Rumor Control

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The Rumor Page

Welcome to the Rumor Page, where the City dispels rumors and corrects misinformation. 

If you hear rumors in the community that you believe should be corrected, please contact the City at

Rumor:  The Friends of the Santa Maria Public Library are going away (July 2018).
 No, the Friends plan to continue fundraising and to support Santa Maria’s Public Library by funding materials, supplies and programs the Library could not otherwise afford. Yes, the Friends moved out of the Library Shop in the main library. However they are operating their online book sales, and periodically holding three-day sales during the year in the Library's Shepard Hall. The Friends rent office space at 1000 South Broadway Suite B for administration and to run online book sales on Amazon.  

How do the Friends raise funds?  Through sales of donations, membership dues and donations, the annual painted chair event, grants, and a BBQ fundraiser.  

How much revenue do the Friends raise, and how much do the Friends donate to the Library? According to the publicly available Form 990s filed by the non-profit Friends, the organization's total revenues in 2017 were $62,267 and $56,403 in 2016. The amount donated to the library in 2017 was $37,142 and in 2016, $49,307.  Source: Friends of the Library debit card spreadsheet/budget on file with Library administration.

How much did the Library Shop raise?  According to the Library Shop Profit and Loss YTD Comparison for November 2017, during the January to November 2017 period, the Library Shop income was $30,769 and expenses were $23,423 for a net income of $7,346.  Library-donated books and discards generated $20,112 of the total income; and online Amazon sale income was $5,903 for the same period. Other sales were for candy, greeting cards, silent auction items and other merchandise. Shop expenses included payroll for a part time employee, bank fees, insurance, merchandising, and the total cost of goods.  No rent was charged by the City. The net income from the Library Shop in 2016 was $11,260 with $25,999 in donated or discarded materials provided for sales.  In 2015, the net income of the Library Shop was $17,670 with $30,124 in donated and discarded library materials sold.  In 2014, the Library Shop net income was $6,792 with $27,503 in donated or discarded library materials provided for sales. Source:  email from Friends treasurer to City Librarian dated January 4, 2018 on file in Library Administration.

Did the Library Shop lose its lease?  No, there had not been a lease in place.  The City pursued a lease to formalize the use of the space, to meet specific insurance requirements, and the City was willing to accept a below fair market value rent requested by the Friends of $833 month. The Friends declined to enter into the lease agreement and moved out of the Shop on July 17, 2018. They have rented office and storage space at 1000 S. Broadway for $700 month.

Does the City have an agreement with the Friends?  No, the City has an agreement with the three other Friends groups using the Library in Guadalupe, Orcutt and Los Alamos as well as with the Library Foundation, but not with the Friends of the Santa Maria Public Library.  The City has agreements with the other groups for liability reasons, and needs such an agreement with the Friends of the Santa Maria Public Library. MOUs are available to view by appointment with the City Librarian.

How does the City assure that volunteers working in the library are properly vetted to meet safety standards?  Anyone interested in volunteering with the City must complete and sign the City’s volunteer application or volunteer waiver. Each volunteer works under supervision and direction of the Department Volunteer Coordinator or his/her designee. Volunteers receive documented safety instructions and also are counseled about following City policies and procedures. The City's Volunteer Opportunities webpage and Volunteer Application.

Rumor: Homelessness is increasing in Santa Maria.
Fact: The most recent survey of homelessness (the 2017 Point In Time Count) found that Santa Maria has 338 homeless individuals, an increase of 4 percent from the prior survey.  In addition, homelessness has jumped throughout California as this 2018 report shows. The City of Santa Maria partnered with Santa Barbara County and area nonprofits to respond to the rise in homelessness seeking to shelter the most vulnerable, assure compliance with State and local laws, and address impacts to and from the homeless community.  The issue is much larger than what we see in Santa Maria. Governments, business, and nonprofit across the state are pursuing remedies to address the growth of homelessness.

Rumor: Santa Maria is going to district elections. (February 2017) True. For information, go this webpage.

Rumor: Will parking along East Boone Street soon be illegal? (March 2017) This is false.
Fact: The City did remove one parking space along East Boone Street in February, in front of the Hancock Terrace Apartments because a resident complained about limited sight distance. The curb was painted red. Here is the staff report. (see last page for map showing that parking space) 

Rumor: Santa Maria is a sanctuary city. This is false.
Fact: Santa Maria is not a sanctuary city. The City has never made a decision to approve a resolution, ordinance, or other action to implement a sanctuary city policy. The City has repeatedly asked a person in Ohio to remove the City from his list of sanctuary cities.

In October 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to create a statewide sanctuary policy effective January 1, 2018. This limits whom State and local law enforcement agencies can hold, question, and transfer at the request of Federal immigration authorities.