Biltmore Employees to Vote on a Lowball Severance Offer

••• KEYT has an update on the situation at the Four Seasons Biltmore resort, where employees are caught in a petty struggle between owner Ty Warner and the Four Seasons chain, neither of whom feels responsible for paying severance. Mediation has led to “an offer that includes 10% of the $6.5 million of severance pay specified in the workers’ contracts. ‘$650,000 is not very much when you divide it up among 450 people,’ [a lawyer for representing many employees] said. Each employee has been sent a ballot to accept or reject the offer.”

••• The Independent dug into the story of Santa Barbara transportation planner Rob Dayton, who “alleges he is being discriminated against and that he has been passed over for prior promotions because of his Christian convictions.” A 2014 video of him preaching—it has since been removed—certainly offered cause for alarm:

“Guys,” he says, lowering his voice, “what I’d like to see is a city takeover. … Give me 50 men and we can take back Santa Barbara.” He commends Muslims for not hiding their intent to conquer the globe; Christians, he says, shouldn’t be ashamed of their same goal. “We have been given a kingdom to manage,” he intones, “and this is about taking over the world.”

“I want us to start by taking this region, this coastal plane [sic],” Dayton continues, his energy rising. “I want it to be known internationally that the City of Santa Barbara is alive with God.” That this is where people go to be healed in Jesus’s name, where the church makes the economy work, where there isn’t homelessness or drug addiction because residents are so blessed. “That’s my vision,” Dayton says. “Do you want to be part of that, guys? C’mon!”

The article, which is really worth a read, says Dayton is reportedly “demanding a $500,000 payment to avoid litigation, though that number could not be independently verified.” And apparently city council candidate Barrett Reed was involved with the group, which did some good deeds: “Reed maintains he interacted only briefly with the congregation by giving a talk about his real estate development firm and, as a volunteer chaplain, working alongside [cofounder John] Mullen at the jail. He may have attended another Tuesday service but can’t remember, he said. In one of the deleted videos, Reed discussed his close personal relationship with Mullen, including a recent falling-out and reconciliation between the two of them and their families. In another video, he talked about how they used prayer to heal inmates of various medical conditions.”

••• “The Santa Barbara City Attorney’s Office hit a detour on Tuesday in its effort to create restrictions on sidewalk vendors. Although it is against state law to ban sidewalk vendors, cities have the right to regulate them on where they sell, the time of day they do it, and other restrictions. […] City Council members voice disagreement over how much, if any, regulation is needed for people selling items on the street.” —Noozhawk

••• “After being shot down twice—once in May and again in June—Santa Barbara City College’s Covid vaccine mandate was passed at Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting. In a 6-1 vote, the board approved the resolution, which would require all students, employees, and visitors at any campus building or SBCC teaching location to be vaccinated. Anybody that will be on campus will need to provide documentation by October 1, or earlier if a vaccine receives FDA approval.” —Independent

••• “Upper Village clothing and accessory boutique [Jupiter Juniper] has moved [from Montecito’s Upper Village] to the Lower Village, next to Sakana.” —Montecito Journal

••• More cannabis-industry machinations: “Houweling’s Tomatoes is closing its 125-acre Camarillo greenhouse and selling the facility to a cannabis grower—a deal made possible by a Ventura County ballot measure last year that was sponsored and supported by a company affiliated with Houweling’s.” —Pacific Coast Business Times

••• “A 30-mile strip of Highway 101 in Ventura County will be widened in the coming years, with an estimated cost of as much as $1 billion.” The Pacific Coast Business Times article doesn’t specify where the works will take place.


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