The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday chose its representatives for the board of the Santa Barbara County Local Agency Formation Commission, also known as LAFCO.
LAFCO’s roster includes county supervisors, city council members, special district board members, and members of the public.
First District Supervisor Das Williams will serve as one of the county’s regular members on the LAFCO board, while Fourth District Supervisor Bob Nelson will serve as the alternate member for the next four years.
Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann is also on the LAFCO board, and her term there ends in 2023.
This means both regular members represent South County and mid-County areas.
Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino said he stepped down from the LAFCO board because he thinks Nelson needed a voice and a vote on Orcutt issues.
Nelson wanted the regular member seat and said there are upcoming proposals that affect North County and his district, including applications from Santa Maria to annex large parts of Orcutt, change zoning, and have significant impacts on the community.
Nelson said he’s “kind of a nerd when it comes to this stuff,” and wants to represent his constituents for decisions on Fourth District issues.
A good policy discussion needs history and an understanding of the affected community, “and I want to make sure that isn’t lost at LAFCO,” he said.
He agreed to serve as the alternate after Williams and Hartmann committed to having him speak for the Santa Maria Valley on LAFCO issues.
Williams, who is currently the alternate member on the LAFCO board, said alternates can still participate in the discussion, and he would consider stepping down on specifically Santa Maria Valley issues so Nelson can vote.
“I would as a concession to what I think is a really important struggle of self-determination that Orcutt has, that I can very much empathize with after trying to struggle for some of those same ones for Isla Vista, I would very much consider stepping down in cases of emerging conflicts in the Santa Maria Valley.”
Hartmann said it is the Board of Supervisors’ practice and expectation that alternate members will become regular members of the LAFCO board.
The next LAFCO Board meeting is scheduled for April 7 in Santa Barbara.