Santa Barbara County mulls over UCCE budget

Jul 9, 2010

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors is tentatively scheduled to review a UC Cooperative Extension funding request at its July 27 meeting, according to an article published yesterday in the Lompoc Record.

The county had approved $111,700 for the programs and staff expertise provided by UCCE, but at its budget hearings in June, $68,000 in additional funding was requested. On June 22, the Board of Supervisors couldn’t get the four votes needed for approval.

For the article, reporter Sam Womack spoke to Don Kingborg of UC ANR Advocacy and County Partnerships.

“The $68,000 is to get us to the minimum level necessary to continue this program," Klingborg was quoted in the article. "Over the past years, the Santa Barbara County program has been funded in the range of $200,000 to $225,000. With this move and other adjustments, we recognized the terrible fiscal shape our counties are in and were able to decrease the cost to $180,000."

With the additional funding, the Santa Barbara County offices would close, but the advisors, services, programs and research would continue out of San Luis Obispo and Ventura county offices, the story said.

Interim director of Santa Barbara County UCCE Mark Gaskell told the reporter he already spends about half his time outside of county boundaries. For example, he conducts agricultural research at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

“I don’t think its necessarily a critical issue where you sit and type at your computer,” he was quoted.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist