grand jury

A new Grand Jury report questions how well Santa Barbara County has handled the legalization of cannabis, saying that instead of taking a balanced approach it simply opened the floodgates to the industry.

It says there’s an excessive amount of cannabis production for a county it’s size.  It asserts the county failed to adequately address how production is impacting the health and welfare of county residents.

The head of a South Coast government agency which recently came under fire from a grand jury announced he is leaving to take another job. George Buell is stepping down as Director of the City of Santa Barbara’s Community Development Department.  Buell has served as head of the agency since 2014.

A new Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report is critical of an agency which oversees planning, development, and building safety.

The Grand Jury says the city of Santa Barbara’s Community Development Department projects a no-growth attitude and that the permit process can be too long.

A new grand jury report says that overall, Santa Barbara County’s jails are overcrowded, but that the new jail complex set to open in Santa Maria should alleviate much of the problem.

The Grand Jury's assessment of  the county’s detention facilities happened before the start of the coronavirus crisis, so some of the overcrowding findings are no longer applicable. 

A new Ventura County Grand Jury report is raising questions about the safety of some dams in and adjacent to the county.

The report looked at data on more than 20 dams, and says four dams have existing or potential deficiencies.

There’s been a new salvo in a disagreement between Ventura County, and some grand juries about the case load for child welfare social workers.

The 2016-17 Ventura County issued a report in which it called the case load for County’s Human Services Agency employees too high. The agency disagreed with the report, saying agency workers had what it called “reasonable” caseloads.

A new Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report says there are major problems with the radio system used by the County Sheriff’s Department, ones which could create public safety issues.

The report says there are a number of dead spots in both the North and South County, and a special trouble area is the Cuyama Valley.

A new Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report says one of the region’s police departments had done a good job in filling what had been an ongoing shortage of officers.

In 2014, the Santa Barbara Police Department had more than two dozen unfilled positions. Recruitment efforts were hampered by efforts ranging from the high cost of living in Santa Barbara, to competition from other law enforcement agencies. Department officials say the controversial police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri also hampered efforts to recruit new officers.

Is a South Coast harbor sailing away with extra fees, and tax dollars from people using its slips? Some Santa Barbara Harbor users asked the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury to investigate. The boaters were concerned that they were being charged slip transfer fees, monthly rent, and county property taxes, even though the slips are city property.

Could the type of oil pipeline rupture, and spill which occurred in Santa Barbara County in Ventura County last year happen in Ventura County?

The Ventura County Grand Jury looked at the concern in a new report. The Grand Jury notes that a variety of state and federal agencies are responsible for regulating pipelines, and it’s not under the county’s domain. But, it’s calling for an annual summary of the crude oil pipelines in the county.

A new Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report is critical of operations of a community services district in the county.

The report says the Cuyama Community Services District reliably performs its primary function, which is to provide water and sewer services to residents of New Cuyama.

But, the Grand Jury has issues with the way the District is being managed, saying it’s failing to do annual performance reviews, and isn’t enforcing a number of workplace environment policies.