Santa Barbara County's Third District Supervisor
Winter 2018

Dear ,

Happy Holidays! As we round the corner into 2019, I’ve been reflecting on the last year - a year that began with disaster and tragedy. The Thomas Fire and the 1/9 Debris Flow forever changed the lives of many and challenged our County in unprecedented ways. Amidst this challenge, first responders, community leaders, individuals, and local government staff stepped up in heroic fashion to rescue victims, restore safety, provide services, and begin the process of rebuilding. I am still filled with gratitude to all of these heroes. Many families had their lives irreparably changed by these disasters. I applaud the strength, resiliency, and courage that these families have shown as they have worked to recover and honor those that were lost. 

A year removed from these disasters, I am filled with hope. The County worked to streamline the permitting process for disaster victims and helped both survivors and affected businesses gain state assistance. Many survivors are now well along on the road of rebuilding and repair. I personally travelled to Washington, DC to lobby for improvements to the federal Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system - system improvements which we will now see in 2019. The County was also able to secure federal and state reimbursements for the disaster response and has been vigilantly preparing in case disaster strikes again. I assure you that I will continue to fight for enhanced public safety and to protect and promote quality of life for all residents of Santa Barbara County.

Amidst last year's challenges, here are several accomplishments from the past year I'd like to share:

  • The Board of Supervisors approved the Gaviota Coast Plan - a decade-long, community-led process, which will preserve the rural character of the Gaviota Coast for generations to come. 
  • I was proud to sponsor a resolution that reduces fees at County parks for military veterans.
  • I am also pleased to have overseen the launch of the Santa Ynez Valley Traffic and Safety Improvement Study and the Santa Ynez Valley Bike Master Plan.
  • I energetically worked to advance the development of new parks and park. renovations at Lake Cachuma, LeRoy Park, the Vandenberg Village Tot-Lot, Isla Vista Community Center, and Jalama Beach Park as well as provided support for beautification projects in Tanglewood, Isla Vista, and Guadalupe.

In closing out the year, it is with great sadness I wish a fond farewell to two extraordinary women with whom I’ve had the honor to work quite closely with. Elizabeth Farnum, who served on my staff as a District Representative serving the Santa Ynez Valley is retiring after ten years working for the Third District and more than 20 years serving the County. And my colleague on the Board of Supervisors, Janet Wolf, is retiring after twelve distinguished years representing the Second District and twelve more years on the Goleta School Board. I wish both of these fine leaders the very best in their next endeavors. You can read more about both Elizabeth and Janet in articles below.

I wish you and yours a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year!
My warmest regards,
News and Upcoming Events

Santa Ynez Valley Representative, Elizabeth Farnum to Retire

On January 10th, Elizabeth Farnum, our esteemed Santa Ynez Valley representative, will retire after more than 20 years of County service.

Elizabeth’s tenure included serving as an attorney in the County Counsel’s office, Planning Commissioner, and as Third District Representative for Supervisors Doreen Farr and Joan Hartmann. 

Elizabeth’s extensive experience at the County, her encyclopedic knowledge of Santa Ynez Valley issues, and her close relationships with Valley residents were instrumental in providing wise counsel and practical advice on a wide variety of policy issues such as the Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan, water, parks and open space, libraries, seniors, the Gaviota Coast, and Highway 154 safety improvements. 

“Throughout all of the challenges and emergencies that arose over the years,” stated former Supervisor Doreen Farr, “Elizabeth remained stalwart, calm and unflappable and became not just a trusted and loyal member of my staff but a good friend and confidant. Her retirement is certainly well deserved but she will be sorely missed by so many residents for whom she worked incredibly hard to make Santa Barbara County a better place to live for everyone.”

Supervisor Farr's sentiments are similar to mine. I will dearly miss working with Elizabeth. I am deeply grateful for her years of service to both the Third District and the County. She has played a tremendous role in preserving the rural character of the valley and has helped, hundreds— if not thousands—of Valley residents. She has been our rudder. 

Elizabeth will be recognized for her years of service with an honorary resolution at the January 8th Board of Supervisors Meeting at the County Administrative Building at 105 East Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara.
A Season of Change

This winter I bid farewell to my colleague and friend, Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf. 

