Special Districts Honored

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   April 4, 2019
Toni McDonald of Montecito Sanitary District and Chief Chip Hickman of Montecito Fire Protection District were honored with achievement awards by the Santa Barbara County Chapter of the California Special Districts Association

The Santa Barbara County Chapter of the California Special Districts Association (SBCCSDA) honored Chip Hickman and Toni McDonald at their meeting last week, held at Root 246 Restaurant in Solvang.

Montecito Fire Chief Chip Hickman received the 2018 General Manager of the year Award. Chief Hickman has been the Fire Chief for the past seven years and successfully led the organization through the two largest disasters the community of Montecito has ever experienced. Instead of resting on his laurels, Chief Hickman continues to seek out ways to improve service delivery to the community. Recently, the District implemented a new Microwave internet system to improve dispatch connectivity, and updated the Community Wildfire Protection Plan to improve defensible space. Currently, the District is pursuing a renewable energy supply to improve redundancy and resiliency. 

Toni McDonald, District Administrator for the Montecito Sanitary District, received the 2018 Professional Staff Person of the Year Award. Toni has a wide range of responsibilities for the Sanitary District including Clerk to the Board of Directors, payroll, accounting functions, human resources and benefits, risk management and information systems, customer service, and front desk permit issuance functions. Toni proved to be invaluable to the Sanitary District following the January 9, 2018 debris flow event. Because of her dedication, accounting knowledge, and resourcefulness, the Montecito Sanitary District was able to complete permanent infrastructure repairs and return to full service by the time Montecito repopulated following the disaster. 

There are 35 represented districts within Santa Barbara County that provide vital services, including water, water conservation, healthcare, community, fire protection and public safety, mosquito and vector management, recreation, sanitary, and cemetery. The Montecito Fire Protection and Sanitary Districts are grateful for the continuous commitment to excellence that Chip Hickman and Toni McDonald display each day.


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