Group Submits Signatures for County Split
Citizens for County Organization (CFCO) submitted 30,000 signatures to the county clerk assessor Wednesday.
The group has been petitioning for over a year to put a measure on the 2006 ballot that would, if passed, split Santa Barbara County in two. CFCO needs 20,779 valid signatures from 25 percent of the county’s registered voters for a feasibility study on the proposed Mission County to take place. Clerk Assessor Joe Holland said he now has 30 days to validate the signatures.
If enough signatures are deemed valid by the county clerk and certified by the county board of supervisors, the governor will appoint an independent committee to determine the feasibility of the new county. This group would have six months to determine if Mission County is economically viable. Once the committee completes its report, the Board of Supervisors would place the measure on the ballot for the next major election.
The proposed Mission County would extend from the Santa Ynez Mountains to the San Luis Obispo County line, separating the urban South County from the more rural North County.
Farmer Assaulted in Santa Maria
A man driving a tractor in Santa Maria was held at gunpoint by an unidentified suspect Tuesday morning.
The farmer was driving his tractor on Brown Road at approximately 3:30 p.m. when he was flagged down by the passenger of a car that appeared to be broken down. When the farmer stopped to help, the male passenger pulled out a gun and told the farmer to give him all his money. When the farmer said he had no money, the passenger told him to give him his wallet.
The farmer turned his pockets inside out to demonstrate he only had his keys and a pocketknife. The suspect then ordered the farmer to get on the ground, walked over and hit the farmer in the head with the butt of his gun. The suspect then got in the car and drove away.
A neighbor of the farmer followed the suspect into the city of Guadalupe, where the suspect escaped. Sgt. Rob Wright of the Santa Maria Sheriff’s Office said the driver of the vehicle is a white female, 17-20 years old and the passenger is a white male, 17-20 years old who weighs approximately 130 pounds. The vehicle is a compact white two-door car with no front license plate and damage to the left-front grille.
Temporary Workers Unionize
Santa Barbara temporary workers were recognized as the newest chapter of Local 620 of the Service Employees International Union.
The union was recognized on Nov. 7 at Santa Barbara City Hall. The California State Mediation and Conciliation Service counted workers’ applications and determined that the majority of city temporary employees wanted to form Local 620. Approximately 275 temporary workers will be eligible to join the union.
City temporary workers currently earn between $7 and $10 per hour for a variety of work for the public. Temporary workers began efforts to organize the union when the Living Wage Ordinance of 2002 gave selective raises to some temporary workers but not others.
Bank Donates Funds to Mariposa House
The Mid-State Bank Foundation donated $5,000 to Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County (DVS) Nov. 7.
The money will go toward DVS’s Mariposa House, a nine-unit apartment building in Santa Maria, which will serve as transitional housing for domestic violence survivors. DVS has been operating a transitional housing program in Santa Barbara for the past 10 years.
DVS operates emergency domestic violence shelters in Santa Maria, Lompoc and Santa Barbara. According to DVS, the 30-45 day stay frequently is not long enough for victims to establish an independent household, especially on the Central Coast, because the cost of housing is so high. The transitional housing program gives domestic violence survivors more time to become independent.
According to DVS, the Mariposa House would alleviate the high demand on the Santa Barbara house and lessen the inconvenience of relocation for North County residents.
To acquire and renovate the Mariposa House, DVS launched its $1.65 million “Safeguard the Future” campaign.
– Compiled by Kristina Ackermann and Caitlin Adams