County Counsel Dennis Marshall is retiring this month after five-and-a-half years leading Santa Barbara County’s legal department. At last week's meeting, the Board of Supervisors showered him with praise.
Marshall is returning to the Fresno area, where he lived and worked before coming to Santa Barbara.
He says people keep asking him why he wants to leave paradise.
“The only thing this community doesn’t have is my two sons and two grandkids,” he said.
First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, the board chairman, said Marshall has insight no one else does, since he works so closely with the board during closed sessions. He and other supervisors said Marshall was one of their smartest hires and has done an exemplary job with the county.
“Whatever storms have been swirling around, you have been our calm center,” Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr said.
In addition to litigation and policy-neutral legal support to the board, Marshall was honored for his work helping the county through disaster recovery for the Gap, Tea and Jesusita fires and helping with the North County Jail efforts.
Former county counsel Shane Stark also came to Tuesday’s board meeting to congratulate Marshall, thanking him for keeping the office together.
Once Marshall officially retires later this month, Assistant County Counsel Mike Ghizzoni will take over. Ghizzoni was appointed by the Board of Supervisors in November.