Board of Directors


The District is governed by a five-member Board of Directors, the members of which are elected by the registered voters of the District to staggered four-year terms. The current directors, their occupations and the expiration dates of their terms are set forth below.



Expiration of Term


Jan E. Abel

December 2016

Community Volunteer
Sam Frye

December 2014

Ranch Foreman
Douglas Morgan
Vice President
December 2014 Retired Economics Professor
Richard Shaikewitz
December 2014 Retired

Darlene Bierig


December 2016 

Real Estate Investment


The District was enlarged on December 6, 1995, when the Summerland Water District was formally dissolved and merged with the District. At the November 7, 1995 election, the voters of the Summerland Water District approved the dissolution of the Summerland District and the reorganization for the Montecito Water District to assume the assets, obligations and responsibility for water service in the Summerland area.

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Meeting Dates

The Board of Directors meets twice a month, on the first and third Tuesdays. The meetings are held at 2:00 p.m. in the District's Office Board Room (583 San Ysidro Road).

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Montecito Water District is to provide an adequate and reliable supply of high quality water to the residents of Montecito and Summerland, at the most reasonable cost.

In carrying out this mission, the District places particular emphasis on providing outstanding customer service, conducting its operations in an environmentally sensitive manner, and working cooperatively with other agencies.

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Jan E. Abel - Director


Jan Abel has been a Montecito resident for 39 years. Jan was elected to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA). ACWA is the largest coalition of public water agencies in the United States and it represents 90% of all municipal and agricultural water delivered in California, through its 435 member agencies. Ms Abel served on the ACWA Board for nine years representing the coastal water agencies from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.

Jan also serves on the Appeals and Public Information Committees of the Montecito Water District. Ms. Abel has served on the Montecito Water District Board since 1991.


Jan has been a community volunteer in Santa Barbara for over 30 years. She has served on the Boards of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Family Service Agency, Santa Barbara Symphony League, Casa Dorinda, UCSB Art Affiliates and Las Positas Park Foundation. Jan has also served as President of both the Junior League of Santa Barbara and the Las Aletas Auxiliary of the Assistance League of Santa Barbara. Ms. Abel has been a trainer and facilitator for the Association of Junior Leagues International in the Western States, Canada and Mexico, and for non-profit agencies in Santa Barbara.


Darlene Bierig - President

Darlene is a mother of two and has been a Montecito resident since 1986. She is the co-owner of a real estate investment/development company and has a professional background as an Environmental Planning Consultant as well as a Corporate Real Estate Planner.  As a planning consultant, she authored community plans and environmental impact reports for cities and counties throughout California, and has served as an Expert Witness testifying on land use planning issues.

She holds undergraduate degrees from UCSB in Environmental Studies and Geography, and was recognized in both departments as their “Outstanding Graduating Senior.”  She has a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley, as well as a Master’s in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute where she is currently completing her doctoral dissertation on environmental and political psychology.


Ms Bierig has served as a Trustee and Board President of the Montecito Union School District and as a Director and Land Use Committee Chairperson for the Montecito Association.  She also serves as a Trustee of the Montecito Community Foundation.

Darlene is on the Montecito Water District’s Finance Committee and is President of the Board of Directors.


Samuel Frye - Director


Sam has been a Montecito resident since 1980. He is the Manager of Rancho San Carlos, a lemon and avocado ranch.  Most recently, he served as President of the Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau.  Sam currently serves on the County Agricultural Advisory Committee and the Farm Bureau Executive Committee and Board of Directors.  Since its inception in 2003 Sam has served as a board member of the Southern San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties Agricultural Watershed Coalition. The Coalition represents five agricultural entities in the development and implementation of voluntary, cost effective, producer-directed programs to protect and enhance water quality in the Southern San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County watersheds. Sam joined the Board of Directors of the Montecito Water District in December 2006.


Sam currently serves on the Montecito Water District Board's Operations and Appeals Committees.



W. Douglas Morgan - Vice President

Director Morgan was formally sworn in as a District Director at the Board’s meeting of March 20, 2007.  He brings a significant professional background in economics and water resources to the District.  Doug retired in 2007 from UC Santa Barbara where he had been a professor of economics since 1967.  He received degrees from UC Berkeley and UCLA. 

Doug and his wife have been residents of Montecito for over 30 years. He has been an adult leader for Boy Scout Troop 33 since 1978 and was instrumental in rebuilding the original Scout House at Manning park into the current Youth Center.

Doug serves on the Montecito Water District Board's Finance Committee  and as Board representative to the Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board.


Richard Shaikewitz - Director

Richard jointed the Montecito Water District Board in December, 2006. He was a trial lawyer in the Midwest for 35 years before he retired to Montecito. He previously served on the board of the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, and was on its finance and audit committees. He was on the board of the Montecito Association for 6 years. For 4 of those years he served as its secretary, and has also chaired its Land Use Committee.

Previously Richard headed the Music Academy of the West’s Wine Auction and Summer Fund Raising Festival, and has served on the Santa Barbara Board of the American Institute of Food and Wine, and the Lobero Theatre.

For the past 14 years he has been a non-commercial wine maker, and headed the Los Cinco Locos wine making group.

He is serving in his seventh year as a Director of the Montecito Water District. He is a former President of its Board, and is currently on its Operations and Public Information Committees, Central Coast Water Authority and the Santa Barbara County Special Districts Association. He has also served on the Finance and Appeals Committees.

In his duties with the Central Coast Water Authority he has served as the elected Chairman, and is now its Vice Chairman. He is a Director of the Santa Barbara County Special Districts Association, and has served as its elected Vice President.  




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