“It’s all yours,” outgoing Mayor Roger Aceves said as he handed over the gavel.
Bennett has served one mayoral term before in his seven years on the City Council, but this is Perotte’s first leadership role on the council.
Both thanked their fellow council members for the nominations and said they look forward to the next year.
Bennett said he has learned a lot since his last term as mayor in 2008. His background at County Fire helped the city through the Gap Fire that year, but he is “hopeful and optimistic” that the city will have a safe year in 2014, he said.
Council members thanked Aceves for his leadership and hard work.
His dedication to detail has made the council and city better, Councilman Jim Farr said.
Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce president Kristen Miller and chairman Tony Vallejo thanked Aceves for his attention to the business community. Over the last year, the council has dedicated money to business development and the Goleta Entrepreneurial Magnet partnership with the chamber, city and UC Santa Barbara.
Aceves thanked his wife, Debbie, and his son, Tim, for their support and thanked the community at large for the opportunity to serve as mayor twice.
He said he is proud of the council’s accomplishments in the last year, such as finding money to finish the San Jose Creek Capacity Improvement and Fish Passage Project even though the Redevelopment Agency was dissolved.
The city dedicated money to develop the zoning ordinance, which the council has meant to do since incorporation, and has been fighting the county on the Goleta Beach Park plan to remove rock revetments.
The park, which is outside city limits but used heavily by residents all over the county, faces “impending destruction” if the rock barriers — which were installed after an El Nino storm — are removed, he said.
There are still areas the city can do better, and one of his first acts as mayor was to ask the county to renegotiate the revenue neutrality agreement, Aceves said. He said the agreement, made in 2002, means the city gives half of its property taxes to the county forever, and Goletans have already paid $86 million in 11 years.
The city and county had a few meetings, “but unfortunately, the county walked away,” he said. “It’s time that this end.”
Both Bennett and Perotte were sworn in during Tuesday night’s meeting and will serve for one year as mayor and mayor pro tempore, respectively.