Delayed 2023 ceremony convenes Santa Barbara County leaders and sets goals ahead
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - With a musical performance and a diverse set of speakers, Santa Barbara County's Board of Supervisors held its official 2023 convening ceremony, delayed from last month due to the weather emergency.
Asst. Rabbi Daniel Brenner from Congregation B'nai B'rith gave the Invocation saying, "I pray that you make decisions for the needs of the many over the few that you seek guidance constantly. That you become experts on listening, not in speaking."
Among the messages, an update on the fight for new rights and freedoms in Iran.
Dr. Aazam Feiz from the UC Santa Barbara Department of Religious Studies spoke about rights and issues in Iran saying, "I am very thankful from Santa Barbara County with providing me with this opportunity to be the voice of people of Iran."
Her presentation included examples of her list of injustices taking place. A group rallies regularly for change in Iran at the Dolphin Fountain in Santa Barbara.
Outgoing Supervisor's Chair Joan Hartmann (who stays on the board) says the county has dealt with a full load of work, "while also addressing many emergency situations. Our CEO has declared I think 21 different emergencies in her tenure here."
From the Governor's office of California Volunteers, came a message about community resilience.
Josh Fryday said, "communities regardless of wealth or resources that are more connected, recover faster. Turns out, the greatest currency in a disaster recovery is relationships."
Supervisors elected in November also talked about collaboration.
Santa Barbara County Supervisor Laura Capps, elected in November, was sworn in to office last December as former Supervisor Gregg Hart took his new post as an Assemblyman in Sacramento.
"I take great pride and I'm a thousand percent committed to being a team player with each of you," she said to her fellow supervisors and as she begins to serve the public in this new role. Capps was a former member of the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board.
Her mother, Lois Capps, a former member of the House of Representatives was in the audience.
Santa Barbara County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino said, "we always talk about how we get along but we do have one common enemy and that is, status quo."
He said working with Capps reminded him of when his dad Larry Lavagnino, a former Mayor or Santa Maria, collaborated with Lois Capps on badly needed funding in the north county on a levee project.
He was hoping to have similar success in the latest political lineup.
Santa Barbara County Supervisor's Chairman for 2023 Das Williams said the public will see some immediate efforts on homeless solutions become a reality with a new project on Betteravia Road in Santa Maria and the conversion of a Super 8 Motel in Goleta.
"We have a real concrete goal. We need about 457 beds or tiny homes to house homeless folks."
Several of the newly elected or reelected leaders were recognized officially during the ceremony, including Sheriff Bill Brown, Treasurer-Tax Collector Harry Hagen, and Clerk, Recorder-Assessor Joe Holland.
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