About Jim Thomas
Jim was born into a Navy Family in 1945, where his father commanded a Naval aviation training squadron. After the Navy, Jim and his brother, Bob, moved often as his father worked his way through the business world, eventually retiring as a Vice President of Chrysler Corporation. Due to his father’s corporate work, Jim attended five high schools in four different states. After high school, Jim attended the Citadel, in Charleston, Carolina for two years and eventually graduated from the University of Redlands with a degree in Business Administration as well as a Master’s equivalent from the California Command College. Jim married and had three daughters and after leaving the family business, he joined the Montclair Police Department in 1967. In 1972, he and his family moved to Santa Barbara to join the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. After progressing through the ranks and working a variety of assignments, Jim was elected Santa Barbara County Sheriff-Coroner in 1990. In 1993, Jim was asked by the Board of Supervisors to also assume the position of Chief for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department in addition to his duties as Sheriff. It was lightly celebrated by having tee shirts made with the logo “Guns and Hoses”. A new Fire Chief was hired in 1996 and Jim retired as Sheriff-Coroner in 2002. After holding office, Jim became a commentator for NBC News throughout the Michael Jackson trial and other trials that followed. Jim and his wife, Lindy owned and operated the Los Olivos Cheese Company until 2006. He was then hired by DMF Strategies, out of Oakland, CA. as a governmental affairs consultant for Aera Energy and worked in that capacity until June 2020.
Jim and Lindy together have 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Jim is an avid golfer and former pilot who enjoys working around their home in Solvang and following local political affairs. Jim is excited about his new position on the City Council and looks forward to serving the citizens of Solvang.