Santa Barbara County Counsel Stephen Shane Stark has announced he is retiring after 20 years with the county – the last 13 in his present job. Though Stark admits he doesn’t like to travel, he and his wife will be hitting the road, lest he get bored. “I get bored every five minutes, so I gotta do something,” he said Wednesday.

Stark, who gave notice on Monday and publicized his plans for departure at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, is planning a tour of the country’s presidential libraries with his wife. He also intends to attend his 40th year law school class reunion at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

He also plans on spending more time with his grandchildren, and visiting with long-lost friends and relatives.

He will stick around Santa Barbara until early next year, with his last day slated for Jan. 28, 2008. Stark turns 65-years-old on Dec. 31 of this year, and decided shortly after that would be a good time to wrap it up. “I’ve enjoyed it here, but it’s time to move on,” Stark said.

He won’t be missing the stress, Stark said, but he will miss the people and says he leaves with no hard feelings. “The office staff is like family and I love every last one of them,” he wrote on July 16 in a letter to friends and colleagues.

Beside the fact that he finds local government “intrinsically interesting,” he considers Santa Barbara more interesting than most, with its complex land use issues and passionate community members on either side.


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