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Supervisors talk about defending against possible recession impacts

Wasting no time with a plan, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors made a goal of getting ahead of any possible recession.

New board chairman and Santa Maria resident Steve Lavagnino from the 5th District said he is enthusiastic about the coming year.

Lavagnino says 2019 will see the opening of the new north county jail, the opening of the rebuilt Rosewood Miramar hotel, and more work to widen Highway 101.

Beyond that, he says, the county is coming up with a plan to prevent impacts from a possible recession with a financial and staffing plan that will hold up if there is an economic downturn.

Lavagnino is also starting his third four-year term on the board.

The swearing in ceremony also included new supervisor Gregg Hart who was elected last June and left his seat on the Santa Barbara City Council.

Taking the oath at the same time were Superior Court Judges Tim Staffel, Clifford Anderson, James Herman, Arthur Garcia, and Patricia Kelly.

Kelly will be the Presiding Judge for the Superior Court this year.

They were joined by District Attorney Joyce Dudley, Sheriff Bill Brown, School Superintendent Susan Salcido, Treasurer- Tax Collector Harry Hagen, and Auditor-Controller Betsy Schaffer.

Supervisor Das Williams will stay on the board representing the first district but passed the gavel to Lavagnino as the new chair.

Former Supervisor Janet Wolf has retired.

Before the swearing in the Righetti High Marimba Band and Ballet Folklorico dancers performed for the standing room only crowd at the ceremony.

Former Judge Rogelio Flores gave the keynote speech.

As part of the goals for 2019, Lavagnino said he wanted to give out a special award monthly to a veteran. That will begin later this month and each district will be asked to make nominations throughout the year.

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