Thursday, July 31, 2008

Armstrong Dogs Mayor at Poodle Parade

News-Press editorial page editor Travis Armstrong's hounding of Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum isn't limited to the editorial pages of the paper.

The same weekend that Armstrong's op-ed column ran in the paper, reporting that the mayor was considering resigning, one of my readers snapped this picture of Armstrong taking pictures of the mayor at the French Festival where she was emceeing the poodle parade.

Why he's taking her picture is a mystery to me. Perhaps he's hoping to catch her in an unflattering pose?

On July 17, a few days after the French Festival, Armstrong sent the mayor the following e-mail:

Mrs. Blum:

Please comment regarding the firing of a senior citizen from his city job after responding to your Saturday e-mail.

Also, please comment on your interactions with Jason Bryan regarding this matter, as well as your use of city email for personal and/or political purposes and to attack citizens of our city.

Thanks in advance,

Travis Armstrong

To which the mayor responded:

Re: the firing of a city employee

The comings and goings of city staff are personnel matters, and I have nothing to do with them. I have spoken with no one, not Jason Bryan nor his boss Nancy Rapp, about this personnel matter and I don't know any particulars.

Re: the use of City email

In response to your piece in the Saturday, July 12th newspaper claiming that I am getting ready to quit my job as Mayor, I sent an email to all email users on the City staff to reassure them that I have no plans to quit this job and that my health is very good. The email went to City staff since it is their boss you were talking about in the newspaper.

You are welcome.

Marty Blum

The mayor yesterday furnished the e-mails to me and others in the local media.

Doesn't it strike you as a little strange that Armstrong, after asking the mayor for a comment and getting one in response, never bothered to publish or mention her email in the paper?