Wednesday, January 16, 2019     Volume: 19, Issue: 45

Santa Maria Sun / Canary

The following article was posted on July 29th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 21 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 15, Issue 21

Let it P, let it P?

If Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meetings were brought to you by letters and numbers, the way episodes of Sesame Street work, the predominate portion of the alphabet for the July 29 meeting would have been “P.”

That letter, I’ll wager, will be taking the spotlight from now until November in the board chambers and beyond.

We’ve been seeing pro and anti opinion pieces rolling into the Sun offices, but I’ll bet our packed inboxes are nothing compared to what the supervisors are dealing with. Tensions are mounting, and I’m afraid that some of the cracks starting to show might turn into tears—if that’s even possible. Let me put it this way: Measure P is already ripping the county apart, just a bit.

On July 29, Santa Barbara County taxpayer advocate Joe Armendariz was upset, stating before the supervisors and other assembled citizens and staffers his belief that the county will get into a heap of trouble if Measure P passes.

Not familiar with the measure? Frankly, I don’t believe you. But I’ll play along. In a few words, it seeks to ban high-intensity oil extraction procedures in unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County. Fracking bears the brunt of Measure P supporters’ ill will, but in considering whether to pass P or not, voters will have to figure out how they feel about steam injection, acidization, and a medley of other methods. I think that jamming forks and spoons into the ground would be forbidden.

Anyway, earlier on July 29, the supervisors had a meeting to discuss whether or not they needed to make potential amendments and clarifications to the county plan in advance of the ordinance—amendments and clarifications that would only truly materialize if Measure P passes. They decided that they do, indeed, want these wiggle words, and that whole supervisorial shebang was one of the things that brought Joe to the microphone.

An alarm somewhere in the back of Supervisor Janet Wolf’s mind started ringing, and she questioned him about how he apparently knows so much about the inner workings of the inner sanctum of the county.

Joe cited his own experience as a local leader, noting his time as a City Council member in Carpinteria. I guess he had his own ringing alarm. At this point, Supervisor Steve Lavagnino, apparently sensing these alarms on some level and hearing his own start to go off, pointed out that he didn’t meet with Joe in secret or anything. He got that into the record.

That next ringing sound? It was Supervisor Doreen Farr, who—if you were to ask me—got suspicious when Steve jumped in.

At this point, I couldn’t hear much more of the meeting, which sounded like a fire drill being held at the start of a boxing match in a cathedral at noon on Christmas.

Bells. Get it?

I hope we don’t all go deaf before November.


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