[Santa Barbara County] Supervisors to appoint two members of Employees Retirement System board

Blog note: one of the appointees was foreperson of the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury for five terms. There is public life after grand jury service.

An ad hoc subcommittee will review the applicants — including one from Santa Maria and one from Solvang — for appointed positions on the Santa Barbara County Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees and recommend two for the Board of Supervisors to appoint in January.

Supervisors had the option of selecting a two-member ad hoc subcommittee to review applications and make recommendations or to have the entire five-member board interview the applicants in a regular open-session meeting to make a decision.

Board Chairwoman and 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann and 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino volunteered to review the applications for the two board-appointed seats expiring in December, and other members of the board accepted the offer with appreciation.

“I’m glad you’re taking this on,” 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf told them.

The Employees Retirement System board consists of nine members, four of which are appointed by the supervisors, and two alternates who oversee the investment of assets in the retirement fund and the distribution of benefits to retired county employees who are members of the system.

A total of eight people have applied for the two vacancies that will result from the expiration of Suzi Schomer’s and Al Rotella’s three-year terms, although additional applications could be submitted, according to county staff.

Rotella has indicated he will not seek reappointment to another term; however, Schomer has submitted an application for reappointment.

Of the eight applicants, one is from Santa Maria, one is from Solvang, one is from Goleta and one is from Summerland. The rest, including Schomer, are from Santa Barbara.

The Santa Maria applicant is Trent Benedetti, a certified public accountant, certified financial planner and registered investment adviser.

The Solvang applicant is Charles Stauffer, a small-business manager, nonprofit hospital trustee and commercial real estate broker.

Other applicants include:

Goleta resident Craig Geyer has served as a director at Goleta West Sanitary District, a commissioner for Santa Barbara Local Agency Formation Commission, a trustee for the county’s Mosquito Vector Management District and a member of the county’s Treasury Oversight Committee.

Summerland resident Ted Sten, a career manager for AT&T, has served as a budget analyst for the Los Angeles County Chief Administrative Office, administrative assistant to the Los Angeles County district attorney, chairman of the Arcadia Civil Service Commission and foreman of the Santa Barbara County grand jury for five terms.

Don Benninghoven, of Santa Barbara, worked for the League of California Cities as a field representative, lobbyist, assistant director and executive director, provided legislative advice to governors Pat Brown, Ronald Reagan and Jerry Brown and served on various commissions under governors Gray Davis, Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian.

Santa Barbara resident Scott Estby, a certified financial analyst and vice president and senior portfolio manager for Montecito Bank & Trust, has also served as an investment analyst for Plan Member Services in Carpinteria and a cash management analyst for Ocwen Financial in Palm Beach, Florida.

Michael Thompson, of Santa Barbara, has been the director of partnership development for AMTEC, sales and marketing manager for Electro-Optical Industries, vice president of business development for Friedman Research Corp., director of business development for Origin Data and vice president of sales for Magnetic Data Technologies.

December 8, 2017

Lompoc Record

By Mike Hodgson

County: