The council conducted a nationwide recruitment following the retirement of Steve Wiley in December.
After numerous interviews by the council, Calonne was selected from a pool of 45 highly qualified candidates. He will start in his new position no later than March 17.
Since 2007, Calonne has served as the city attorney for the City of San Buenaventura. Prior to his employment with Ventura, he served as the city attorney for the cities of Palo Alto and Boulder, Colo., for a combined 17 years.
While working in private practice, he served as city attorney for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and provided legal services to the cities of Corona, Redlands, Banning, Desert Hot Springs, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Carson and Perris. He received his law degree at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco and his bachelor’s degree in biology from the UC Riverside.
Calonne served as president of the City Attorneys Department of the League of California Cities in 1998-99 and was named Public Lawyer of the Year in 2003 by the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California. In 2006, the Colorado Metro City Attorneys Association honored him with the Outstanding City Attorney award.
Calonne has authored numerous articles and amicus curiae briefs on public records, governmental immunity, and open government issues. He has been active on public records, privacy, First Amendment and open meetings law, leading and participating in numerous League of California Cities and legislative committees on the subject.
Calonne has been a resident of Santa Barbara since 2007.
“We were very fortunate to have a high caliber group of attorneys express interest in the position,” Mayor Helene Schneider said. “We are pleased to select an attorney with many years of experience with a range of California cities and demonstrated leadership in municipal law.”
— Nina Johnson is an administrative assistant for the City of Santa Barbara.