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Governance options considered in Montecito

The deadly January 9th Montecito mudslides made some longtime locals think about the village’s unincorporated status. As they mourn 23 people and rebuild homes and bridges they want to make sure their voices are heard at the county and state level.

That’s the reason the Montecito Association hosted a forum at Montecito Union School on Monday night.

Those in attendance heard from David Mullinax, the regional public affairs manager of the League of California Cities, and Paul Hood with the Santa Barbara Local Agency Formation Commission , also known as LAFCO.

Mullinax explained the financial roadblocks to becoming a city often caused by budget issues in Sacramento.

Hood said LAFCO works with voters to create special districts.

The idea became a reality in nearby Isla Vista. Isla Vista created a Community Service District in Santa Barbara County two years after shootings and stabbings near UCSB. Voters approved a utility tax to fund it in June.

Montecito Association Executive Director Sharon Bryne said, ” The Montecito Association isn’t taking a stand at this time. What we are really trying to do is share information with our community.”

One resident asked the association to look into the cost of studying the options.

Longime residents said this is not the first time options including cityhood have been considered.

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