Director of Santa Barbara Downtown Organization Leaving Position

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By edhat staff

The Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization is leaving her position after 15 months.

Carrie Kelly began the economic development position in December of 2018 following the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow that shook the local economy. 

“I am thrilled to join the staff and board of Downtown Santa Barbara and help reimagine downtown,” said Kelly upon taking the position. “Santa Barbara has such a unique downtown and I am anxious to jump in and work with stakeholders to tackle big issues.”

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic that has left the majority of downtown businesses shuttered, Kelly submitted her resignation. 

In her departure letter, Kelly said, "it is a time for great change and challenge in the business community in the United States and downtown Santa Barbara. I believe the pieces are in place for our Downtown to flourish after this period," reports KEYT News.

She will be taking an economic development position in Arizona.

Downtown Santa Barbara is an organization that advocates for the merchants and property owners of the downtown district in Santa Barbara, that includes over 1,400 members. It also manages the Downtown Santa Barbara Business Improvement District, providing services to make the downtown area cleaner and safer.

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SBRoses Mar 26, 2020 03:38 PM
Director of Santa Barbara Downtown Organization Leaving Position

Carrie Kelly did a great job and advocated for positions that represent the majority of not just business owners' views, but citizens. I witnessed her at multiple city council and other committee meetings. It's a shame she's leaving; I wish her the best. The bigger shame is that our city leaders refuse to listen to voices of reason like hers and continue to waste our tax dollars while allowing downtown to fester with homelessness, attentions focused instead on pathetic and arbitrary rules like a ban on neon (Institution Ale). Nevermind how we even begin to plan to rise from the ashes of the current end-of-life-as-we-know-it situation we face. It's all so sad.

a-1585586672 Mar 30, 2020 09:44 AM
Director of Santa Barbara Downtown Organization Leaving Position

Allow neon on State st. Only. That’ll spice things up for us and kickstart the downtown economic engine. I agree the ban on neon is arbitrary. How bout the ban on casinos and brothel? Billboards?
All a revenue goldmine. WTF is up with people who move here but can’t handle living here? Maybe they realize how much they overpaid for the $1.25M suburban dream home they fear to leave due to gutters running with human waste and stabbing/shooting on a weekly basis. Neon...that’s yer sign.

Bird Mar 26, 2020 04:25 PM
Director of Santa Barbara Downtown Organization Leaving Position

I agree; from watching her at council meetings she seemed outstanding. I wish there were a way for her to provide an in depth statement of her thoughts on downtown Santa Barbara, what it needs and what, given the city and historic qualities, can and should be done to make it the center it used to be for Santa Barbarans as well as visitors, "used to be", but also to meet the challenges of the present and future. ...I suppose that's a foolish wish, however. It's a pity to lose her knowledge and abilities at this time.

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