Former County Supervisor Naomi Schwartz Dies
Updated On: Jan 16 2013 09:40:32 PM CST
Santa Barbara - Former Santa Barbara County First District Supervisor Naomi Schwartz has died. She was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in November of 1992. Schwartz was re-elected in March of 1996 and re-elected to her third term in March of 2000. She retired from County government in January 2005. Schwartz also served as the local representative to the California State Association of Counties, a member of the National Association of Counties' Environment and as a Chairperson of the Santa Barbara First 5 Commission. Schwartz was also a founding member of the Santa Barbara community organizations Coastwatch, the Fund for Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee. Current First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal calls Schwartz a good friend and mentor. He released this statement: "No one cared more deeply about Santa Barbara, and California generally, or worked more passionately to preserve its quality and the public's enjoyment of it. Our community has lost a great public servant, leader and friend. Naomi's legacy will live on for many generations to come," said Carbajal. Congresswoman Lois Capps also released a statement reacting to the news of the death of former Santa Barbara County Supervisor Naomi Schwartz. "I'm extremely saddened by the death of my friend and mentor, Naomi Schwartz. Naomi was a wonderful person and a dedicated public servant who represented our community with exceptional diligence and decency. She was never afraid to tackle the difficult problems - and did so with a can-do spirit and graceful tenacity. Throughout her public career, Naomi focused on issues impacting women and children. She brought to the Board of Supervisors, and later the Coastal Commission, a fierce commitment to environmental causes, especially protecting our coastal waters from more oil drilling. And she fought to make our community a safer and more enriching place to live, work and raise a family. Naomi will always be remembered throughout the Central Coast, but especially here in Santa Barbara, as a role model and trailblazer. My heartfelt condolences go out to her family and all those who knew, loved, and admired her." Schwartz first became active in the community following the 1969 oil catastrophe in Santa Barbara County. Years later, it was that attitude of wanting change that led her to become one of the founding members of the Fund for Santa Barbara. "She was one of those very unusual people that came from a social service background but also had a really sharp political mind and analysis and brought all of that together," said Geoff Green, Executive Director of The Fund for Santa Barbara. County Board of Supervisor Chairwoman Doreen Farr has ordered that the County flag be lowered to half-staff at all County buildings. Naomi Schwartz leaves behind four children and three grandchildren. Final arrangements are pending and the family is asking for privacy at this time. KEY News Reporter Scott Hurst has the story.