The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors came closer to taking away some powers and duties held by the county executive officer on 3/3, voting 3-2 to initially approve an ordinance that strips the ability to hire and fire department heads and enables these positions to speak directly to board members. Opponents of the supes’ decision claim a 2005 decision to increase CEO Mike Brown’s power resulted in improved efficiency. The ordinance must yet get a final vote from the board. (/ceo35)


The nonprofit foundation running Montecito’s historic Val Verde estate filed for bankruptcy on 2/27 rather than be sold at auction on 3/4 on the courthouse steps. The nonprofit was $1.4 million behind in payments on a $13 million loan taken out in 2006. By filing, the Val Verde Foundation aims to gain 18 months of additional time. Meanwhile, foundation executives hope to sell the property for $19 million, and claim to have a willing buyer. (/valverde)


Steve Pappas’s contest of November’s 3rd District Supervisor election has been put on hold for two weeks after news that the mother of his opponent’s attorney, Fred Woocher, had passed away. Doreen Farr, who won the election by 806 votes, is being represented by the Santa Monica-based attorney. The election challenge reconvenes March 11 in Judge William McLafferty’s courtroom, where Pappas attorney Jeffrey Lake will continue to call witnesses. (/pappas35)


Santa Barbara Municipal Airport will receive a federal grant in excess of $1.3 million to fund construction of a new terminal. According to an airport spokesperson, this money constitutes the second portion of a federal grant that was never fully released due to “limited legislation.” The construction grant on the new terminal is scheduled to be awarded on 3/10.


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