gilda Cordova moved to bring the matter back to the next council meeting to give them more time to get information “and potentially consider an alternative vote.” Incredibly, that motion passed 3-1. Big-government, tax-friendly Mayor Osborne was the lone “no” vote to Cordova’s motion to get more information and potentially consider an alternative.

The mask obscuring Lompoc budget woes was removed with the mayor’s vote. Hog-tie citizens and businesses with excessive rules and regulations. Make no exceptions. If bankruptcy is your goal, you are well on your way.

When liberty and freedom are constrained, citizens and businesses suffer. Mayor Osborne has a master other than the citizens of Lompoc. Increasing revenue will not resolve the effects of policies she promotes. Perhaps that’s why video archives of council meetings were purged from the meeting, agenda, minutes webpage and buried on an external website. The video archive website location change coincided with the installation of Mayor Osborne. The smirk on her face as she doubles down on denial of a citizen’s common sense request is best left buried.

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Deb Andrews is a Lompoc resident.