Saturday, February 17 , 2018, 8:08 pm | Fair 49º


Local News

Goleta Sees Hope in Future for State of the City

Mayor Margaret Connell says the city will stay 'lean and effective,' and that next year's revenue bump from its agreement with the county will help maintain services

Goleta has much to be thankful for 10 years after incorporation, Mayor Margaret Connell said during Friday’s State of the City address at the Elks Lodge in Goleta.

“Times are tough, but we’re used to running a tight ship, and we’ll continue to be lean and effective,” she said at the event, sponsored by the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The city government hopes to maintain services with next year’s “revenue bump,” the first payout after portions of the revenue neutrality agreement with Santa Barbara County expire.

For the first time since incorporation, there’s a clear picture of who lives, works and visits Goleta since it participated in the 2010 census, City Manager Dan Singer said. With 11,500 dwelling units, the population has fallen about 3 percent, a trend seen in other South Coast cities. Goleta has very low rates of foreclosure, vacancies and unemployment (4.8 percent) while it brings in high numbers of visitors.

City officials touted the relationships with businesses, schools and other agencies.

With 1,668 active business licenses, the city is home to multibillion-dollar corporate businesses and small start-ups. Big private development projects in the works include the Cabrillo Business Park, hotels and housing complexes, and city officials acknowledged the successes of many Goleta-grown companies such as Deckers Outdoor Corp. and Cottage Health System.

Singer quipped that revenue charts look like Mount Kilimanjaro, as they peaked at 2007 and have dropped off ever since. The $3 million-or-so bump from the revenue neutrality agreement comes in bed and sales taxes, the most volatile areas.

“It’s important because to some extent, we do become a little more vulnerable,” Singer said.

The new contract with MarBorg Industries was a “huge victory” for the city at a time when all other utility costs are increasing, he said.

Steve Chase, director of Planning and Environmental Services, said that 61 capital improvement projects are in the pipeline but would be jeopardized by the elimination of redevelopment agencies.

In closing, Connell said the city hopes to continue its work on the strategic plan, noting that it’s exploring the purchase of the Glen Annie Golf Club.

She also thanked the city attorney’s office and past city councils for their dedication in supporting the city’s rent-control ordinance at Rancho Mobile Homes.

“They have never flinched,” she said.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to review the ordinance, allowing an earlier ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to be upheld.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >