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Economic Issues to Take Center Stage in Goleta

Goleta's second annual State of the City luncheon will focus on sustainability, new hotel construction and business partnerships

The 7-year-old city of Goleta plans to hold its 2nd annual State of the City Luncheon on Friday where a report on the city’s economic outlook is expected to take center stage. 

“There’s no question the economy has affected us,” said Kirsten Deshler, public information officer for the city.

The city is roughly facing a $1.1 million shortfall, in addition to the $450,000 Sacramento may need for its state budget deficit. However, Deshler ensures the community that the city will be able to withstand such hits because of its “healthy reserves.”

The nearly half-million loan the State has proposed to acquire has to be paid back within three years, Deshler said.

Also on the agenda Friday will be the county versus city property tax issue. Currently Goleta has to give Santa Barbara County half of its property taxes, a deal made when Goleta gained cityhood.

Doing more with less, how partnering with nonprofit groups can help the community and what lies ahead for Goleta also will be up for discussion.

In terms of sustainability, the city hopes to heighten awareness about its Go Green Goleta campaign, which has a goal of developing business codes that extend past California’s energy efficiency standards for buildings.

These new standards may be utilized in three new hotels the city has approved.

“All three will have elements of innovative sustainable practices,” Deshler said, which include transportation, landscaping and water usage, among other things.

The city also plans to expand its emergency services; it hopes to construct a new fire station on Hollister Avenue near Sandpiper Golf Course. Goleta also plans for a community campaign on emergency preparation.

The luncheon will start at noon and will be held at Elks Lodge in Goleta at 150 N. Kellogg Ave. Tickets will cost $55 at the door; however, a $10 discount will be available for those who reserve online.

“We’ve certainly had a lot of interest, and hope to put on an excellent program for all that attend,” said Valerie Kushnerov, vice president of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce. Kushnerov expects roughly 200 people to attend.

For those who cannot be present, Goleta TV will tape the event. It will be rebroadcast on Channel 19 at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays beginning June 12, and will also air throughout the month of August.

Sponsors of the event include: Noozhawk, MarBorg Industries, Allied Waste Services, ATK Space, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, sbparent.com, Business First Bank, Cabrillo Business Park, Towbes Group, Venoco Inc., Santa Barbara Airport, Pacific Coast Business Times, Daily Sound, Haagen Printing and Synergy Computing.

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