The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will provide direction on the county’s efforts to advance equity and inclusion during its regular meeting today.
The meeting, which begins at 9 this morning, will feature a presentation from the county’s Human Resource and Community Service departments about current practices to address equity and inclusion. The Board of Supervisors will be asked to discuss how to allocate more than $270,000 in remaining funds that were budgeted for equity measures.
After the death of George Floyd in May 2020, the Board of Supervisors set aside $500,000 in one-time funds to advance equity in the county. In the past year, $94,000 in funding was provided to Community Services Department initiatives, and $135,000 was allocated to Community Human Resources.
“The tragic death of George Floyd in May 2020 has prompted not only worldwide and local expressions of anger and demands for greater justice, but also self-evaluation and reflection by individuals and institutions as to values, practices, systems and intended outcomes,” the departments wrote in a letter to the board.
Using the funds, the county’s HR Department implemented the J.O.I.N. framework to promote equity and inclusion. The department plans to implement new phases of the initiative in the coming fiscal year.
During today’s meeting, supervisors will determine the best way to oversee the allocation of the remaining funds.
Both the Community Services Department and Human Resources have brainstormed three ideas for oversight.
The first is to have the remaining funds distributed to organizations or initiatives through the Fund for Santa Barbara for equity projects; the second is to develop an internal county process or commission to distribute the funds; and the third is a hybrid approach that combines both options.
Today’s meeting will also feature a presentation from the county’s Probation Department on the Juvenile Justice Realignment Plan for fiscal year 2021-22.
The Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act, which was passed in 2000, provides counties with a local funding source for programs and services that target a reduction in juvenile crime rates.
For the coming fiscal year, Santa Barbara County is expected to receive an estimated $424,000.
Other items on today’s agenda include a COVID-19 update from the County Public Health Department and a presentation from Animal Services about a new model of service delivery and contract increase for the coming fiscal year. As part of the new model and vision, Animal Services is aiming to use existing community infrastructure to reduce shelter intake and move animals through the shelter system more efficiently.
“Where possible, the goal is to provide services and support ahead of the need for an animal to enter the shelter,” Animal Services wrote in a letter to the Board. “Shelters will always be needed as a safety net for animals, but the goal is to move them as quickly as possible into foster, adoption, or rescue transfer.”
In addition, supervisors will consider adopting amendments to the Coastal Zoning Ordinance, County Land Use and Development Code, and the Montecito Land Use and Development Code to revise and create new standards and permit processes for Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units.