The county’s pandemic influenza strategy was unveiled to the Board of Supervisors on 3/13, the culmination of 7,500 hours of work by 120 staffers, according to County Executive Officer Mike Brown. Flu pandemics have historically occurred every 40 to 50 years, and current concern focuses on an avian virus that health experts fear may begin spreading more easily among humans. Channel 20 is airing an educational video on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays throughout March at 7 p.m, and has created a Web site at sbcfluinfo.org.
Phil Demery announced on 3/9 that he will resign from his position as Santa Barbara County’s director of public works to take the reins of Sonoma County’s public works department. Demery’s reasons for moving include his children living in Northern California, the pay and benefits being $30,000 more than Santa Barbara, and Sonoma having a “very good working Board of Supervisors and a laid-back county administrator,” Demery said. The county is seeking both an interim and a permanent replacement.
The District Attorney’s office released the results of its investigation of the county’s embattled inclusionary affordable housing program. Although the report found widespread abuse of the program, its author, Laura Cleaves, concluded no criminal charges could be successfully filed. Cleaves cited instances of individuals living in affordable units who owned real estate elsewhere, who obtained loans in excess of the price-controlled resale value of the units, and who lived elsewhere and rented out their affordable units. But she also said the rules for the county’s affordable housing program were so sloppily written they did not specifically preclude such behavior. Some high-ranking county officials are pushing to abandon the program, which has provided 425 affordable units.