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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 4:29 am | Fair 42º


Goleta Mayor Ed Easton Launches Re-Election Campaign

He tells supporters gathered at the Goleta Valley Community Center that he's the person to tackle the city's challenges

Goleta Mayor Ed Easton launched his re-election campaign Wednesday, hoping for another four years on the City Council.

Surrounded by supporters in front of the Goleta Valley Community Center, he said he’s the person to tackle Goleta’s challenges, adding that the council works well together to keep the city in great shape, and he wants to keep it that way.

He said western Goleta’s population will significantly increase with new housing developments breaking ground at Willow Springs II, Haskell’s Landing, Windstar, the Villages at Los Carneros and UC Santa Barbara. With those developments, the city will have to build and maintain more streets and improve public transportation to reduce traffic.

Easton previously served on the Old Town Project Advisory Committee, the Design Review Board and Planning Commission and said he has the experience to continue his work with the city.

“Most of all, we must have responsible decision-making to keep the city budget on track,” he said. “Our costs for public safety have been rising 5 percent per year for the past five years.”

Given that the Sheriff’s Department contract is about 45 percent of the city’s budget, the city cannot afford that, according to Easton.

He said the county needs to step up its fire department coverage as well, which hasn’t been adequate for the area.

The biggest challenge will be “avoiding the very human desire to have all the good things in life,” Easton said. “When the county takes $5 million per year from you (in the Revenue Neutrality Agreement), and that will go up as time goes on, it means you don’t have a lot of extra to encumber the city with. That doesn’t sound like a very fun agenda, but it’s going to be necessary — we have to be careful.”

With efficiencies, the city may be able to add some “goodies” such as a recreation commission, he added, excited about the new park going into Old Town near his home.

He said he wants to leave voters with three words: responsible, experienced and energetic.

“I’m the only candidate at this point to have city government experience,” Easton said. “I’m as many years as the city is old experienced, and I’ve been around the ballpark long enough to have a significant respect for spreadsheets and simple arithmetic.” Most of all, he said, “I know this job, and I know it well. I ask for your vote in November.”

City and county officials as well as many Goleta residents were in attendance Wednesday as Mayor Ed Easton launched his re-election campaign. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)
City and county officials as well as many Goleta residents were in attendance Wednesday as Mayor Ed Easton launched his re-election campaign. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

Goleta Councilwoman Paula Perotte, Santa Barbara Councilwoman Cathy Murillo, Second District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf and many Goleta residents were in attendance to support Easton.

Many know Easton from his volunteer docent work at the Coal Oil Point Reserve, a snowy plover protection area. Reserve director Cristina Sandoval said Easton helped her develop the volunteer program when she came onto the job, and he served there for 10 years.

Wolf called Easton a politician who speaks with a soft voice but has strong opinions. Her supervisorial district includes more of Goleta after redistricting, and she has worked with Easton on environmental issues with the Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment, or BEACON.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with him and see him in action,” Wolf said. “He cares a lot about this community; you can see it’s so genuine.”

Two City Council spots are up for grabs in the Nov. 6 election. Goleta resident Jim Farr is the only other candidate who has thrown his hat into the ring so far, with a month left for people to apply.

Councilwoman Margaret Connell has announced she won’t be running for re-election.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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