Friday, August 19, 2011

First District Now Spreads From the Desert to the Sea

What do Montecito and Cuyama, the little town located in the far northeastern corner of Santa Barbara County, have in common? Well, until last week not much. But now, under the new boundaries just adopted by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, they are both going to be located within the First Supervisorial District. The Cuyama Valley has just moved from the Fifth District to the First. Talk about going from rags to riches.

Yes, it's the district-drawing equivalent of getting bumped up from coach to first class. And you thought Isla Vista and Santa Ynez (both located in the Third District) made for strange bedfellows. How was this match made? The Reader's Digest version is that the Board of Supervisors were under a mandate to redraw district lines to divide the County's 424,000 residents into five districts each having equal populations and there was political pressure not to split the City of Lompoc among two districts. That meant that something had to give. The result was the unlikely pairing of Montecito with the Cuyama Valley. VoilĂ ! The First District now extends from the Pacific Ocean to the Carrizo Plain.

It's hard to imagine two areas that could be any more different. Montecito is all about Town & Country and Cuyama is the country. In Montecito, Lucky's is a restaurant and bar. In Cuyama, Lucky is anybody who gets to leave town. (Continue reading this column at the Montecito Messenger.)

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First city council candidates forum is tonight. DoubleTree Hotel is the location and 6:30 PM is the time. Sponsored by the South Coast Community Coalition.