On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will be recommended to adopt an ordinance that extends the expiration date of the prohibition on commercial evictions arising from loss of income or substantial medical expenses related to COVID-19.
The current expiration date is Jan. 31, but the county is authorized to temporarily prohibit commercial evictions through March 31.
The California State legislature is currently considering a bill that would extend the residential eviction moratorium through the end of 2021.
In addition, this new urgency ordinance would include more protections for landlords. It does not relieve a tenant’s obligations to pay rent or restrict a landlord’s ability to recover rent due in the future; it requires tenants to provide documentation of an inability to pay under penalty of perjury; and it requires tenants to pay 25% of rental payments due under the existing lease between Sept. 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.
“This urgency ordinance is necessary to preserve public health and safety,” the board letter says. “In addition to preventing additional business closures, this measure would lessen economic stress that further compounds residents’ health and vulnerability to COVID-19.”
In other business, the board will receive a COVID-19 update per usual.
Board members will also be recommended to adopt an amendment to the Environmental Thresholds and Guidelines Manual to include new interim thresholds for determining the significance of impacts from greenhouse gas emissions from land use projects and plans.
The county does not have a threshold of significance for land use projects or plans not subject to the industrial stationary source threshold, and they’re not required, but county staff wrote in the board letter that the thresholds will assist the county in complying with the California Environmental Quality Act.
The board will also receive a report on KPMG’s operational and performance review of the Santa Barbara County Probation Department and be asked to provide direction as appropriate. The review will provide a high-level assessment of the department, identify strengths and opportunities and benchmark financial and operational areas with similar jurisdictions.
According to the board letter, the KPMG report identifies 11 recommendations, all falling into strategy and budget; organizational structure; community supervision; institutions; and data-driven decision making.
KPMG recommends the department develop a strategic plan, strengthen capacity for monitoring and planning for legislative changes, review senior staff responsibilities, expand scenario planning for excess Juvenile Hall and Camp capacity to help maximize impact of county resources, and more.
“The department generally agrees with the majority of these recommendations, and many recommended changes are already underway,” the board letter says.
KPMG did the same for the District Attorney’s Office, identifying 14 recommendations in six categories: workload management; organizational structure; discovery; data-driven decision making; performance management; and initiative management.
Recommendations include: enhancing timekeeping and workload tracking for attorneys, investigators and legal office professionals; reviewing mid-level attorney pay to strengthen retention; developing standardized training for law enforcement; and expanding outcome tracking for diversion programs, among others.
Much like the Probation Department, the board letter says that the District Attorney’s Office generally agrees with the majority of the recommendations and many changes are already underway.
The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, and can be streamed online at www.countyofsb.org/ceo/csbtv/livestream.sbc or at www.youtube.com/user/csbtv20. It can also be viewed on local cable channel 20.