Included in the 2011-2012 SDF funding cycle for Santa Barbara County is: $501,000 to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department for a firefighter/paramedic position; $117,876 to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department for funding five Deputy Sheriff positions; and $117,876 to the City of Buellton for additional law enforcement services.
“Our community’s safety and health is very important to us,” said Richard Gomez, Vice Chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “Budget cuts by state and county governments continue to take their toll on our local fire protection and law enforcement agencies. It’s important we step in and do as much as we can. The Special Distribution Fund is one of the ways we are able to help.”
The SDF, which originated when the tribal compacts were signed in 1999 by then-Governor Gray Davis, is designed to assist local governments handle off-reservation impacts of tribal gaming by permitting cities and counties to apply for grants funded by tribal contributions to the state SDF.
The Santa Barbara County Indian Gaming Committee is comprised of representatives from local cities, the county and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Representatives from the tribe are Tribal Vice Chairman Gomez and Sam Cohen, the tribe’s legal and government affairs specialist. Representatives from the County Board of Supervisors are Steve Lavagnino, 5th District Supervisor and Doreen Farr, 3rd District Supervisor. City representatives include Joan Jamieson, council member from the City of Solvang and Ed Andrisek, mayor of the City of Buellton.
Responsibilities of the Indian Gaming Benefit Committee include awarding grants, ensuring that funds are allocated according to priorities established by law, establishing all application policies and procedures, and assessing the eligibility of applications for grants from local jurisdictions impacted by tribal gaming operations.
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians owns and operates the Chumash Casino Resort, located on the Santa Ynez Reservation. The tribe also owns Hotel Corque and Root 246, both located in Solvang.