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  • Serving Our Community: Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2018 Explores Local Government

    Serving Our Community: Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2018 Explores Local Government
    On March 2, 2018, the Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2018 heard firsthand from the public servants and thinkers that shape the city of Santa Maria and the County of Santa Barbara.  Spanning from local to Federal government issues, the Class of 2018 was in for a treat after a delicious breakfast from Cielito Lindo.

    In the morning, the City of Santa Maria took center stage at the Santa Maria Public Library.  City Attorney Philp Sinco addressed the attendees with a wide-ranging question and answer period covering issues such as code enforcement and the long-term vision for the burgeoning city.  Sinco informed the attendees that not every code can be removed from the books in a timely manner, including a longstanding code regulating the use of pinball machines!  Jason Stillwell, the new City Manager was also on hand to speak to the opportunities for the city in its period of rapid growth.  A comprehensive tour of Santa Maria City Hall and Council Chambers followed and class members received insight on how our city government operates.

    COLAB founder and local talk show host Andy Caldwell passionately spoke to class members concerning Santa Barbara County and the needs of the community.  Through his talk, he encouraged the Class of 2018 to advocate for the diverse people within our community and challenged those who might try to restrain growth in the county.  Offering a youthful perspective, local congressional candidate Justin Fareed also relayed his experiences running for the House of Representatives after Caldwell’s session.  Sharing his policy perspective and his passion, Justin connected his experiences as a businessman with his aspirations of higher office.

    After class members enjoyed a wonderful lunch from the Moxie Café provided by R.W. Scott Construction Co., Inc., they traveled to the Betteravia Government Center to hear speakers representing the County of Santa Barbara who offered an inside glimpse into the budget process and the unique challenges the county faces.  Both Santa Barbara County Supervisor Peter Adam and Harry Hagen, Treasurer - Tax Collector - Public Administrator, provided the framework for a prospective fiscal calamity utilizing budgets and projected shortfalls. 

    With so many issues confronting our society today, the Class of 2018 aims to help make the local community a little bit better through the leadership skills and community connections they are building through their participation in the program. Learning about our city, county, state, and federal governments imparts first-hand knowledge on how members can effectively contribute to the process of ensuring our community continues to grow and prosper.

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