County Supervisors, Please Delay the FEMA Map Vote

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By Denice Spangler Adams

Dear Supervisors Adam, LaVagnino, Wolfe, and Hartmann, 

Tuesday you must delay  action on the Montecito FEMA hazard area zone map set for a vote during your Santa Maria weekly meeting.  There are too many known errors and omissions that will forever damage Montecito,  and terminate continued residency by too many particularly those of us  in the middle and working class. 

This FEMA Map will be used by Insurance Companies deciding whether to continue to underwrite in Montecito.  

You care about our County and its contributing residents. Help us by waiting a few weeks to give us time to become informed to effectively participate in the process. 

The map that came out on Thursday contains documented errors. The public has not yet had any opportunity to review and comment, plus review the errors and omissions already identified by pros who care about our futures. 

There is NO RUSH for you to vote on Tuesday. Stakeholder review and recommendations are essential before BOS adoption.  As per two of dozens of examples, one man’s swimming pool is deemed a flood zone, Randall Road is deemed “safe”. 

Highly regarded architect and Riven Rock neighbor Tom Bollay has publicly disclosed  dozens of errors to our Supervisor Das Williams, who still supports a Tuesday vote. I don’t get it.

Why the rush other than to further penalize fire and mudflow victims? What’s going on between inside traders or the flow of FEMA money into the County? Why expose the County to future litigation from property owners by rushing this through? 

Again, FEMA maps will impact insurance underwriting decisions. The CEO of Chubbs has said as much.  Post Tea Fire my neighborhood forever changed when insurance became unaffordable to anyone requiring to obtain a mortgage.  Ignorance by politicians damages constituents forcing us to leave town from neglect and the unintended consequences of poor decisions. 

Only you decide it you want an oligarchy of super wealthy and a servant class of professional physicians, accountants, nurses, teachers willing to double and triple up to cash out a single family UNINSURABLE home.  We’ll  have 2 special basic aid schools with fewer students, if the middle class is forced out. 

Fire and disaster victims are already overwhelmed with demands. Delay your vote on Tuesday to give us a chance to review the map and respond.

Thank you for showing victims you really do care about our future. 

Please VOTE TO PAUSE to allow stakeholder review time. 

 

FYI-  Sadly, I must add, I’ve concluded with others our supervisor is under informed, has never owned a business or worked outside of government, and chooses to represent interests of donors only, over mortgaged homeowners dependent on insurance. Do not follow his lead because he may represent others but not Montecito’s middle class. 


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8 Comments

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Flicka Jun 19, 2018 10:17 AM
County Supervisors, Please Delay the FEMA Map Vote

PSTARSR, I completely agree with you. Mostly, anyone living next to a creek shouldn't need the government to tell them to get out when flash flood warnings are given. Of those told to evacuate above East Valley (192) about 10-15% left ( a deputy had knocked on every door with mandatory evacuation orders). So much for warnings. Even voluntary evacuation warnings should raise a red flag and everyone below E. Valley got that message.

PitMix Jun 19, 2018 10:46 AM
County Supervisors, Please Delay the FEMA Map Vote

Flicka, the fact that very few people died in the mandatory evac zone means that this warning type worked. If they had stayed with their original risk map and made it mandatory above and below 192, then possibly only a few would have died in total. I can't believe no one is suing them yet but maybe it takes time to gather the materials for the lawsuit. Unless somehow Counties can't be sued for negligence?

Bob Wilson Jun 18, 2018 11:10 PM
County Supervisors, Please Delay the FEMA Map Vote

First the Board oversees a group of county executives who failed to properly act before, during and after a predictable, devastating and deadly debris flow. Now, to rub salt in the wound, they are poised to rush approval of a flood map that will harm this same community for years to come. With friends like this, who needs enemies.

Bob Wilson Jun 19, 2018 08:51 AM
County Supervisors, Please Delay the FEMA Map Vote

The weather service predicted the storm and debris flow at least three days prior. The county effort to communicate to the community told residents they DID NOT have to leave (voluntary evacuation). In the non-mandatory area 19 people died. They were given a false sense of safety by county “leadership” that got it all wrong.

Bob Wilson Jun 19, 2018 08:51 AM
County Supervisors, Please Delay the FEMA Map Vote

The weather service predicted the storm and debris flow at least three days prior. The county effort to communicate to the community told residents they DID NOT have to leave (voluntary evacuation). In the non-mandatory area 19 people died. They were given a false sense of safety by county “leadership” that got it all wrong.

pstarSR Jun 19, 2018 07:13 AM
County Supervisors, Please Delay the FEMA Map Vote

If you feel this was "predictable" how can you place blame on the county for failing to act? If you knew this was going to happen why do we need the county to tell us when to leave? do we not have personal responsibility for our own safety if we already observe a "predictable" threat.

PitMix Jun 18, 2018 02:00 PM
County Supervisors, Please Delay the FEMA Map Vote

My understanding is that these maps do not represent the 100-yr floodplain which requires you to buy FEMA insurance if your house is in the inundated area. It is really a guess at what will be inundated in the next few years if there is another event with a lot of debris. So it is more of a planning tool than anything else. But I guess the insurance companies are taking the most careful approach they can to prevent having to pay any claims in the future. Leaving the middle class caught between mud and a debris flow. If the supervisors don't vote to accept the map for planning purposes, do you think the insurers will ignore its existence in providing affordable coverage to the residents? I bet not.

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