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Bill Rosen

Paul Wellman

Bill Rosen


The S.B. Questionnaire: Bill Rosen

Chatting Life with the New York Transplant Who Runs Goleta Water Board


Since moving from New York City to Santa Barbara a number of years ago, Bill Rosen and his wife, Lois, have been making contributions to almost every aspect of our community. In 2008, Bill was elected to serve on the Goleta Water District Board of Directors, where he currently serves as president, and he’s also a board member of Antioch University and a member of Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee.

On a personal and professional level, I’m deeply indebted to the hard work ethics of Bill and his commitment to the well-being of Santa Barbara. As the Treasurer of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for many years, Bill advised and guided our finances with admirable stewardship and concentrated care. I couldn’t wish for a better friend and counsellor.

Bill doesn’t speak much, but when he does, it’s worth listening, so I’m especially pleased that he answered the Proust Questionnaire.

What do you like most about your job?

I am retired. However, in 2008 I was elected to serve on the Goleta Water District Board of Directors. I have been Board President since 2010. I have served as the District’s representative on the Central Coast Water Authority Board.

These two positions have presented a fascinating opportunity to serve my community and the county. Along with Lauren Hanson, we have successfully changed the image and operations of the District. During the worsening drought, water district board members play a crucial role in managing the water supply and its effect on the lives of every resident.

Likewise, the Central Coast Water Authority demonstrates the impact that northern county control of the agency can have on South Coast water supplies.

Where would you most like to live?

I was born and grew up in New York, but moved to Santa Barbara because I believe this is an ideal place to live.

Who do you most admire?

My high school social studies teacher who stimulated my interest in history and political science.

What is the quality you most like in people?

Honesty. In politics, honesty is the only thing one can rely upon.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Since 2011, my wife and I have gone to a different world city for New Year’s. The fireworks and celebration vary from city to city. We should have done it a lot sooner. It’s a great experience.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I don’t think that there is perfect happiness. I think that life’s a struggle and the victories along the way lead to happiness.

What is your greatest fear?

Dying a prolonged and painful death.

What is your current state of mind?

Trying to be calm and in control of myself.

What is the quality you most dislike in people?

Meanness. Need I say more?

What is your most marked characteristic?

Stick-to-it-iveness.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I try not to overuse any phrase, but if I did, it would be, “Get over it.”

Which talent would you most like to have?

Musical talent. When I was a kid, I took piano lessons that went nowhere. In high school, I played trombone. That also went nowhere. I was not a natural at it. I love the Music Academy of the West and, yes, I have attended the trombone master classes.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To “chill out” more.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Getting elected.

What is your most treasured possession?

My iPhone. I never could organize a calendar, failed at the Palm Pilot. But the iPhone is a simply brilliant device.

Who makes you laugh the most?

My grandson Jack. He’s 8 months old, has the sweetest disposition, and loves to laugh and smile.

On what occasion do you lie?

To avoid hurt feelings

What is your motto?

Life’s not a dress rehearsal.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Gandhi and Lincoln: Gandhi for accomplishing his goals with non-violence and Lincoln for enduring war to accomplish a greater good. Both for advancing freedom.

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