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Adam, Hartmann, Williams Sworn In as Santa Barbara County Supervisors Start 2017 Session

In first meeting of the year, the board updated its minimum wage for paid interns and approved longer unpaid leave for married county employees

Santa Barbara County Supervisors Joan Hartmann, Das Williams and Peter Adam take the oath of office Tuesday morning along with Superior Court Judge Michael Carrozzo, center. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara County Supervisors Joan Hartmann, Das Williams and Peter Adam take the oath of office Tuesday morning along with Superior Court Judge Michael Carrozzo, center.  (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors’ 2017 session kicked off with pomp and circumstance Tuesday as it swore in its newly elected members, First District Supervisor Das Williams and Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, and returning member Fourth District Supervisor Peter Adam

The board’s 167th convening included a keynote address by teacher Michelle Minetti-Smith of Guadalupe’s Mary Buren Elementary School, a musical presentation by the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School Vocal Ensemble, poetry reading by Dan Gerber, an invocation by the Rev. Mary Moreno-Richardson and a presentation of colors by the Los Prietos Boys Camp Color Guard.

Taking over as chair of the board from Adam was Hartmann, who won the seat in the general election against Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District trustee Bruce Porter. Williams, who won the seat in the primary election over county investment officer Jennifer Christensen, took over as vice-chair.

The First District seat was previously held by Salud Carbajal, who was sworn in as the Central Coast's congressman last week, and Doreen Farr retired from the Third District seat. 

Adam easily won a second term in June’s primary election.

Hartmann, a former county planning commissioner, said that looming over the board this year are challenges related to jobs, water, housing, infrastructure, public safety, energy, and protecting the character of local communities and their most vulnerable members — “all in the face of a shrinking county budget.”

Despite the challenges, the new board members expressed optimism and determination.

Santa Barbara County Supervisors Das Williams, Joan Hartmann and Peter Adam are sworn into office Tuesday. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara County Supervisors Das Williams, Joan Hartmann and Peter Adam are sworn into office Tuesday.  (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

“Board hearings and deliberations bring to bear the wisdom of each (supervisor) — a conviction that all of us together is smarter than any one of us,” Hartmann said. “That is how this board operates — that’s its culture.”

Williams, who termed out as the state Assembly's 37th District representative, said that tackling the slate of issues demands hard work and thinking in the long-term.

“None of these can be achieved by just allowing our values to be no more than surface pretension,” he said.

Adam, Hartmann and Williams join Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf and Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino on the board. 

During its first meeting, the new board approved an updated minimum wage for paid interns working for the county.

Effective Jan. 2, those interns now make at least $10.50 — the state’s new minimum wage. That sum will increase with future state or federal increases in the minimum wage.

The state’s latest minimum wage law, signed last April, raises that hourly amount to $15 by 2023 for businesses with under 25 employees and by 2022 for everyone else.

New Third District County Supervisor Joan Hartmann is designated as Board Chair at Tuesday’s meeting. Click to view larger
New Third District County Supervisor Joan Hartmann is designated as Board Chair at Tuesday’s meeting.  (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

The $10.50 wage went into effect on Jan. 1, will jump to $11 in 2018, and will increase by a dollar more each year from there. After 2022, the wage will rise with inflation.

Each September, the governor will be able to decide whether to suspend the increase the following January if the economy begins to sour.

The county’s internship program started in 2005 and offers local undergraduate and graduate students the chance to work in government.

Also approved by the board Tuesday was a change to the county’s family and medical care leave policy that provides married couples who work for the county the same amount of unpaid bonding leave as unmarried couples.

Previously, married couples were entitled to only a combined 12 weeks of bonding time with a newborn or newly adopted child over a one-year period. Now, they’re entitled to 24 total weeks between them.​

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

New First District County Supervisor Das Williams takes the oath of office Tuesday morning. Click to view larger
New First District County Supervisor Das Williams takes the oath of office Tuesday morning.  (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

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