Montecito Association Meets

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 15, 2022

At a quiet Montecito Association meeting earlier this week, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Lieutenant Butch Arnoldi reported on crime in Montecito over the last month. 

There have been several residential burglaries including near the Polo Fields, on Romero Canyon, Tiburon Bay Lane, School House Lane, East Mountain Drive, and on Ortega Ridge. Lt. Arnoldi said several of those burglaries, some of which were thwarted before any valuables were stolen, had access gained through glass French doors. “There is a pattern here,” Lt. Arnoldi said. Other crimes included a DUI on San Ysidro Road, assault of a security guard at the Santa Barbara Cemetery, trespassing at the Cemetery on a different occasion, and parking violations by people living in their vehicles on Santa Claus Lane. There was also an incident this past weekend with an impaired driver side-swiping several cars double parked on the 1200-block of Coast Village Road. 

During community reports, Montecito Union School Superintendent Anthony Ranii reported that a greenhouse will be installed at the school’s Nature Lab this week. The State’s mask mandate for students ends next week, and Ranii reported that students have mixed emotions about the change. “We see some students extremely excited, and some kids are very nervous for the changes,” he said, adding that state guidance is that masks will still be highly recommended, but optional. At Cold Spring School, superintendent Dr. Amy Alzina reported that she is advocating for more funding for basic aid schools like Cold Spring and MUS, as they are not slated to receive additional funding despite a state mandate that has required expansion of the Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program, which will eventually include all four-year-olds, regardless of when their birthdays are. “We’ve essentially gained an entire grade, and we need funding for it,” Alzina said. 

The Board received a presentation from Jenna Espinosa, an Energy Accounts Specialist for Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE). Central Coast Community Energy is a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program, which can purchase electricity on behalf of residents and businesses, in place of investor-owned utilities such as Southern California Edison. SCE is still responsible for delivering energy, maintaining utility lines, and billing customers. Automatic enrollment for this change began in October; customers were enrolled in the program automatically, and can disenroll if they choose. 

According to CCCE, CCA programs allow greater consumer choice, local control, and accountability; it’s a tool to help communities reach their climate and economic goals, and transition to a cleaner, more efficient energy supply. Revenues are reinvested in the community, not distributed to shareholders. Customers will also be able to utilize energy incentive programs, such as solar and storage for energy resilience, low-income solar, EV vehicle and infrastructure incentives, feed-in-tariff, net energy metering (NEM), energy efficiency, demand response, and more. 

Espinosa said that electricity rates have changed over the last couple of months due to SCE adjusting their rates; CCCE’s rates reflect those increases. She said there were also several thousand billing errors in which customers did not get billed in December, and instead were double billed in January, which many customers misconstrued as a steep increase in electricity prices due to the changeover to CCCE.

CCCE’s goal is to reach 60% clean and renewable energy by 2025 and 100% by 2030. 

For more information, visit The next Montecito Association meeting is Tuesday, April 12. Visit


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