The Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors recently communicated to Chumash Tribal Chair Kenneth Kahn the board’s duty of due diligence to provide the community a full 30-day period to review the Camp 4 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), consider and respond to information regarding the MOA, and address inquiries at the board hearing.

In reply, Kahn claimed a “further delay by the Board.” Is he aware that hundreds of public questions are unanswered? Is he aware that no agreement on fiduciary prudence, protection against water exportation, and fire/road safety is in place?

The county government has fiduciary duties on the behalf of the hundreds of thousands of residents for public safety, financial security, stewardship of our natural resources, etc.

Kahn chooses to consistently turn a blind eye to the many options to satisfy the “quest for tribal housing.” Based on his actions, housing seems an unhurried “need.” What seems quite hurried is the “expeditious passage of HR 1491,” as was the case with previous two Congressional bills the tribe sponsored in the two previous sessions of Congress. These housing needs are in their third year of waiting, while other proposed housing solutions were aborted.

Private property rights, due process rights, and representation by our local, state, and federal representatives are not reserved for special interest groups, or political donors. The rights of a few need not come at the permanent detriment of the many.

The Santa Ynez Valley continues to reach out as good neighbors to meet the tribe’s housing needs and suggests many viable solutions. Will Chairman Kahn show a willingness to respect the local land use plan and pursue a win-win solution?


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