Janet dutifully served twelve years as the Second District's County Supervisor. During her tenure she was a tireless advocate and leader on issues concerning women and children’s health, public safety, environmental stewardship, criminal justice reform, juvenile justice, and animal welfare. She spearheaded the construction and operation of the County Emergency Operations Center and championed the preservation of Goleta Beach County Park, among many other accomplishments.

Janet was the conscience of our board. She has been a fierce advocate for the residents of the Second District and for the most vulnerable in our County. I have learned much from her and I will miss her dearly.
Burn Program
Changes Launched

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District recently announced changes affecting permitted pile burns.

Note that permitted pile burns are different from prescribed burns; prescribed burns involve standing vegetation and are performed by land managers, including fire agencies.

These changes address common concerns from County residents regarding air quality and fire safety, and apply to the areas of the County served by the County Fire Department. The changes affecting permitted pile burns will reduce air quality impacts to neighboring communities.

Las Varas Ranch Gifted to UCSB

UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang recently announced the acquisition of Las Varas Ranch, an 1800-acre agricultural property located six miles west of the UCSB campus on the Gaviota Coast. It is my understanding that this property will be maintained in agriculture and be added to the UC-system's portfolio of conservation properties. You can read more about this acquisition here  and here or click on the picture to see a video of this special piece of land.

Volunteers Needed for the
Homeless Point In Time Count

My staff and I will be participating in the Common Ground Santa Barbara County Point In Time Count is the annual count of individuals and families experiencing homelessness. This county-wide effort will take place on Thursday, January 24, between 5:00-8:30am. Teams of trained volunteers will canvas assigned routes throughout the County and will document those experiencing homelessness. The data collected can be used to plan homeless assistance systems, assist in grant applications, and raise public awareness. Volunteer trainings will be held in January.
Noteworthy Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission Agenda Items
(Dates are subject to change)

Board of Supervisors
Emergency Medical Services System Review - 1/15

Oil Spill Contingency Plan - 1/29

Planning Commission
Hoop Structures Ordinance Amendment - 1/30

ERG Cat Canyon Oil Project - 3/13

The Power of Community
In November, The Guadalupe Little House by the Park led by Executive Director, Samuel Duarte, showcased its transformative parent engagement practices that have helped to improve the lives of families in Guadalupe. Nineteen Countywide organizations attended the event to share best practices including: Peoples' Self-Help Housing, Community Action Commission, the Fund for Santa Barbara, First Five, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.


Freedom Warming Centers will open throughout the County at the following locations to help people experiencing homelessness across Santa Barbara County during rain and/or cold nights:

Carpinteria: Veterans Memorial Building, 941 Walnut Ave.

Santa Barbara: First Presbyterian Church, 21 E Constance Ave.

Isla Vista: University Methodist Church, 892 Camino Del Sur

Santa Maria: Salvation Army, 200 W. Cook Street

Lompoc: Peace Lutheran Church, 1000 W. Ocean Blvd.

Click here for information on specific dates. 

Out and About in The Community
Test-Riding an Electric Bike Around Solvang
Touring the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and Learning About Nautical Tattoo Culture
Presenting The Commission for Women with a Resolution for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
Honoring the Bucket Brigade and First and Second Responders at The Santa Barbara Independent's Annual Heroes Luncheon
Speaking at the Women's Forum Hosted by the Commission for Women and Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo
Attending the Commencement Ceremony for Graduates of the Substance Abuse Court Diversion Program
Leading a History Walk at Mission Santa Inés with the Trails Council
Filming a Segment for the UC Regents About the Contributions of UCSB's Research Community to Our County

Most County administrative offices and facilities (not including public safety personnel) will be closed Tuesday, December 25, 2018 through Tuesday, January 1, 2019. Offices will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. In case of an emergency, call 911.
Contact Us

 Santa Barbara Office
105 East Anapamu Street, 4th Floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 568-2192

Solvang Office
1745 Mission Drive
Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 686-5095

Santa Maria Office
511 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 111
Santa Maria, CA 93455
(805) 699-1140

Joan Hartmann , Third District Supervisor
Jefferson Litten , Chief of Staff
Gina Fischer , District Representative & Scheduler
Elizabeth Farnum , Central County District Representative
Alma Hernandez , Northern County District Representative