Standing beneath a dark gray sky near Miramar Beach, Das Williams hugged longtime benefactor Peter Sperling just before he was sworn in as Santa Barbara County’s 1st District supervisor late Monday afternoon. The moment he began to take his oath it started to drizzle. “I’d take the oath every day if it means more rain for the First District!” he later posted on Facebook. Mike Allen, the county’s clerk of the board, performed the ceremony as Williams’s wife, Jonnie Erika Williams; their baby girl, Ya’Ash; and others watched.
County attorneys reportedly insisted Williams be sworn in the day before outgoing 1st District supervisor Salud Carbajal formally assumed his new post in the House of Representatives so that Carbajal would not briefly hold two offices. But for Williams, the first county supervisor to get sworn in at the beach, the act was important in a philosophical sense. “One of the great innovations of our democracy — over the way the Roman Empire worked — is that we can’t hold simultaneous offices.”
Meanwhile, Mike Allen, the county’s clerk of the board, quickly swore in Joan Hartmann as 3rd District supervisor on Tuesday in the hearing room at the County Administration Building (above) in a ceremony that was over before it even started. In a later interview, Hartmann explained she has been getting a crash course, meeting with all of the department heads to learn “how our office works with theirs. … It’s very exhilarating,” she said.