Sunday, May 19, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 11

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on June 7th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 14 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 14

Schaffer to be crowned county's auditor-controller


Longtime accountant Betsy Schaffer will take Theo Fallati's place as Santa Barbara County's auditor-controller in January 2019 after a substantial victory in the June 5 election.

Despite allegations of "self-dealing" and corruption from her challenger, assistant-auditor controller Schaffer beat out former county attorney and current Chief Investment Officer Jennifer Christensen by more than 26 percent of the vote.

"I just feel really, really appreciative," Schaffer said on June 5, shortly after many of the county's voting precincts reported semi-official election night results.

Santa Barbara County’s assistant auditor-controller Betsy Schaffer will take Theo Fallati’s place as auditor-controller in Jan. 2019 after she beat out candidate Jennifer Christensen in the June 5 election.

Schaffer, who was backed by several local Democratic organizations and politicians during her campaign, has worked off and on in the auditor-controller office for nearly 15 years.

On election night—just before heading to the Democratic election party at Casa Blanca Restaurant and Catina in Santa Barbara—Schaffer said she was extremely nervous.

But she took an early lead at about 8 p.m., when more than 57 percent of the vote-by-mail ballots turned out in her favor. That percentage hardly changed throughout the night and into the next morning as precincts continued reporting semi-official results.

Shortly after 8 a.m. on June 6, semi-official election night results showed Schaffer winning the race by 7,306 votes, and Christensen conceded in a written statement.

In the statement, Christensen thanked her supporters and said that despite the loss, her campaign message promoting integrity and honesty in Santa Barbara County would have a lasting impact.

Christensen, who began her work with the county as an attorney in the county counsel's office 16 years ago, currently manages $1.6 billion as the county's chief investment officer.

"I want the best for our community," Christensen wrote in her June 6 statement. "However, it was at great personal cost that I took on this campaign. As a result, I will now be shifting gears to focus on family and more personal matters."

When Schaffer takes office in January of 2019, she said she hopes to rally her team, hire an assistant, and continue developing an internal audit plan.

"Win or lose, I'm just so appreciative of all the support I've received throughout this whole process," Schaffer told the Sun. "I've just got such amazing support out there, and people have really responded to me personally and have supported our office and all the good work we do.

"Thank you to everybody," she added. "I just really want to get back to work."

Weekly Poll
How should the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District improve its A-G completion rates?

Align graduation requirements with university entrance requirements.
Ensure that students and parents are well aware of A-Gs and what they are before high school.
Improve support services and summer school classes for students who fall behind.
Completion rates are fine as is. Not everyone wants to go to a four-year college!

| Poll Results