In his keynote address, political journalist Lou Cannon wished the new County Board of Supervisors a “constructive combination of idealism and compromise,” as they swore their oaths of office Tuesday morning before an overflow crowd.
New third district supervisor Brooks Firestone charmed the crowd early when he introduced his wife Kate as his “number one key team member.” Noting that “we are at a historical moment in Santa Barbara history right now,” with the county split on the ballot for next year, Firestone offered outgoing supervisor Gail Marshall and her assistant John Buttney (his opponent in the third district race) his “thanks and total respect.”
Salud Carbajal, the new first district supervisor, also gave a respectful nod to Marshall, as well as to his mentor, outgoing supervisor Naomi Schwartz.
“To my colleagues on the board, I really look forward to serving with you all and working to find solutions to the many challenges that face residents of our county and our constituents,” said Carbajal.
“While I think we will disagree from time to time, I’m hopeful that we are mindful of the importance of keeping the types of relationships and civility that will allow us to put forth our best foot for our constituency that we represent,” he said.
Both Carbajal and Firestone were elected to four-year terms. Joni Gray was also re-elected to serve the fourth district for four more years. Second district supervisor Susan Rose, who has two years remaining in her seat, was named Chairwoman of the Board, with Gray as Vice Chair.
“Our challenge is to make our diversity of opinion our strength,” said Rose, in accepting the gavel from Fifth District Supervisor Joe Centeno, who also has two years left in his term.
Newly elected Judge James Rigali was sworn in to a six-year term after an invocation by Father Virgil Cordano of the Old Mission Santa Barbara, a presentation of colors and pledge of allegiance led by Vandenberg Air Force Base Color Guard Colonel Frank Gallegos and a musical presentation by the Santa Barbara High School Madrigal Singers, under the direction of Phillip McLendon.
Also appointed were: Jack Boysen, C. Michael Cooney, Susan Jordan (all reappointed), Parker Montgomery and Joe Valencia to the County Planning Commission; Dan Eidelson (reappointed) to the Coastal Vector Control District Board; Bob Bierig, Michael Phillips and Richard Thielscher (all reappointed) to the Montecito Planning Commission; Claire Gottsdanker and Donald Nulty (both reappointed) to the Montecito Board of Architectural Review; “Bob” David Robert Kober, Jr. and David Morgan (both reappointed) to the Fish & Game Commission; Julia F. McLanahan to the Advisory Board on Alcohol and Drug Problems; George Croll and Patrice Surmeier (both reappointed) to the Air Pollution Control District Community Advisory Council; Eileen Wyckoff and Jim Lowsley (both reappointed) to the Historic Landmarks Advisory Committee; James King (reappointed) to the Board of Architectural Review; Gene O. Peterson (reappointed) to the County Parks Commission; and Ronald Werft and Karen Johnson (reappointed) to the County Regional Health Authority Board of Directors.