The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors sold out the citizens of Santa Ynez Valley.

The non-public, behind-closed-door agreement concerning Camp 4 is another loss for the citizens and a win for the almighty dollar.

To agree to a deal with the Chumash that puts the cost of public services on the burden of county citizens is truly a joke. I’m not a mathematician, but if you applied basic, low-level property-tax evaluation to the 140 or so homes the Chumash plan to build, we would be collecting tax revenues of over $1.5 million each year.

Instead, our supervisors negotiated $178,500 for 17 years, starting in 2023, and after that, zero? They also agreed to end the agreement in 2040, at which point there will be no limits on what can be built on the property. Truly dumbfounding.

This figure also does not take into account the other buildings and future commercial structures you know will be built, with no compensation for public-service costs.

I attended a few of the ad hoc committee meetings, and it was clear they were all a staged show to appease citizens who attended those meetings who truly care about our community. All those citizens just received a slap in the face from their supervisors.

It’s clear why Supervisor Das Williams is all for this agreement. He’s been paid via campaign contributions. For him it’s not about the people, it’s about getting elected.

I am very disappointed by Supervisors Wolf and Adam for not standing up for citizens and what is right. I’m also extremely disappointed in my supervisor, Joan Hartmann, who I voted for thinking she would fight for the citizens of the Valley, but she has now lost my support and vote.

This weak agreement throws everything out concerning the Valley community plan, and is another domino to fall in the forever impact the Chumash will deliver to our Valley going forward.

I heard one person state we needed to make a deal in order to trust the Chumash. I remember clearly when the Chumash were pushing for citizen support concerning their initial casino, and they stated would never build a high-rise, Vegas-style casino, because it just doesn’t fit with the Valley, or never have alcohol on the gaming floor, just want it for our restaurants. Now, that’s what I call trust.

The saddest thing about this scenario is it’s happening all over our country. It’s not about the people of this great country, and never has been. It’s about the money, and when you have it, you can just push your will, and get what you want, and the people take the brunt.

I hope the good citizens of this Valley continue their fight against this unjust Chumash land development and future developments, because it’s not the only parcel they own or will try to take into their reservation. Otherwise continue to watch the dominos fall, and the destruction of the Valley forever.

Craig Metheany is a Santa Ynez resident.

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