The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors swore in newly elected Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino during last week’s first meeting of 2011.
Prior to winning the June election over candidate Alice Patino, Lavagnino served as an aide to 24th District Congress member Elton Gallegly. Lavagnino is replacing Joe Centeno, former Santa Maria Chief of Police and proponent of the county’s newly enacted Social Host Liability Ordinance.
Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr said the board expects to continue working amicably together with their newest member.
“I am always excited to start a new year and I very much enjoyed working with Supervisor Centeno and I am looking forward to working with the person who is replacing him, Mr. Lavagnino,” Farr said. “It is always [an] interesting new dynamic with somebody coming on, but certainly since I have been on the board, we have kept a very collegial relationship — all five supervisors — whether we always agree on policy issues or not.”
In addition to swearing in their newest member, the supervisors established 2011 county project assignments and infrastructure.
According to Farr, the members split the commission positions between board members.
“Something that we did do, which is important, is that we delegated to ourselves various board and commission assignments for the year,” Farr said. “There are various commissions that have to do with various health issues, mental health, representation at state and nationwide county organizations and the retirement board.”
The supervisors also addressed issues concerning the Guadalupe Dunes County Park and Jalama Beach, deciding to temporarily close Guadalupe Dunes County Park due to storm damage on the main access road.
Farr said Guadalupe Dunes will be closed until funds are raised for repairs.
Deputy Public Works Director of Santa Barbara County Thomas D. Fayram said the board also decided to renovate the Jalama Beach area.
“Jalama is getting some overnight cabins or [adding] additional options for our visitors,” Fayram said. “Right now, you either tent, camp or you have an RV. There is nothing for anyone else and prices are yet to be set.”
Furthermore, Fayram said the county is also planning changes for the area’s septic system.
“Jalama is served by leach field for sewage disposal [and] the state ordered us to increase our capacity and we were fortunate to have a grant for the work,” Fayram said. “It will make the system more reliable.”