Pushing for Jail Tax

Sheriff Bill Brown (right) shares a moment with Santa Maria Mayor Larry Lavagnino (left) and retired dot-com executive Rick Roney (center)
Paul Wellman

RALLYING SUPPORT: Sheriff Bill Brown (right) shares a moment with Santa Maria Mayor Larry Lavagnino (left) and retired dot-com executive Rick Roney (center) to extol the virtues of Measure S, the half-cent sales tax that would build a new county jail in Santa Maria. The new jail, Brown said, would alleviate chronic overcrowding that’s led to the early release of 1,700 prisoners a year, save lives, create jobs, and set aside money for intervention and prevention programs designed to keep repeat offenders from offending again. Speaking in favor of Measure S was a host of elected officials, including Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and County Supervisor Janet Wolf. Wolf’s remarks were interrupted when Kate Smith, an outspoken critic of what she terms the “schools-to-prison pipeline,” leaned on her car horn and shouted out her objections.

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