Even if the Board of Supervisors adopts a budget for fiscal year 2009-2010 with cuts of 10 percent across the board, officials still anticipate a deficit of $18.8 million the following fiscal year. A 10 percent cut would mean county departments eliminating the equivalent of almost 200 full-time positions for next fiscal year, the biggest hit coming in the Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Bill Brown is anticipating a “devastating” impact and increased crime should he have to make such extreme cuts. (/budget226)


The Santa Barbara Tea Fire Response Fund, formed after the devastating blaze destroyed 230 homes in Santa Barbara and Montecito, recently gave out $77,203 to 21 applicants affected by the fire. Of those, 91 percent received the money for “self-sufficiency,” including many whose ability to work was harmed by the fire. The fund is still receiving donations and has raised $434,426 to date.


A capacity crowd in Isla Vista on 2/19 told County Supervisor Doreen Farr it opposes the county’s proposed Social Host Ordinance, which would hold responsible landlords and/or renters if underage drinkers are caught in their premises. The main objection was over-reaching police authority to enter private homes. The Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, which would make offenders pay for counseling programs after they’d been nabbed, supports the ordinance. Offenders would pay the costs of police response. The Board of Supervisors, which discusses the matter on 3/24, may see the ordinance as a way to defray law enforcement costs in I.V. (/host226)


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