During a discussion about Santa Barbara County’s legislative platform in 2015 one supervisor shared his thoughts on Chumash land rights.
Supervisor Peter Adam said, On this tribal gaming, just in short, I think we should be asking to revisit the whole reservation system, I think it inadvisable to have sovereign holdings in the middle of our nation and we should at least consider curtailing expansion instead of nibbling around the edges to make it less palatable for us.”
Supervisor Salud Carbajal fired back and said, “I must say the notion put forth by Supervisor Adam to re-examine the existance of reservations or sovereignty in this country is shocking and appalling to me .”
Other supervisors stayed out of the war of words.
But the leader of the Chumash Tribe issued a statement. Vincent Armenta said, “This type of ignorant comment shows what our tribe is up against when we try work with the County of Santa Barbara.
At issue is expansion plans following the purchase of land once owned by late actor Fess Parker. The land received tax breaks in return for preservation under the Williamson Act. If it becomes part of the reservation in Santa Ynez, it will not be taxed.
Supervisor Adams said he was one of the few people in the agricultural community against the act. He asked that tha University of California, Santa Barbara study the act.
The Chumash are already working on a casino expansion that will be complete next year.