The City of Santa Maria has 57 newly authorized paid positions it is looking to fill. Fifty-three of them are full-time openings.
About half of those jobs are in the Santa Maria Police and Fire Departments.
These employment opportunities have become a reality due to the city sale’s tax increase known as Measure U.
Measure U has generated about $13 million for the city that will fund future job openings and help maintain current ones as well.
“The justification for these positions in public safety is that our community is growing and we have also not been fulfilling our intent to provide service in the areas of patrol and investigations and also in inspections,” said Santa Maria Public Information Manager Mark van de Kamp.
While a large portion of the jobs being offered are with the police and fire departments, there are also other departments looking for new hires.
The Santa Maria Fire Department will see enhancements to their downtown fire station in the form of more personnel, and they will also get a second engine company at their disposal.
“I would say response time will be affected because we have so many simultaneous calls at one time that we run out of units,” said Santa Maria Batallion Chief Mike Barnich. “So that puts units out of place, but we will have an additional unit in place here to pick up the slack as we run back to back calls.”
Van de Kamp said the hiring process has already started for most of the positions and the city is looking for the appropriate candidates in the months to come.
The Santa Maria Library could also see changes and start to open on Sundays as soon as January of next year.