Additional security will be added to the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria administration buildings, where the county Board of Supervisors holds its meetings.
The security will include metal detectors and X-ray inspection machines. The total cost for the security improvements is $450,000.
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of the extra security measures at its weekly meeting Tuesday. Supervisor Bob Nelson was the lone vote in opposition to the measure, saying it would have a “chilling impact on the relationship between the public and this body.”
“Personally, I don’t think the risk justifies it,” Supervisor Nelson said.
Supervisor Steve Lavagnino said he wouldn’t have approved the measure if it was just his office. However, he noted many people work in both buildings and said he would “rather err on the side of caution.”
“I think we need to realize something that’s been a painful realization for me, which is just that we live in a different age,” said Supervisor Das Williams. “There have been enough cases of people’s mental health issues or people’s rage against government finding innocent victims that work for counties.”
The project is expected to take 14 weeks to complete, according to a board letter.
The Santa Barbara building is located at 105 E. Anapamu St. The Santa Maria facility is located at 511 E. Lakeside Parkway.