Bob Nelson understands the needs of Northern Santa Barbara County because he has lived here nearly all his life.
When Bob was 5 years old, his family moved to Orcutt where his father worked as a minister and his mother worked for the county. After his father’s passing, Bob learned quickly to shoulder responsibility. Bob has dedicated his entire career to his community — first, as a teacher and coach, and later as a staff member to the local county supervisor.
Bob attended Ernest Righetti High School, becoming a decorated swimmer and water polo captain, student representative to the school board, and writer for the school paper. It is also where he met his wife, Jamie, who is a fifth-generation resident of the Santa Maria Valley. Bob and Jamie been married for nearly 20 years and are raising three teenagers.
Bob earned his degree with honors in Business Administration from Vanguard University. While in college, Bob founded a real estate management company in Southern California.
After graduation, Bob returned to Santa Maria to pursue his passion to teach and mentor. Bob taught high school, middle school, and special education programs. In 2003, Bob was recognized as Teacher of the Year by the Santa Maria Sun. Bob later became Department Head of the Business Department at Pioneer Valley High School and the Chair of the District’s Technology Committee.
Following his time in teaching, Bob re-focused his attention to local government. In 2010, he formed and led a committee to defeat a countywide sales tax initiative, Measure S. Bob later served as a key advisor to Peter Adam in his run for Fourth District Supervisor, leading to victory over the incumbent of 14 years.
Bob has served as Supervisor Peter Adam’s District Chief for the past six years. As District Chief, Bob works on constituent services, advises Supervisor Adam on important policy and budget decisions, and has managed multiple supervisory offices and staff.
Projects managed by Bob routinely come in under budget, saving taxpayers tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Specific projects include: Measure M, a maintenance initiative; independent redistricting; Lompoc Riverbed cleanup and triage center; and unified fire dispatch center development. Bob also represents our community on the Vandenberg Air Force Base Community Advisory Board, the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council and the Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Safety.
Bob’s personal and professional life experience and his proven commitment to serving the community will guide him as he works to make Santa Barbara County a better place to live, work, and raise a family.