Hearing Process


Based on guidance from the California Department of Public Health and the California Governor's Stay at Home Executive Order N-33-20 issued on March 19, 2020 to protect the health and well-being of all Californian's and to establish consistency across the state in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meetings will no longer provide in-person participation.

We have established alternative methods of participation in the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meetings, pursuant to the California Governor's Executive Order N-29-20, which states:

-        Providing an opportunity to "observe and address" telephonically or otherwise electronically, alone, meets the requirement; and

-        Removing the former requirement from Executive Order N-25-20 of having "at least one publicly accessible" location from which the public may observe and offer comment.  Executive Order N-29-20 now states expressly, "Such a body need not make available any physical location from which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment."

The following alternative methods of participation are available to the public:

  1. You may observe the live stream of the Board of Supervisors meetings on (1) Local Cable Channel 20, (2) online at:  http://www.countyofsb.org/ceo/csbtv/livestream.sbc; or (3) on YouTube at:   https://www.youtube.com/user/CSBTV20

  2. If you wish to make a general public comment or to comment on a specific agenda item, the following methods are available: 

  • Distribution to the Board of Supervisors - Submit your comment via email prior to 5 p.m.. on the day prior to the Board meeting. Please submit your comment to the Clerk of the Board at: sbcob@countyofsb.org. Your comment will be placed into the record and distributed appropriately.

  • Read into the record at the meeting– Submit your comment via email prior to 5 p.m. on the day prior to the Board meeting, limited to 250 words or less, to the Clerk of the Board at  sbcob@countyofsb.org. Please state in your email that you would like this "read into the record." Every effort will be made to read your comment into the record, but some comments may not be read due to time limitations. Comments received on an agenda item will be placed into record and distributed accordingly.

  • By phone- If you would like to make a comment by phone, please call (805) 568-2240 and state your name, your phone number and which item you would like to speak on and the clerk will call you at the appropriate time.  Please make every effort to be available and mute all streaming devices once it is your turn to speak.     


The following information is designed to inform you about:
Preparing for a board meeting
What goes on during a board meeting
After the meeting

The following information is made available to encourage citizens' participation in local County government. The primary responsibility of the Clerk of the Board's office is to facilitate management of the Board's agenda and meetings schedule. The goal of the Clerk of the Board in developing the agenda is to make the best use of hearing time and provide a fair opportunity for the public to express views and participate in the process. Some frequently asked questions are addressed below:

Before the Hearing

Who prepares the agenda for the Board?
The County Board of Supervisors'  agenda is prepared by the Office of the Clerk of the Board.

Who can place an item on the agenda?
All items on the agenda must be submitted by Board members or County Department representatives. 

Who makes the final decision on the agenda?
Clerk of the Board staff in conjunction with the Chair of the Board of Supervisors and County Administrator produces the final agenda.

When can I speak?
The Public may comment on any item appearing on the Administrative Agenda by submitting a speaker slip at the beginning of the meeting and addressing specific agenda items prior to the Board's vote on the Administrative Agenda. In addition, the public is allotted opportunity to comment on matters not appearing on the agenda during the Public Comment Period following the Administrative Agenda. Furthermore, the public may also comment on items being considered on the Departmental Agenda as Public Hearings at the time specified for each item and at the discretion of the Chair

How can I find out what is on the agenda?
The Clerk of the Board publishes and posts the  agenda for public view on bulletin boards located near the entrace to the County Administration Building and in front of the Fourth Floor Board Hearing Room, located at 105 East Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara and at the Betteravia Government Center in Santa Maria
The agendas and action summaries of the Board of Supervisors are also available on the Clerk of the Board website at  http://santabarbara.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx. The Clerk of the Board provides public notice in local newspapers as required by law for individual items on the Board's agenda. The office of the Clerk of the Board maintains all records of  current agendas and prior actions of the Board of Supervisors.

During the Meeting

How is the agenda organized?
The agenda is divided into five sections:

  • Approval of Minutes
  • Closed Session
  • Administrative Agenda
  • Public Comment
  • Departmental Agenda

The first order of business of the Board may be a Closed Session.
Board of Supervisors meetings must adhere to the California Open Meeting Law, or "Brown Act" which is the statute governing the conduct of public business by local government. The core of the Brown Act is the requirement that "All meetings of the legislative body of local agencies be open and public."
As allowed by law, the Closed Session portion of the Board meeting is the only part of the meeting that is not public. However, the Board is limited to discussing matters of pending litigation, real property transactions and County personnel issues.

Customarily, all Administrative Agenda items are approved on one vote, except on items that individual members of the Board wish to vote separately. Individual Administrative items may be addressed if a Board member requests a discussion or when a member of the public submits a speaker slip and is recognized by the Chair.
The Public Comment period is the public's opportunity to address issues that do not appear on the agenda - completion of a speaker slip is required.

The Departmental Agenda is made up of items that require Board discussion or Public Hearing. During this time, the Board accepts comment on the respective departmental item prior to taking a vote.

After the Meeting

The Clerk's office circulates Unofficial Minutes on Thursday following the meeting, which summarizes the actions of the Board and produces Minute Orders for each individual item. The Board approves the minutes at the subsequent meeting. All current agendas and prior action summaries are available on the internet as well as at the Office of the Clerk of the Board.
We hope this information helps clarify the Board of Supervisors' Hearing process and the role of the Clerk of the Board. We encourage your participation in County Government.