Santa Barbara County: Where Dartboards Are Used to Budget!
By Jeff Giordano   |   June 21, 2022

Most insiders know that our $1.4B County is relatively inept when it comes to financial forecasting. One need only look at our $118M North Branch Jail-Mahal with an estimated cost of $67M (what’s $51M between friends) to know our ability to budget is broken. Well, it’s happening yet again with our newest revenue savior — […]

Lone Elects Political Competition is Dead in SB
By Jeff Giordano   |   April 5, 2022

Public trust in government is at a 50-year low. According to an ambitious Harvard Business School study, the problem in our contentious duopoly is the lack of competition and resulting lack of accountability. Santa Barbara is the poster child for what this study raged against — a system that no longer focuses on the public […]

Santa Barbara: Where the Arts Have Not Mattered for 44 Years!
By Jeff Giordano   |   March 15, 2022

Recently, I had some L.A. friends move to town (don’t be alarmed, they really are “nice”). Mistakenly, they thought that I knew a bit about our County and asked: “So where does ‘our’ money go?” Mind you, these are philanthropic folks who care about culture so I had to be honest: “I can tell you […]

Sunshine: The Best Disinfectant
By Jeff Giordano   |   March 1, 2022

March is swiftly approaching and for most California counties that means a bit of spring cleaning. As Santa Barbara County insiders know, however, we are not “most” counties – especially as it relates to transparency and possible corruption. Allow me to explain: Once upon a time, our nation had a rich fourth estate and deep […]

Cannabis Revenue: Why Did We Do This?
By Jeff Giordano   |   December 28, 2021

So, the numbers are in for the most recent Quarterly Cannabis Tax Revenue and — like before — they are completely underwhelming and leave us with more questions than answers. Allow me to explain. First a bit of history: Santa Barbara County is the only county that relies solely on self-reported grower revenue to calculate […]

Endorsements: It’s All About the Money
By Jeff Giordano   |   November 16, 2021

Bravery takes on many forms, some literal and some a bit more theoretical. But nuance aside, there is bravery in challenging the status quo, the “machine.” And believe you me, our local Democratic Central Committee (DCC) is a machine. Allow me to explain: Local party endorsements spring from the DCC, yet, because Santa Barbara is […]

County Enforcement or County Stunt?
By Jeff Giordano   |   June 10, 2021

I’m loving what I’m seeing on Coast Village Road as most of us pull ourselves from our cocoons — an inside table at Lucky’s, things really are getting “normal.” It’s a spring like no other and I can’t wait to become fully engaged in our community because, frankly, it needs as much help as we […]