The City of Santa Barbara has hired as its first economic development manager Jason Harris from the City of Santa Monica, where he holds the same post. There, he oversees a $5.5 million department with responsibilities for four weekly farmers’ markets, four Business Improvement Districts, and the Santa Monica Pier.
The post was one of the prime necessities identified in a study designed to unzip the city’s permitting rules, widely regarded as business unfriendly, last year. In August, the city hired Marck Aguilar from within its Community Development department to act as its business liaison.
Harris holds an economics degree from the University of Arizona, an MBA from Western Illinois University, and had been a community development specialist for the Peace Corps. He takes up his Santa Barbara duties at the end of March.