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Local News

Goleta’s Economy Is Ripe for Growth, Leaders Say at State of the City Event

More than 400 people attend the eighth annual gathering hosted by the city and the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce

Goleta City Manager Michelle Greene, Public Works Director Rosemarie Gaglione and Vyto Adomaitis, neighborhood services and public safety director, talk about the future of Old Town Goleta during Thursday’s State of the City event.
Goleta City Manager Michelle Greene, Public Works Director Rosemarie Gaglione and Vyto Adomaitis, neighborhood services and public safety director, talk about the future of Old Town Goleta during Thursday’s State of the City event. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

The City of Goleta acknowledged its victories and challenges of the past year during the eighth annual State of the City event on Thursday, where local leaders focused on the positives.

About 450 officials and stakeholders gathered at the Bacara Resort & Spa for the event — more than doubling the size of the inaugural event eight years ago, according to Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce board chairman Don Donaldson.

Dubbed a “love fest” by at least two speakers, the address put on by the Goleta Valley Chamber and the city featured speakers from both, along with a panel specifically talking about the state of Old Town Goleta.

“The future of our city is bright,” Mayor Paula Perotte said. “We are committed to continuing our efforts to involve people who live and work here.”

The 13-year-old city boasts a relatively low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent, she said, ranking nationally as a “best place to live” and as a safe city statewide.

Perotte highlighted the city’s neighborhood watch programs, recent recreation assessment report, sidewalk projects and the hiring of new administrators since last year — a city manager, public works director and new deputy city manager, Kathleen Salguero Trepa, set to start June 8.

Goleta City Manager Michelle Greene had good news to report during Thursday's State of the City event. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

City Manager Michelle agreed that Goleta is well positioned for future success.

She and Perotte both gave shout-outs to the California Coastal Commission, which this week approved city and county requests to keep the Goleta Beach Park rock revetment in place.

An ordinance better regulating short-term vacation rentals was touted as successful, as well as a temporary parking permit program used in neighborhoods around nearby Isla Vista and continued community outreach on a proposed Goleta Civic Center, Old Town Park and other projects.

“You can’t drive through anywhere in Goleta without seeing the progress around the city,” Greene said. “We appreciate everybody’s patience. We know they do make the daily commute a bit more challenging than normal.”

She also noted most city revenue last year came from bed, property and sales taxes.

Greene stuck around for the Old Town panel, where she answered questions alongside public works director Rosemarie Gaglione, neighborhood services and public safety director Vyto Adomaitis and chamber president and CEO Kristen Miller, with Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen as moderator.

They talked about some of the exciting things happening in Old Town, including construction of new housing projects, plans to improve parking and other issues facing the business community.

Presenting sponsors of the eighth annual State of the City luncheon were Bacara Resort & Spa; Buynak, Fauver, Archbald & Spray LLPMontecito Bank & Trust; Noozhawk; and The Towbes Group.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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