Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 9:30 am | Fair 58º


Santa Barbara Bucks Trend in Approving Budget Without Cutting Law Enforcement

Other local jurisdictions adopt plans for 2011-12 as they aim to find fiscal balance with minimal impact to employees and services

Local jurisdictions have adopted their budgets for the 2011-12 year without knowing what the California Legislature’s financial plan will be, and rising costs of public safety have resulted in law enforcement cuts for many cities.

Santa Barbara bucked the trend, and the City Council unanimously approved a $290 million operational budget and a $25 million Redevelopment Agency budget Tuesday that include plans to fund a restorative policing program and find money in the future for three more police officers.

City Manager Jim Armstrong said increasing the police force and having a balanced budget next year will be difficult, but council members reiterated their commitment to public safety and somehow finding the $450,000.

The city is assuming that labor groups will agree to more concessions, including furloughs and suspension of vacation cash-outs, as they have in the past few years.

Santa Barbara County

The Board of Supervisors cut $72 million for the 2011-12 year, including the elimination of 50 Sheriff’s Department positions and major cuts to the District Attorney’s Office. Click here for a full list of board adjustments.

The supervisors did fund the county’s warming shelters with $25,000, half the amount the program received last year, and fully funded the Pro Pay program, which helps mentally ill people manage their federal benefits.


The City of Goleta adopted its budget Tuesday and included the use of reserves and two fewer deputies for its contract with the Sheriff’s Department.

Employees were given cost-of-living increases after three years without raises but now have to contribute into their retirements, which was traditionally paid by the city. The city expects a revenue “bump” next year from additional sales and bed taxes once part of its revenue neutrality agreement with the county expires.


At the June 13 meeting, the Carpinteria City Council discussed cuts to community services after deciding to eliminate three Sheriff’s Department positions — and $420,000 — leaving the city with 14 positions in its public safety contract.

The city is facing a $1 million deficit, but it also has more than $7 million in reserves, and one councilmember argued that those should be considered before making further cuts to community services.

Joe Armendariz, who voted against the cuts to the Sheriff’s Department, said the budget deserved more scrutiny and said he was against cutting any of the community services budget.

“The only sacred cow in Carpinteria is the strategic reserve,” he said, arguing that some of the reserves should be used to backfill services.

Councilman Brad Stein argued that reserves, some of which had been set aside for things such as park maintenance, shouldn’t be used for other things.

“I understand your frustration with the sheriff’s contract, but we are not putting this community in jeopardy,” he said. “What we’ve done across the board is tighten our belts.”

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >