1995-1996 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury

JUNE 4, 1996
Contact: Spencer Boise, Foreman
Phone (805) 568-2292



The 1995-96 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury released a report today exhorting the Board of Supervisors to adopt broad county-wide policies and procedures that would consider privatization.

In April the Board of Supervisors approved a comprehensive, long-term Strategic Plan to guide the future direction of county government. In that plan Supervisors considered privatization issues.

“The Supervisors’ commitment is clear and specific; the accomplishment of their Objectives and Action Items lies ahead,” said the Grand Jury report.

The jury is recommending the organization of a County Privatization Task Force comprised of county department heads who have experience in privatizing services. This task force should seek advice from representatives of community groups, business people, and third party experts, the report said.

By March 1997, the task force should submit proposed privatization policies and procedures to the Board of Supervisors for adoption in June which would meet the Strategic Plan timetable, according to the Grand Jury recommendation.

While the task force is developing policies and procedures, the Grand Jury is recommending the Board of Supervisors direct the County Administrator to require every county department to inventory their work programs and services and list what services must be done by government and what services government does not have to perform. Those services mandated for government should then be assessed for possible privatization, said the Grand Jury report, while encouraging the Board of Supervisors to discontinue services the county does not have to perform.

The Grand Jury report noted many complexities regarding privatization services, such as differing sizes of enterprises, varying classification of jobs, Civil Service Rules, union requirements, government regulations and laws, political turf battles, transition of county employees, management control, and budget impacts.

The full report is posted on the Grand Jury’s World Wide Web page. Copies of the report are also available at the Superior Court Jury Services office at 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, or call 568-3139.