Among other things, a resident survey conducted for the county
by the National Citizen Survey found that 96
percent of residents had visited a county park last year, that 71
percent rated access to affordable quality housing “poor,” that 20
percent lived in households that had been victimized by crime, and
that 35 percent of those crimes were not reported. The report
turned up certain paradoxes, such as the finding that most people
considered population growth too fast, but economic growth too
slow. Andy Caldwell, representing North County business interests,
ridiculed the supervisors for spending $20,000 on a report that
“tells you three things: what you already know, what you don’t want
to know, and what you aren’t going to do anything about.”

Supervisors unanimously praised Assemblymember Pedro
for the hard-won passage into law of AB2265, which
over the next two years will provide about $1.6 million to
Cottage Hospital’s trauma center and other
emergency rooms in the county. The funding, from a portion of court
fines that legislators wanted to use for other purposes, was due to
sunset. Twenty trauma centers statewide have closed in the past

Supervisors encouraged state Senator Tom
to continue battling for AB1617, which would
grease the skids for Santa Barbara’s Flood Control District to
remove willows from the Santa Ynez River. State
Fish and Game, fearful of inviting environmental lawsuits, is not
cooperating in the Republican-backed effort. Attempts to clear
willows from the river in previous years have been met by legal
challenges and protesters confronting bulldozers.

County employees called to active military duty
will receive 80 percent of their county salary for the entire
length of their service. The county had previously set a 30-month
maximum benefit period; two employees now in Iraq who have
surpassed that limit will be retroactively included in the
indefinitely extended benefits.

The county supervisors announced they will lobby Sacramento for
relief from affordable housing mandates. They will
meet before the end of the year to work out a strategy with the
county’s lobbyist, Cliff Berg of Governmental Advocates, Inc.


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