Isla Vista, CA – The Isla Vista Community Services District (IVCSD) Board unanimously approved the $1.46 million 2021-22 fiscal year budget at the August 24th Board meeting. The budget outlines diversified funding sources with roughly a third of the revenue outside of the Utility User’s Tax. The budget reflects community vision and a statement of values for the Isla Vista community. The budget delivers quality services while strengthening and expanding in a scalable manner.
From March 2021 to June 2021, IVCSD sent out the 2021-2022 Budget Priorities Survey which was intended to capture the priorities of residents, gather feedback on current services, and brainstorm new services IVCSD may explore. COVID-19 limited the level of engagement but IVCSD still received 99 unduplicated responses to the survey. A Budget Town Hall was also held to discuss the budget as it was currently being developed and explore the community’s needs and ideas. Community members were invited to the Finance Committee meetings as well as the Board meeting to provide comments.
Feedback in the Budget Priorities Survey prioritized the need for an overall cleaner community. In partnership with United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County, Isla Vista Beautiful will expand for another full year of operation and include a part-time coordinator and 4 crew members at 20hrs per week of beautification services. Community members can report issues like graffiti and garbage via the SeeClickFix app and now there is more staff able to respond.
The 2021-22 budget allows for three Isla Vista Safety Stations, an increase from two, staffed by UC Police Department’s unarmed Community Service Officers on Friday and Saturday nights. This program is testing out locations for the third site and reacting to community needs with a flexible position to deploy services as public safety issues arise.
Another investment in the 2021-22 budget is building staff capacity to serve the community. This includes the hire of a Community Engagement Director, Compost Collective Program Manager, and Assistant General Manager – Community Programs overseeing services including the Community Center. Managing, operating, and programming the Community Center as it opens this fiscal year, represents the largest service area of investment. IVCSD is investing in positions to better serve and do the important work that was identified by the community.
“This budget will improve the quality of life for Isla Vista residents. Budgets are statements of values, and I am proud of the priorities we are investing in: expansion of clean-up and street beautification services, increasing un-armed Community Service Officers Safety Station presence, and re-starting artistic, cultural, and recreational programming – all while maintaining strong reserves for our community’s government,” said Spencer Brandt, IVCSD Board President.
“This budget is the culmination of six months of collaboration with our community members, service providers, and partner organizations with the goal to deliver quality public services in a fiscally sustainable way. The IVCSD staff is already at work implementing the budget set by our Board of Directors,” said Jonathan Abboud, IVCSD General Manager.
The Isla Vista Community Services District is Isla Vista’s first broad based local government, achieving 47 years of community advocacy for self governance. The IVCSD is empowered to provide eight critical services including public safety, housing mediation, community facilities, parking, graffiti abatement, lighting and sidewalks, and both a municipal advisory council and area planning commission. The Board is composed of five publicly elected directors and two directors appointed by UC Santa Barbara and the County of Santa Barbara.