County of Santa Barbara Civil Service Commission


In 1971, Santa Barbara voters adopted a referendum ordinance that extended to county employees, generally, the benefits of the civil service system formerly covering only the sheriff's office. The civil service system is governed by the Civil Service Rules that ensure that employees are hired through a merit-based competitive process. The Civil Service Rules also provide guidance for the recruitment and appointment process, employee compensation, probationary periods, layoff provisions, and discipline and appeal procedures.

The Civil Service Commission is a five-member, quasi-judicial body established by the referendum ordinance in 1971. The Board of Supervisors appoints the Commissioners, one from each District, to four-year terms of office that are staggered. Each Commissioner must be a registered voter in the county and must not have held any county office or position nor have been an officer of any political party within one year of his/her appointment to the Civil Service Commission.


The Commission oversees the employment relationship between the county and its employees and has the following duties and responsibilities:

  • holds monthly meetings on the third Thursday of each month;
  • hold hearing on appeals of disciplinary actions as provided by the Rules;
  • holds hearings on discrimination complaints;
  • conducts investigations concerning the administration of personnel or conditions of employment;
  • makes recommendations on Civil Service Rules and advises the Board of Supervisors;
  • submits an annual report to the Board of Supervisors

For more information consult the County Code, Article II, Sec.27-21, et.seq.