Peter Adam Won’t Seek 3rd Term on Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors

Noozhawk | February 14, 2019

His aide, Bob Nelson, and Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association Executive Director Joe Armendariz expected to vie for the post

Peter Adam has decided eight years will be enough.

The Fourth District representative on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will not seek a third term, he confirmed Thursday, as candidates have started jockeying to replace him in 2020.

But Adam is quick to point out he still has 22 months before he leaves the job representing Orcutt, Lompoc, a small section of southern Santa Maria Valley, and some of the Los Alamos Valley.

“I’m not going anywhere anytime soon,” he said. “I think I’ll continue to be the loyal opposition. I’ll keep showing them the error of their ways, and they can keep ignoring me at their peril.”

Adam said he originally figured he would serve for a term or two.

‘It’s time to get out, go back to the farm and home and hearth,” he said. “Eight years is a long time. You know, that’s 10 percent of somebody’s life.”

He remains an active leader for the Adam Brothers Family Farm, and said doing the full-time supervisor gig has made it difficult to fulfill his farming duties while focused on the county business.

“I help them out as much as possible in the couple of days that I have a week,” he said.

Earlier this year, the farm was implicated in the E.coli contamination involving romaine lettuce, but Adam said his decision was made before the investigation connected the Santa Maria business.

This week, the Food and Drug Administration said the results of the investigation into the contamination remained inconclusive.

Adam ran for county supervisor in 2014, besting long-time incumbent Joni Gray with his signature issue being the millions of dollars of backlogged infrastructure needs for county roads, parks and bridges.

He has earned a reputation for speaking bluntly and often voting in the minority while sticking to his beliefs.

Serving as county supervisor has brought surprises, including revealing “a great group of people” on staff.

“There’s a few people who shall remain nameless that have not impressed me, but for the most part, the run-of-the-mill county employee is pretty good people,” he said. “I think the advice we get is really great —and is sometimes ignored. I wish people would take all the advice that’s dispatched.”

Adam, who said he has libertarian views, remains skeptical about government overstepping its involvement in property rights and permitting requirements.

“I think we really micromanage people’s behavior and ownership of property,” he said. “It’s not a secret that I’ve thought that.

“And we’re living with the consequences of having done that,” he said.

A large percentage of the county’s discretionary revenue comes from property taxes. A lack of new building projects means no significant raises in property tax revenue and can lead to a deficit outlook like the county’s projected shortfall, he added.

Adam’s Chief of Staff, Bob Nelson, intends to announce his plan to run for the job on Saturday, while Joe Armendariz, executive director of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association and a former Carpinteria City Council member, also has tossed his hat in the ring.

Adam said he will endorse Nelson for the job.

“Bob’s the reason that I’ve looked so good so far,” Adam said. “Bob has been an excellent partner in this thing. He complements my shortcomings, and I think he’s going to do a fantastic job.”

Adam has denied having an eye on a job in Sacramento or Washington, D.C. as he is looks to end his political career. .

“I’d like to have some peace in my life,” Adam said, adding that he is looking forward to grandchildren, training bridle horses, and making wine and cheese.

“I’m just going to have a better of quality of life,” he said.

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