Wednesday, March 1, 2023

REPORT: Randy Rowse defends response to tourist murder, says he'll run again for mayor

Santa Barbara Mayor Randy Rowse has defended the city's response to the murder of a tourist in an alleged gang shoot-out at the Wharf, stating that the police investigation leading to arrests was "careful, precise, and sensitive to the victim's family". 

Responding to criticism that he and the police department were not transparent enough after the fatal shooting of Rob Gutierrez, Rowse shrugged off the suggestion that he should have taken a high-profile public stance in the case. Rowse also praised the city and the police department for doing a "good job of being vigilant and staying on top of" gang activity, although some have criticized the department's statement that "we do not have a gang problem" in Santa Barbara. 

Rowse also addressed key issues facing the city, including the interim plan for State Street, the redevelopment of Paseo Nuevo, housing at La Cumbre Plaza, homelessness, and the future of De La Guerra Plaza, while confirming that he intends to run for re-election as mayor.

  • He offered a hint of a possible breakthrough in the stalled process of revamping Paseo Nuevo.
  • Rowse also chided Supervisor Das Williams for allegedly blocking the city from obtaining a $1.2 million grant to design and adopt a comprehensive plan for housing at La Cumbre Plaza.

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