Paula Perotte fondly remembers her move to the Good Land. In the mid-1970s, Goleta echoed her native San Dimas, with orchards, agriculture and a small-town feel. It’s that atmosphere she wants to maintain should she win a seat on the Goleta City Council in the Nov. 2 election.
“We’re just so lucky to live here, aren’t we?” she exclaimed to Noozhawk. “I care about Goleta because it just has that small-town feel and that sense of community.”
Perotte moved to Goleta in 1974 after falling in love with a local boy when he was going to school in the Los Angeles area. She is likely a familiar face to those who follow local school issues and has been a longtime PTA member as well as a presence in the classrooms. Her two daughters attended Goleta schools.
Professionally, she is a parent partner development coordinator with the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County. Her job, she said, is to help parents of special-needs and often at-risk youth get the services they need.
“Sometimes they don’t know what to ask for,” she said.
Her advocacy, according to Perotte, is one of the strengths she intends to bring to the council. In fact, to her, running for the council seems like a natural progression.
“I’ve always been interested in representing people who have a smaller voice — people who are underserved and underheard,” she said.
One such constituency she wants to represent is the working parent, she said. Parents, whether married or single, may not be getting the representation they seek from the city because they are busy with family and work life. This may range from the young struggling couple to the parents of older children coming home again as a result of the recession. She has a reason to identify.
“I’m going to have to keep working,” she said.
Keeping Goleta the Good Land encompasses many things for Perotte, including community safety, traffic management and housing — all things that influence that small-town feel.
But now there’s also the city budget to consider, as she anticipates a continuing uncertainty in the overall economy.
“We’re got to ask businesses what they want, to thrive in this community,” she said. And the city has to “keep a balanced budget, but also not lose vital services.”
It’ll be a challenge for Perotte, and others on the council, to keep consensus in the community with issues like development. Bishop Ranch, Kenwood Village and Village at Los Carneros are back at city planning desks, not to mention the UCSB Long-Range Development Plan. And she would need her negotiating prowess to navigate the relationship the city has with Santa Barbara County through its revenue-neutrality agreement. But she remains confident that she is the woman to get the job done.
“I had a lot of people telling me (to run),” she said. “I feel like I have a lot more to contribute being on city council.”
Click here for more information on Paula Perotte’s campaign.